Every morning, the alarm on Aniko Kover’s (35) nightstand goes off at five o’clock. And without exception, she gets up with a smile on her face, excited to go back to ‘her’ Ekro. Minalou waves goodbye from the giant cat tower. ‘I was the first foreign employee and the first woman in our department,’ she says with pride.
From Dunaújváros, a city in central Hungary, the adventurous 21-year-old Aniko googled international vacancies. She found work at a meat processing company in Meppel in the Netherlands, and after a detour to Druten, her experience became her ticket to a position at the veal slaughterhouse in Apeldoorn. Her husband Ferenc also works at Ekro. Aniko has since been promoted to floor manager of the ‘White Hall’. ‘It’s super clean and tidy,’ she says. ‘And the work is challenging and varied.’ The Hungarian has a flair for languages and is a great listener. She speaks fluent Dutch, even with her Hungarian colleagues, and communicates calmly and clearly and with a sense of humour. She also holds her ground outside of work. She is an angler and fishes for sturgeon and carp in the waters in and around Apeldoorn. Aniko’s dream? ‘To do a language course to improve my Dutch even more.’