“A better understanding of other cultures”

14 June 2017

“A better understanding for other cultures” 2“On behalf of FrieslandCampina, I went on an Agripool mission for Agriterra to visit the dairy cooperative Pangalengan in Indonesia in early April 2017. Pangalengan is one of the cooperatives in Java that supplies raw milk to Frisian Flag Indonesia.”

Help small-scale dairy farmers

“Through its Dairy Development Programme (DDP) , FrieslandCampina shares dairy expertise with farmers in other parts of the world to support them in raising their standards of living. The DDP Agripool missions  are a great example of how FrieslandCampina puts nourishing by nature into practice!”

Performance-based reward system

“I work as a Senior Reward Specialist Corporate HR at FrieslandCampina. The purpose of my trip to Pangalengan was to define a performance-based reward system for the cooperative. I only had one week for my mission, which was quite a challenge. During the week, together with the HR Manager and the Board of Directors of Pangalengan, I made a roadmap, which consisted of three aspects: describing the roles, addressing behaviour, and financial consequences.”

Transition plan

“It was a big step for the Board of Directors, managers and HR department of the Pangalengan cooperative to speak openly about behaviour, particularly in a culture that is based on social context. However, there was plenty of support for professional development, as this will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the cooperative. We set up an action plan for the transition within four days. The availability of the right people (HR, management, supervisors and the Board) at the right time made it possible to get input, come to an agreement and take decisions. This pressure cooker method saves time, money and gives a lot of energy. I am very proud of what we have achieved together!”

Cultural differences

“Of course, I experienced differences in culture as well. A good example is how time is perceived; an appointment at 9 am often means that attendees will turn up around 9.30 am. Indonesian people take the time to socialise and make contact over tea and cakes. This is, of course, a different working mentality than the one I am familiar with in the Netherlands, where time management is important and appointments are strictly adhered to. This Agripool mission opened doors for me to different ways of working. It was an opportunity to develop myself personally and professionally. I learnt to be more agile and gained more insight into the social systems in different countries. I certainly would advise colleagues to take part in an Agripool mission, if given the opportunity!”