FrieslandCampina to expand Dairy Development Programme in Asia and Africa

29 September 2010

FrieslandCampina has plans to further expand its Dairy Development Programme in Asia and West Africa. As a result of the strong growth of the dairy markets in these countries, the further expansion of the Programme has great social importance. Sybren Attema has agreed to manage the Dairy Development Programme when he steps down on
15 December 2010 as Vice-Chairman of the Members’ Board of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A. and the Supervisory Board of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.  In addition to his practical knowledge of dairy farming, his many years of experience at FrieslandCampina and his contacts with public authorities are particularly important. On 1 February 2011, he will join FrieslandCampina and will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

FrieslandCampina’s Dairy Development Programme is part of its corporate social responsibility programme and aims to contribute to the development of local dairy farms and strengthen the rural communities in which dairy farmers work. It is targeted at the Asian and African markets in which FrieslandCampina operates, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria.

Sybren Attema: “In consultation with my family, my life will be taking an entirely new turn. This challenge will enable me to carry on contributing to FrieslandCampina and to use my knowledge, experience and network to engage in activities with an added social responsibility value. I have spent my entire working life as a dairy farmer and have very much enjoyed my 18 years as member of the members’ board. Quitting dairy farming won’t be easy, but it does offer me the opportunity to try something completely different. We don’t have a successor for our own dairy farm. We will stop farming and then my wife and I will be relocating to Vietnam, where I will be working as regional manager dairy development.”

Further development of food safety, boosting the economy and business skills
FrieslandCampina generates a significant share of its revenue in Asia, the Middle East and Africa: “The Dairy Development Programme is vital to our markets in Asia and Africa because we purchase milk from local dairy farmers”, according to Kapil Garg, member of the Executive Board of FrieslandCampina and COO of the Consumer Products International business group. “FrieslandCampina believes it is important to invest further in developing local dairy farming from the point of view of increasing the levels of food safety and quality and of further boosting the local economy.”

Local cooperation
FrieslandCampina aims to purchase a substantial amount of the milk in countries where its dairy products are sold. FrieslandCampina has therefore been buying milk from dairy farms in various countries for decades. By supporting local dairy farms with investments, aid programmes and knowledge transfer based on the Dairy Development Programme, it can contribute to improving the hygiene, quality and safety of milk production, animal health, as well as operations management. In doing so, cooperation is being sought with local dairy companies and cooperatives, local government, research and educational institutions and dairy farmers, as well as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Wageningen UR (University & Research Centre). In spite of these projects, the countries involved in Asia, the Middle East and Africa will always have to import dairy and will therefore remain important markets for the valorisation of the milk of FrieslandCampina members.

 ‘Farmer helps farmer’ initiative
In addition, a ‘farmer helps farmer’ initiative was launched, enabling Dutch farmers to provide assistance and advice to their Vietnamese colleagues, among others. On West Java in Indonesia, Dutch experts are helping to build dairy barns and to provide training in milking, milk handling and breeding programmes. Dairy farmers can have the quality of their milk tested in a special laboratory. In Thailand, too, the first steps have been taken towards similar initiatives following an earlier visit from a Thai delegation to FrieslandCampina in the Netherlands.