FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden: 100 years of global entrepreneurship

17 June 2013

FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden celebrates its centenary this year. In 1913, 33 dairy co-operations formed the Coöperatieve Condensfabriek Friesland [CCF], one of the forerunners of today’s FrieslandCampina. In the space of 100 years, the condensation plant has grown to become a dairy giant that processes 1 billion kilogrammes of milk (one-ninth of all the milk of the FrieslandCampina members) each year into milk powder and 1 billion cans of condensed milk, which are sent all over the world. To celebrate its centenary, FrieslandCampina is organising various centenary activities this year, including an international symposium on 20 June 2013, which will focus on 100 years of international entrepreneurship. Later this year, a reunion and staff party will be organised and an exhibition will be staged at FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden.


The beginning
Despite the initial intention, there was no export of any significance in the early years of CCF, due to the First World War and an export ban. From 1919 onwards, however, the first CCF condensed milk was exported to England under the Friesche Vlag brand name. Since then, CCF’s condensed milk has found its way to every corner of the globe. The first managing director, Sietze Hepkema (1884-1963) continued to serve until 1951.

Cees ’t Hart, FrieslandCampina’s current CEO: ‘Thanks to the salesmanship and persistence of CCF’s first managing director, Sietze Hepkema, our company became active in Africa, the Far East and the Dutch East Indies from the 1920s onwards. This growth was possible only because he was able to put the insights he had gained during study trips into practice. The transition from manual to machine-based production took place under his management. The laboratory in Leeuwarden, one of the biggest of its kind, also developed thanks to his innovative ideas. Sietze is an inspiration to us all.’


100 years young
For FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden, the end to growth is not yet in sight. From 2013 to 2015, the company will be investing in the production location in order to be able to process and package still more milk to meet growing international demand for condensed milk. The facility is also on the look-out for new employees and therefore supports local training initiatives. Jarig Langhout, Chairman of FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden: ‘Global demand for dairy products is growing and we are matching our growth accordingly. We therefore need an intake of young enthusiastic employees in the near future. FrieslandCampina is responding by joining other parties to invest in dairy training courses. The dairy sector has a bright future ahead of it and what could be better than working for a multinational enterprise?’

Activities in relation to the centenary
FrieslandCampina Symposium: ‘Celebrating one hundred years of international entrepreneurship’, 20 June 2013
On 20 June 2013, guests from the Netherlands and beyond will be welcomed to the FrieslandCampina symposium ‘Celebrating one hundred years of international entrepreneurship’. The symposium, which will be chaired by Charles Groenhuijsen, presents a programme in which vision, insights and experiences in the field of international sustainable entrepreneurship will be shared. In addition to a plenary programme featuring speakers from, among others, KLM, Heineken, Rabobank Nederland and FrieslandCampina, there will be various themed sessions: ‘The strategic triangle of water, energy and food’, ‘The vision on chain benefits and the future for farmers’ and ‘Strategic partnerships’.

Reunion and staff party
In the afternoon of 21 September, all former employees of the Leeuwarden plant will be invited to a reunion in De Harmonie, with Rob Kamphues and the current managing director Jarig Langhout as co-hosts. The reunion is open to former employees of CCF, Friesland Frico Domo, Friesland Dairy Foods and the existing FrieslandCampina. A party for all current employees will be held in De Harmonie on the same evening.

Exhibition and film
In November, an exhibition will open at FrieslandCampina Leeuwarden highlighting the company’s past, present and future. As well as many old and new photographs, documents and production materials, a special centenary film will also be shown. The exhibition is part of a series of special tours being organised during this period, including for FrieslandCampina’s member dairy farmers.