FrieslandCampina and Rabobank are to boost local dairy farming in Indonesia and Vietnam through the provision of education and affordable finance, Royal FrieslandCampina CEO Cees ’t Hart announced at the formal opening of the FrieslandCampina Innovation Centre by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
FrieslandCampina and Rabobank support local dairy farmers by leveraging knowledge and expertise, and providing financing on relatively favourable terms. By doing so, they hope to improve the quality of local dairy farming. The loans are used to purchase cows, improve conditions in barns and fund biogas units. FrieslandCampina buys the milk that is produced. The interest and loan repayments are deducted from the price paid for the milk, enabling the farmers to repay the loans in gradual stages. Local farmers are also given training to increase their milk yield and improve its quality.
Speaking at the official opening, Royal FrieslandCampina CEO Cees ’t Hart said: “When she visited FrieslandCampina Vietnam in 2011, Queen Máxima gave us the idea of offering farmers a form of financing as well as training.”
Rabobank CEO Piet Moerland added: “Through the Rabobank Foundation and Rabo Development, we give farmers in developing countries access to financing. A partnership with FrieslandCampina is of immense added value for dairy farming in both Indonesia and Vietnam.”
Increasing the professionalism of farmers
The projects tie in seamlessly with the Sustainable Business Facility and Food Security Programme (FDOV), to which FrieslandCampina is affiliated in the context of its Dairy Development Programme. It collaborates on the programme with Wageningen University and Agriterra, among others. The programme’s aim is to increase the professionalism of farmers so that they will operate more efficiently and supply better quality milk. This in turn will boost their income.
The expertise provided by Rabobank can be used to good effect here. As a leading food and agricultural bank, Rabobank is actively working to promote sustainable food production and supply. Smaller local farmers in developing countries and emerging economies play a key role in this process. Their potential can be exploited far more effectively worldwide if they are given access to financing and know-how.
The initiative involves an overall investment of 22 million euros, of which FrieslandCampina will provide a total of 12 million. Approximately 30 FrieslandCampina staff and member dairy farmers are directly or indirectly involved with the Dairy Development Programme on a daily basis.