On the first day of their state visit to the People’s Republic of China, Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands were shown round the Dutch Dairy Expertise Centre, accompanied by Mr. Bert Koenders, the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Sharon Dijksma, the Dutch minister for Agriculture. The training centre is part of the Sino-Dutch Dairy Development Centre (SDDDC), a partnership between the China Agricultural University (CAU), Wageningen University & Research centre , Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., CRV, Rabobank and the China Zhongdi Dairy Holdings Company Limited. During the visit, Their Majesties were shown how the SDDDC is helping to improve the food safety, quality and productivity of the Chinese dairy chain.
Their Majesties and the Ministers were shown round by Mr. Jianshe Zhang, Chairman of the China Zhongdi Dairy Holdings Company Limited, and Mr. Roelof Joosten, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., both of whom were greatly honoured by the visit. During the tour of the centre, the guests were given a summary of the latest developments in the Chinese dairy sector, the chain-based approach of the Dutch dairy sector and how Dutch know-how can be used to promote the further development of the Chinese dairy sector. The party also observed a SDDDC training course on bovine welfare and a seminar on the importance of dairy as part of a healthy diet.
Mr. Jianshe Zhang said of the royal visit: “It is an honour to welcome Their Majesties to our company and to show them how the SDDDC is contributing to the development of the Chinese dairy sector. Increasing the skills of those working in the sector is one of the biggest needs in Chinese dairy farming. This applies equally to my own company, and this is why we are taking part in the SDDDC.”
SDDDC Director, Professor Li Shengli of the China Agricultural University, added: “The knowledge generated and disseminated by the SDDDC is helping to improve productivity, quality and safety in all layers of the Chinese dairy chain. This is vital not only for local dairy businesses but also for the whole of Chinese society, from consumers to policy-makers.”
Mr. James Chiu, Chairman of the SDDDC Supervisory Board and President of FrieslandCampina China, said: “It was a great pleasure to show Their Majesties and the Ministers how Dutch and Chinese dairy businesses and research institutes work together and exchange knowledge to help improve the quality of the dairy chain and food security in China and to the strengthen Chinese employee skills.”
The King and Queen of the Netherlands, Dutch Ministers Bert Koenders and Sharon Dijksma, FrieslandCampina CEO Roelof Joosten and Mr. Jianshe Zhang of the Beijing SinoFarm Stud Livestock Company watch a SDDDC training course.