About 1,000 young farmers and employees of FrieslandCampina met at De Fabrique in Utrecht on Saturday 30 January. In the industrial atmosphere of the old feed mill, Piet Boer, chairman of the Zuivelcoöperatie, and Roelof Joosten, CEO of FrieslandCampina, among others brought to life the theme of the day: the farmers’ challenge. In a nutshell: young farmer have to face many challenges, how can they deal with these and which chances can they seize?
After an energetic opening with ‘are we going for it!?’ by the chairmen of the day Adrie de Vos (chairman of the young farmers) and Patrick Veeloo (chairman of the young employees), Piet Boer painted a picture of the future of the dairy farmer in 2025. He mentioned the three I’s that are needed for getting there, being Investment, Innovation and Interactive. Investments remain necessary for a good income, Innovation keeps required for sustainable production and with Interactive he emphasised the interaction with the environment and the consumer, something which will become even more important in the future than it is now. Bas Haring, philosopher and extraordinary professor at the University of Leiden, also handled the theme with stimulating stories. His message was: ‘stay curious, even if it is sometimes difficult in a situation you are utterly familiar with. Especially seeing the strangeness of obvious things can take you further.’
Piet Boer paints a picture of the future of the dairy farmer in 2025
During the extensive lunch programme, the visitors could attend four knowledge shops about challenges with respect to finances, quality of milk, media and the managerial aspects of the cooperative. Additionally, there was the from-grass-to-glass-street, in which Youngstars (young employees) presented projects and brands of FrieslandCampina. The entire chain, from the milk production at the farm (the grass) to the products that end up with customers and consumers (the glass), was represented.
Dairy chain is crucial
CEO Roelof Joosten emphasised the importance of the dairy chain again in the afternoon. Based on route2020, the strategy of FrieslandCampina, he explained what demands customers may make on FrieslandCampina. Three elements stood out:
- being sustainable;
- less wasting;
His message was: ‘the chain is crucial for meeting the requirements and wishes of our customers.’ After a playful closure by the Belgian puppet player Armand Schreurs, really nothing could spoil the day anymore. During the get together, people talked about the challenges for dairy farming and shared positive and enthusiastic reactions.
FrieslandCampina Youth Day
The FrieslandCampina Youth Day is a biennial happening meant to inspire young dairy farmers and to connect them with each other and with young employees.