FrieslandCampina celebrates 150 years of ‘grass to glass’

September 16, 2021 - 17:00
FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives, has celebrated its 150th anniversary of foundation.


FrieslandCampina’s 150th anniversary flag was raised at all its production locations around the world on September 8. Photo courtesy of FrieslandCampina

HCM CITY — FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives, has celebrated its 150th anniversary of foundation.

It owns leading brands such as Dutch Lady, Friso, Yomost, and Fristi, all of which are popular among Vietnamese consumers.

Royal FrieslandCampina is a leading global nutrition group with a presence in 36 countries and more than 24,000 employees. It exports to more than 100 countries around the world and has total revenues of €11.1 billion (US$13.1 billion).

Millions of the group’s products are consumed every day globally.

Royal FrieslandCampina has been honoured this year with a place in the top three in the Access To Nutrition Initiative, whose results were announced in July 2021. 

The initiative evaluates the world’s 25 largest dairy and food companies every two years based on their corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at tackling malnutrition and obesity in various countries.

FrieslandCampina’s mission of ‘better nutrition for the world accessible to everyone’ is one of the top priorities in its sustainable development, which has been realised through four action programmes.

The programmes include better nutrition policies for products, expanded access to nutrition, responsible and transparent communication and education on nutrition, and healthy lifestyle for the community.

The company also aims to balance essential nutrients as recommended under the FrieslandCampina Global Nutrition Standard. 

It regularly conducts nutrition research such as SEANUT, a nutrition survey in Southeast Asia, and programmes to improve nutrition in African countries.

To make better nutrition accessible to everyone, FrieslandCampina has an ambitious goal of setting affordable prices by 2025 for at least 50 per cent of its product portfolio and 15 per cent of sales volume to make it easier for consumers to access milk nutrition, especially disadvantaged people without a steady income. 

Its nutrition education and communication programmes for the community are customised for each country and region.

FrieslandCampina CEO Hein Schumacher said: “We are committed to creating better nutrition so that a growing global population has access to a source of nutrition that fits everyone’s income, especially people with low incomes and in countries where there is a lack of food.

“Better nutrition and access to nutrition for everyone is a priority for FrieslandCampina. We are honoured to be in the top three in the Access to Nutrition Initiative.”

‘For a rising and superior Việt Nam’

With a presence of more than 25 years in Việt Nam, the group aims to bring the best to the Vietnamese people, focusing on child nutrition education and development, improvement of people’s quality of life, especially its partner dairy farmers, and environmental protection and sustainable development.

In 2020 it signed a strategic partnership deal with the Ministry of Education and Training for a five-year, VNĐ55 billion project called ‘For a rising and superior Việt Nam’ with activities to improve physical training and provide knowledge about balanced nutrition and implement extra-curricular activities that will benefit more than 290,000 students at 200 primary schools to start with.

The number will be expanded in future.

FrieslandCampina is a pioneer in the Vietnamese dairy industry. As of 2020 it had more than 2,500 dairy farmers participating in its dairy development programme

At its production plants, FrieslandCampina Vietnam has an efficient and sustainable production chain through the use of environment-friendly raw materials and reduction of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions and water use. 

It also carries out communication programmes to help raise awareness among its employees and the community about sustainable development.

150 years of development 

FrieslandCampina’s cooperative history dates back to 1871 when a number of farmers established the Vereeniging tot Ontwikkeling van den Landbouw in Hollands Noorderkwartier, the oldest known legal predecessor of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A. 

The following year 20 farmers in the northern Dutch village of Wieringerwaard decided to collaborate. 

Together, they bought a building, two cheese tubs and a weighing scale. Soon after they appointed a cheesemaker and thus was established the first official cooperation of farmers. 

In Friesland, something similar happened in the village of Warga after a group of farmers united to set up a cooperative. After several mergers, the cooperative finally resulted in the creation of FrieslandCampina.

Chairman Erwin Wunnekink (left) and CEO Hein Schumacher (middle) with Lucas Bolsius, the mayor of Amersfoort, raise the jubilee flag to mark 150 years of FrieslandCampina. Photo courtesy of FrieslandCampina

Today dairy is one of the Netherlands’ most important sectors.

Erwin Wunnekink, chairman of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A., said: “Our ancestors already knew that together we are strong; that was true in those days, and it still is. It is the core of our identity. 

“We conquered new markets by working together. We initially did this close to home in cities, then just across the borders and, eventually, all over the world.

“Almost all the people in the world know about our cheese and our infant nutrition. With almost 17,000 members, FrieslandCampina is one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the world. This cooperation has made us really successful.”

Schumacher said: “FrieslandCampina is based on 150 years of cooperative knowledge and experience.” 

“Its foundations consist of family businesses that have been members of the current cooperative and its legal predecessors for many generations. We have enterprising farmers who, by working together daily, provide millions of consumers throughout the world with the goodness of milk, from grass to glass.” — VNS