Dutch dairy giant, FrieslandCampina is celebrating 150 years of operations this year and to mark the occasion, the company raised the anniversary flag on 8 September at all its production locations around the world.
FrieslandCampina's cooperative history dates back to 1871, when a group of farmers established the 'Vereeniging tot Ontwikkeling van den Landbouw in Hollands Noorderkwartier'.
This association is the oldest known legal predecessor of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A.
The following year, 20 farmers in the Dutch village of Wieringerwaard, in North Holland, decided to collaborate.
Together, they bought a building, two cheese tubs, and a weighing scale. Soon after, they appointed a cheesemaker and thus established the first official cooperative of farmers.
In Friesland, something similar happened in the village of Warga; a group of farmers united to form a cooperative.
After many mergers, these cooperatives finally resulted in the creation of FrieslandCampina.
Today, dairy is one of the Netherlands’ most important sectors.
According to Erwin Wunnekink, chairman of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A., "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 the cities, then just across the borders and, eventually, all over the world. Almost all the people in the world know 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."
'150 Years Of Cooperative Knowledge'
"FrieslandCampina is based on 150 years of cooperative knowledge and experience," believes Hein Schumacher, CEO Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.
"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. Every day. I am really proud of this," he said.