PHILIPPINES – Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC), a manufacturer of milk products in the Philippines, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its partners to set up a training center that aims to boost the quantity and quality of local milk output through knowledge sharing and exchange programs.
The MOU is between AMC, the National Dairy Authority (NDA), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Dairy Training and Research Institute (UPDTRI).
The Philippine-Netherlands Dairy Excellence Center (PNDEC)will be a shared facility that would offer the following programs: dairy farmer training; farmer-to-farmer exchange programs; exchange of academic materials, publications, and other information; and exchange of research, lectures, and discussions and other special programs, the dairy said.
In addition, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Manila and CRV serve as service partners for this endeavor. CRV is a Dutch cooperative providing genetic products for healthy, efficient cows and other services.
AMC noted that the initiative not only helps it fortify its mission to bring forth nutrition to every plate and glass of Filipino homes but also strengthens its lifelong commitment to bettering the lives of Filipinos.
AMC is a subsidiary of the Dutch dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina (RFC), which acquired control of the company from the founding Uytengsu family in 2012.
It has established itself as the leading milk company in the Philippines having well-performing dairy product brands that include Alaska, Alpine, Cow Bell, Friso, Krem-Top, and Liberty, in the Philippine market.
Roel van Neerbos, President of Royal FrieslandCampina (RFC), said the inception of the PNDEC started half a year ago.
Van Neerbos said it has been a principle of RFC to “control” the whole milk value chain from the farmers up to the consumers, which he noted as a “grass-to-glass” approach.
He noted that RFC is willing to make the necessary investments to sustain the PNDEC, including the construction of a physical center.
To combat over-reliance on the country’s dairy industry in importation – standing at 99%- Dr. Farrel Benjelix Magtoto, OIC Administrator of NDA said the partnership formed under the initiative will help all stakeholders turn smallholders into a productive, profitable, and proficient dairy enterprise.
Last year, together with the NDA and the UP-DTRI, AMC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop the Philippine dairy industry jointly and allocated almost PHP 4,000,000.00 for the first-corporate led Dairy Training and Development Program in the Philippines.
Since the inception of the program in May 2021, the company has been able to train more than 100 dairy farmers and aims to train 300 more local dairy farmers and cooperative officers this year.
These two training initiatives in the Philippines are part of the wide Dairy Development Program or DDP to better the lives of farmers, which Royal FrieslandCampina established.
Through the DDP, RFC provides training courses and forms partnerships to share knowledge and supports farmers in improving the quality of their milk, making their farms more sustainable, and gaining access to the market.
In the process, RFC said it simultaneously contributes to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.