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Source: Media Outreach

Advocating the Dutch Way of Organic Dairy Farming to Enhance Biodiversity within the Agricultural Ecosystem
HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 5 August 2020 – As one of the world’s leading and largest dairy cooperatives with almost 150 years of Dutch dairy heritage and expertise, FrieslandCampina is committed to providing better nutrition for the world while ensuring a good living for the farmers and creating a sustainable natural environment for now and for generations to come. In response to the rising consumer demand for organic products, the company announced the launch of a new ultra-premium organic milk formula Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO globally, with Hong Kong chosen as the first market.

FrieslandCampina announced the launch of a new ultra-premium organic milk formula Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO globally, with Hong Kong chosen as the first market.
The new Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO is crafted from the natural richness of organic farms which are full of diversity and life, enabling to achieve around 50 varieties of living things commonly seen in the Netherlands.
Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO is now traceable on TrackEasy#, an industry-first smart packaging innovation that enables consumers to trace every step in the process; from milk collection in FrieslandCampina’s Dutch own farms, through packaging, final quality checks, export permissions and all the way to the date of arrival, thus giving consumers peace of mind.

Organic milk formula growing strong
In recent years, the demand for organic products has been gaining popularity as consumers increasingly consider the health and environmental consequences of their food choices. Globally, 20% of people look for an organic statement when buying a product with 36% saying this influences their purchasing behaviours[1]. ​Of all the food categories, the Baby & Toddler category has shown the strongest growth (18%) in organic product launches over the past year. In 2019, more than 5,000 organic Baby & Toddler products were launched globally, representing a growth of 200% compared to 2015[2]. Organic milk formula experienced the highest growth, increasing 30% in value to reach EUR 2 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow at 13.5% CAGR throughout 2020 — 2024[3], reflecting the growing interest among parents for organically sourced milk formula.​ Organic milk formula has led the category growth in the last 3 years, accounting for 6% of the category value[4].

As a key market of the milk formula industry in the APAC region, Hong Kong has been selected as the first market to launch the new Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO.

Mr. Berndt Kodden, President FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition said “Organic solutions are crucial, but it is never easy to develop organic products and meet the stringent requirements of our unique from grass to glass process. Massive efforts have been contributed to ensure that our dairy farms and production plants are organically certified.” Empowered by its unique control from grass to glass, FrieslandCampina is able to ensure the highest quality and safety standards throughout the entire global supply chain, from its own organic dairy farms right through to consumer distribution. Each step between milking the cows, guaranteeing quality in factories and delivering products to the supermarkets is managed and controlled by FrieslandCampina.

Leading the Dutch standard of organic dairy farming
40 years ago, FrieslandCampina member farmers started pioneering organic dairy farming in the Netherlands. Among more than 11,400 FrieslandCampina member dairy farms, 150 are dedicated to organic dairy farming, where the rich organic milk is produced. Pier Swierstra, the 4th generation member farmer of FrieslandCampina whose farm has been certified as organic since 2012, said “For generations, my family has been committed to working closely with nature. We practise organic farming so that we pass on only the best things to the next generation. We work hard every day to maintain a healthy and biodiverse ecosystem to nurture strong and healthy cows that produce natural and nutritious organic milk.”

At FrieslandCampina’s organic farms, dairy cows enjoy a minimum living area of 6 sq. m. per head and permanent access to open air grazing areas, if weather conditions permit. Farmers give their dairy cows 100% organic feeds. Any preventive use of antibiotics, hormones, mineral nitrogen fertilisers or growth enhancers is strictly prohibited. On top of adhering to the EU’s organic certification standards, all these organic farms choose to comply with the Aanvullende Normen, additional stringent requirements initiated by Dutch organic farmers themselves to guarantee the high standard for ecological dairy farming with an extra focus on animal welfare, use of medicines, outdoor grazing and biodiversity.

Dr. Marchel Gorselink, Director Development FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition, said “With Aanvullende Normen, a minimum 5% of land must be in its natural state, meaning that 5% of the land use must be under nature conservation. This has contributed to a healthy ecosystem with rich biodiversity at FrieslandCampina’s organic dairy farms, enabling to achieve around 50 varieties of living things[5].” According to Dr. Gorselink, the new Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO is crafted from the natural richness of organic farms which are full of diversity and life. For example, dandelions, a common plant on Dutch protein-rich grasslands, supply dairy cows with calcium which is important for milk production.

By harnessing the precious Organic First Layer of Milk*, Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO is produced with high nutritional value and benefits, making it close to original milk+. It contains precious natural nutrients: sn-2 Palmitate^, Phospholipids^ and MCFA & SCFA^▲ in their natural structures to help better support digestion, as well as support a child’s overall development.

Collaborating with WNF and Rabobank to drive sustainable dairy farming with Biodiversity Monitor
Mr. Berndt Kodden, President FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition, said “In the Netherlands, over 75% of all dairy farmers are members of FrieslandCampina, who potentially have a tremendous influence on the biodiversity on their farms and in the surrounding nature reserves. Aiming to be a driver of sustainable dairy farming for the broader industry, we have joined forces with the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Netherlands office (WNF) and Rabobank to create the Biodiversity Monitor. It is a comprehensive methodology to measure a dairy farm’s influence on biodiversity, making it possible to quantify results to help improve biodiversity in agriculture and reward dairy farmers through supply chain partners and other stakeholders.”

Biodiversity Monitor sets out 7 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with the guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (FAO-LEAP) and the Natural Capital Protocol. They include: 1) greenhouse gas emissions; 2) ammonia emissions; 3) nitrogen soil surplus, which can decrease negative impacts on biodiversity, and 4) share of own farmland used for protein production; 5) share of permanent grassland; 6) share of nature and landscape; 7) share of multifunctional grassland, which can increase positive impacts on biodiversity.

At FrieslandCampina, all member dairy farms implement Biodiversity Monitor. It has been incorporated into FrieslandCampina’s extensive monitoring programme “Foqus Planet” so member farmers can know their farm emissions data, share knowledge, measure actions and monitor the climate. In order to achieve the target of being carbon neutral by 2050, an array of sustainability initiatives have been implemented, resulting in milestone achievements. For example:
           i.       100% of the farms use RTRS-certified responsible soy for cow feeds.
         ii.       3.5% increase of permanent grassland in the Netherlands since 2015.
        iii.       100% of the farms implement Carbon Footprint Monitor, making FrieslandCampina the only dairy company in the world to provide large scale complete and credible greenhouse gas emissions data.
        iv.       In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions from production and transport by FrieslandCampina reduced by around 10%.
         v.       Over 2,500 member dairy farmers have installed solar panels, windmills and mono-manure digesters, producing enough green electricity to supply approximately 200,000 households.
        vi.       100% of electricity consumption in FrieslandCampina Europe’s operation (production and transport) is green.

Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO now traceable on TrackEasy#
As outline by Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), consumers need access to timely, clear, reliable information to make good food choices with the rising complexity of food safety. According to a recent survey conducted by independent market research company Nielsen[6], among the 1,000+ mums interviewed in Hong Kong and mainland China, milk formula (80%) topped the list of baby-related products that they are most concerned about. Before the purchase, they spend an average of 3 hours conducting research on milk formula. The top 3 kinds of information that mums want to trace in detail include quality check during production (71%) and food source (63%), production environment (65%) and how the product is made (63%). Mums want brands to be more transparent about their food sources (97%) and production process (96%), enabling them to make better choices.

Mr. Berndt Kodden, President FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition, said “To strengthen parents’ trust and empower them in making more informed milk formula purchasing decisions, FRISO® TrackEasy# has been launched as an industry-first smart packaging innovation that enables consumers to access and trace the fully controlled Dutch supply chain process. By scanning a QR code specific to each batch of milk formula tins, including the newly launched Organic FRISO PRESTIGE® BIO product range, consumers can trace every step in the process; from milk collection in FrieslandCampina’s own farms in the Netherlands, through packaging, final quality checks, export permissions and all the way to the date of arrival, thus giving consumers peace of mind.”

Geared up for the new frontier online
In Hong Kong, there are more and more pollutions that may affect children’s health nowadays. Therefore, parents are looking for products from secured sources. Ms. Helena He, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited, said “As well as putting extra emphasis on the scientific benefits of our products in maintaining a good immune system, we also focus on our innovative TrackEasy# to address consumers’ concerns on food safety and traceability. In 2020, the average number of monthly TrackEasy# scans nearly doubled as compared to last year. Despite the quick and easy access to information on the system, consumers are spending more time on each page with a 0% bounce rate, showing their intentions to look for solid evidences to ensure the safety and quality along our from grass to glass production process.”

The pandemic has changed not only the way consumers select the products, but also how they shop. According to Nielsen[7], over 50% of the people interviewed would shop online more frequently than 6 — 9 months before the pandemic and over one third would shop less often at grocery and convenience stores. Such behaviour is expected to continue for 2 — 6 months. Ms. He said, “In view of the changing consumer behaviours during the pandemic, we have been swift in gearing up and expanding our marketing initiatives to reach our target consumers and stakeholders through online, social media and e-commerce channels. On top of our FRISO® Easyorder e-shop and dedicated online promotions with major e-commerce platforms, we are the first milk formula brand in Hong Kong to leverage chatbot technology in conducting pre-natal classes and digitalise our engagement with healthcare practitioners.”
In the future, the company will continue to create more local contents and organise more marketing activities to promote the e-stores of FRISO® and TrackEasy# which empowers parents in making more informed decisions when purchasing milk formula. 
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Appropriate intake of growing-up formula can be part of a balanced diet.
Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for healthy growth and development of babies.

[1] According to FMCG Gurus, please refer to FrieslandCampina’s website

[2] According to Innova, please refer to FrieslandCampina’s  website

[3] According to Euromonitor, please refer to FrieslandCampina’s  website

[5] Refer to the living species commonly seen in the Netherlands.
* Freshly collected from the liquid organic whole milk from our own farms in the Netherlands.
+ Refers to the Organic First Layer of Milk close to whole milk.
^ From liquid organic whole milk.
▲MCFA: Medium-chain fatty acids; SCFA: Short-chain fatty acids.

# Trace every step of FRISO® products in the process from milk collection in own farms in the Netherlands, through packaging, final quality checks, export permissions and all the way to the date of arrival.
[6] According to Nielsen’s survey on “Understanding concerns of mums of infants and toddlers towards baby products in Mainland China and Hong Kong” conducted in April 2019. A total of 1,063 mums were interviewed in Hong Kong (305 mums) and Mainland China (758 mums). (Copyright©2019, The Nielsen Company)
[7] According to Nielsen’s online survey on “Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour” conducted in 6-11 March 2020 that interviewed 501 general Hong Kong population. (Copyright©2020, The Nielsen Company)

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