To be published in EVMI October, 2022 

How does FrieslandCampina adapt to the energy and protein transition? To learn more about this, we spoke with Sanne Griffioen-Roose, manager of FrieslandCampina’s R&D Sustainability Expert Team. 

Earlier this year, FrieslandCampina announced a new climate plan with strict goals for 2030. In terms of energy transition, the measures are drastic. “We want to have reached a {evt: net-}climate neutral production by 2050. In order to achieve this, we will significantly reduce energy use and transition to renewable energy sources. Our production locations currently already use 100% green electricity / power, which is partly obtained from our dairy farmers.” 

When it comes to the protein transition, FrieslandCampina finds itself in a particular position. With a 150 year long dairy history, it may seem unnatural to start producing plant based products, but nothing could be farther away from the truth. Yes, dairy is the starting point, but FrieslandCampina also produces plant based alternatives. “We stand for a balanced and sustainable diet with as little burden on the planet as possible. We notice that the consumer has a desire for choice and variation.”    

Naturally, FrieslandCampina also conducts research on plant based options. For this, they collaborate with members of their own cooperative. A few pilots are already ongoing. The past year, for instance, FrieslandCampina experimented with oats and peas on the soil of dairy farmers of their own cooperative.

“The nutritional value of plant based products is not necessarily better than that of dairy products. When it comes to nutritional value, dairy scores higher. Also, when you look at nutritional values, the story is a bit more nuanced than it is often being told. We strive to offer a nutritious plant based alternative beside dairy. Recent results of this are the Friesche Vlag Barista Haver and the Chocomel Plantaardig. We want our plant based products to be on the same level as our dairy products, taste, use and nutrition-wise. With our 150 years of experience, we consider ourselves very apt at making this a reality.”

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