Seven Decades of Dutch Lady - From The Milky Meadows of Friesland  To The Top Shelves of Malaysia

CORPORATE INSIGHTS

Seven Decades of Dutch Lady - From The Milky Meadows of Friesland To The Top Shelves of Malaysia

Dutch Lady is a brand of FrieslandCampina, a Dutch cooperative and has been operating in Malaysia since well before Merdeka. Its Malaysia MD Tarang Gupta reveals its unique business model.

Very few brands can say that they are truly a ‘household name’. But with Dutch Lady, this claim is easy to prove.

Just head on to the street and grab the nearest person, and ask them if they not only ‘know the brand’, but ask also if they have consumed the product at least once. Chances are, the person you ask had a cup of Dutch Lady milk that very morning. That is the power of the branding the company has.

So how did they get here? What makes them so good in achieving not just commercial success, but a sustainable one too?

“FrieslandCampina, the company which owns the ‘Dutch Lady’ brand began in 1871. It was around that time that Dutch farmers decided to join forces and create a community committed to sustainable farming,” explains Tarang Gupta, the Managing Director of Dutch Lady Milk Industries. 

We are cooperatives and are owned by thousands of farmers. We ensure that children get their daily dairy requirements, and we operate in the most sustainable ways possible

“Today, we have more than 19,000 member farmers in Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, many of whom have been with us since their grandparents or even great-grandparents. We named the community FrieslandCampina and today it’s one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives,” he adds.

In Malaysia, the company has been around even before Malaya gained independence in 1957.

“We have been in this country for about seven decades. During this time, we have had the rare opportunity to provide the best dairy products to Malaysians, throughout the country."

“We are very humbled that Malaysians trust our products, trust our brand, to deliver nutritious dairy diet for them. We do not take this honour lightly, and we safeguard the trust we have with our customers very closely. That is why, we carry numerous corporate events and activities, which in itself, is corporate responsibility by definition for our customers,” he adds.

What is interesting for FrieslandCampina in Malaysia is that the company does not separate their business from that of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“We are clear in what we do. For us, our mere existence in itself is already CSR. We provide wholesome, nutritious products for our customers. We are cooperatives and are owned by thousands of farmers. We ensure that children get their daily dairy requirements, and we operate in the most sustainable ways possible. Our company, by definition, is a CSR. That is why we see it redundant to split our commercial work with our CSR work,” Tarang explains.

FrieslandCampina is explained through its origins. Friesland is an area in North Holland known for its green meadows, beautiful lakes, blue skies and Frisian dairy herds. Campina is a wooded region of grasslands in the Netherlands, so named by the Romans more than 20 centuries ago.

It is these rich grasslands that families of farmers have made into one of the top dairy producing regions in the world.

Watch the full interview with Tarang Gupta below:

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