EIB supports FrieslandCampina’s research and development activities
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 150 million loan with FrieslandCampina for R&D activities in Europe, its first ever loan to a company in the Dutch agricultural sector.
FrieslandCampina’s roots go back to 1871, when nine farmers took over a cheese factory in Wieringerwaard in the Netherlands. Through mergers it has become one of the world’s largest companies of its kind, active in over 100 countries. The company is owned by a cooperative with the same name. The operation with the EIB will sustain innovation at the company, allowing it to reinforce its leading position in a competitive market.
“The EIB is proud to support such a longstanding Dutch company”, said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. “Milk and its derivatives are central to most people’s diets and the importance of the research and development surrounding the products they consume should not be underestimated. Although we have already supported agriculture through SME credit facilities in the past, we see this operation as a clear example of what the EIB can do for this sector."
FrieslandCampina will use the funding for research and development activities in facilities around Europe, with the lion’s share being carried out in its innovation centre in Wageningen in the Netherlands. The activities will focus on the areas of nutrition, food structuring, packaging and process technology, as well as on sensory and dietary demand aspects of dairy products.
Hein Schumacher, CFO of Royal FrieslandCampina NV, said: “The EIB loan gives us the opportunity to finance our European research, development and innovation activities under favourable conditions. These activities are mainly carried out in our innovation centre in Wageningen where more than 300 R&D employees in various disciplines from all over the world are working together to unlock the nutritional potential of milk.”