More than two decades of stimulating knowledge exchange
From a provider of Dutch brand information to an international, independent communication platform
We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the FrieslandCampina Institute this year! What better time to take a look back at the past and a look forward at what the future has to offer? There have been many changes in the last 20 years. The Institute has transformed from a Dutch platform sharing knowledge on dairy and dairy products to an internationally renowned communication platform that provides a wide range of independent scientific and practical information about dairy, nutrition and health. Today, the Institute is known and appreciated by nutrition, health and medical professionals worldwide! What did these 20 years look like?
2001: Launch of the Vifit Institute for Dairy and Health
The first predecessor of today’s FrieslandCampina Institute was launched in 2001; its name was the Vifit Institute for Dairy and Health. This Dutch institute provided information to dieticians about the nutritional specifics of Vifit products, including a detailed overview of nutritional values.
2006: The Vifit Institute became the Campina Institute
In 2006, the platform’s name changed to the Campina Institute, an organization that wanted to highlight the science behind the dairy industry. The Campina Institute offered professionals information and advice about nutrition, dairy and health on a scientific basis. We supported professionals by providing them with detailed product information and consumer materials. We also published background brochures, up-to-date fact sheets and useful tools.
We also regularly arranged accredited regional workshops, offering each professional group a different programme. To help dieticians expand their knowledge, we offered e-learning courses on relevant topics – including healthy weight, taste, bone health and cardiovascular health.
2008: Large conference organized at Corpus
In 2008, we worked together with a Dutch organization (‘Pit Actief’) and a large number of professional associations to organize the De wondere wereld van het eten (the wonderful world of food) conference at the Corpus interactive museum in the Netherlands. The event was attended by 450 professionals. This was not the last time that the Institute brought together a large group of professionals at this special location. Later in 2014, 2016 and 2019, more than 500 professionals came together at Corpus to attend the Jong geleerd is oud gedaan (‘you’re never too young to learn’) conference.
2009: Friesland Foods and Campina merged to form FrieslandCampina
FrieslandCampina was created on 30 December 2008, following the merger of Dutch dairy cooperatives Friesland Foods and Campina. The name of the Institute changed too. It became the FrieslandCampina Institute.
At this time, our focus was on healthy eating, dairy and juices. We already had a strong, positive reputation among health professionals. Our aim was to inspire, inform and support nutrition and health professionals by providing them with scientific information and practical tools. We wanted to facilitate the work they were doing.
2013: The Institute extended its focus to include other countries
From 2013 on, we started to roll out our activities to countries outside the Netherlands. Southeast Asia was the first region in which we sought and developed interaction with nutrition and health professionals and professional associations. Today (2021), the FrieslandCampina Institute is active in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, a number of countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China and Nigeria.
2017: Sharing knowledge is still at the heart of our activities
As our activities expanded, so did our team, communication channels and reach. However, our aim – to provide nutrition and health professionals with scientific information, accredited training and practical tools for a wide range of nutrition and health-related topics – continued to be at the heart of all our activities. We started to use annual surveys of our growing target group to stay up-to-date on the needs of professionals in all of the various countries and to meet these needs. These surveys also generate insights into any necessary improvements. Above all else, the surveys show how enthusiastic and satisfied professionals are with the Institute’s contribution to their professional development and work.
2018: Launch of the independent external expert panel
The FrieslandCampina Institute wants to be a credible partner for nutrition and health professionals. Cooperation with external professional associations, stakeholders and experts is high on our agenda. This prompted the creation of an independent external expert panel in 2018. The panel consists of an international group of multidisciplinary researchers who specialise in nutrition, malnutrition, public health and consumer behaviour. The panel assesses working methods and the strategy adopted in respect of topics such as nutrition, malnutrition, nutrition policy, health, access to nutrition, food safety and lifestyle education. Panel members are also involved in the consideration of future developments, which ensures our continued relevance for our target group: food, health and medical professionals worldwide.
2020: The move to a fully digital world
Over the years, many professionals have attended our far-reaching, highly rated and accredited live conferences. Examples include the Jong geleerd is oud gedaan conference at the Corpus interactive museum in Oegstgeest, the Netherlands (in 2014, 2016 and 2019) and the Sport & Nutrition conference in Papendal, the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017. We had already taken the first steps towards organizing online webinars back in 2018 and 2019. This came in handy when the world was suddenly ‘locked down’ in 2020. We quickly switched from live interaction to digital events. In 2020, we organized no fewer than 13 webinars, attended by over 7,000 participants from more than 35 countries.
2021: 20 years of daily interaction with professionals
As mentioned above, we are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year! We are very proud of everything we have achieved. We are also very grateful for the opportunity we had to work closely with all our partners worldwide and for our long-standing daily interaction with nutrition, health and medical professionals. We still have plenty of new ideas on how to give shape to our interaction with you in the future! We hope that we will be able to speak to you live again soon and come up with more great new plans. That way, we can continue to contribute daily to knowledge-sharing about dairy, nutrition and health and also provide you with the tools you need to make your work as a professional even better and easier!