Dairy industry stakeholders from around the world are set to flock to the Dutch capital next month for the ninth Zenith International Global Dairy Congress.
The three-day event, which will run from June 23 to June 25, begins 50 miles from Amsterdam at FrieslandCampina's Innovation Centre at Wageningen University.
Netherlands-based Kevin Bellamy, senior global dairy analyst at Rabobank, will open the Global Dairy Congress the next day, followed by Rick Smith, president and CEO, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Zhang JianQiu, executive president at Chinese dairy giant Yili.
"We're privileged to have some of the top executives from a range of the world's foremost dairy companies," Richard Hall, founder and chairman, Zenith International, told DairyReporter.com.
"We think that will appeal to many attendees, who will not normally have access to these key industry leaders."
"Naturally, we expect a higher attendance from Europe, but we do attract an audience from literally all over the world. We have speakers from many major countries and that certainly encourages a global perspective with acute local perception," said Hall.
Health and the environment
Later on day one of the Congress, Kelvin Wichkam, managing director of global ingredients at Fonterra, will open a discussion on Dairy and Society.
Wickham will be joined by Marco Jansen from bio-plastic supplier Braskem, Donald Moore, executive director of Global Dairy Platform, and Neil MacIntyre, managing director of Myanmar-based ANZ Nutrition, to discuss the industry's contribution to society.
"Two of the abiding themes of the last 25 years have been health and the environment after the ever present priorities of cost, taste and convenience," said Hall.
"As the world stabilises from the last economic downturn, the environment will come the fore again and business integrity will be subject to greater pressure."
The day will close with the World Dairy Innovation Awards. The deadline for entries is May 29.
Julian Mellentin, founder, New Nutrition Business kicks off the final day of the Congress, before heading up the event's Entrepreneur Shoot Out panel.
Michel Nalet, communications director at Lactalis and president of the European Dairy Association (EDA), and Rogier van Kralingen, brand strategist at Symbid The Funding Network, will join Mellentin to offer positive and negative feedback on innovative dairy developments.
"We have antennae that pick up on success stories that deserve wider recognition," said Hall. "But we have to caution that something new isn't necessarily going to succeed."
"It's helpful to everyone, because the panel sometimes pinpoints a key question for entrepreneurs that can save months of slower progress or cause them to change course, because the one they're embarked on isn't the best."
"Genuinely global view"
Delegates travelled to the Turkish capital, Istanbul, for the Global Dairy Congress last year and Lucerne, Switzerland a year earlier.
Zenith International chose the capital of the Netherlands for this year's Congress for two main reasons.
"The Netherlands is a key milk producing country with a global view and centrally located for much for Europe," said Hall.
"People also love going to Amsterdam. Since our program runs Wednesday to Friday, some delegates may take advantage of staying over the weekend."
Hall added that, despite going into its ninth year, the Global Dairy Congress concept has not changed much.
"The overriding rationale for all our Dairy Congresses has been a focus on marketing and innovation for the consumer, rather than regulation and production, and that hasn't changed."
"The point about our Global Congress is that someone can come, spend two days with us, and take away a genuinely global view of trends, development and ideas," he added.
For more information about the 2015 Global Dairy Congress click HERE.