In a historic event for the company, Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Dairy Authority (NDA) to jointly develop the Philippine dairy industry through the Dairy Training and Development Program (DTDP). The five-year partnership, which seeks to contribute to overall food security and better living for farmers, was ceremonially launched on 5 May 2021 during a virtual MOA signing. Important stakeholders such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), the University of the Philippines Los Baños – Dairy Training and Research Institute (UPLB-DTRI), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Agriterra were also present in the virtual gathering.
The DTDP seeks to improve milk quality, increase productivity per cow, and support farmers in gaining access to the market. Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina, AMC’s parent company with 150 years of agricultural experience, will readily share available knowledge and technology to Filipino dairy farmers and cooperatives.
“For almost 50 years, Alaska’s purpose has been to provide affordable nutrition to Filipino families. Today, we are proud to expand this purpose: we will contribute to enhancing knowledge and skills for Filipino dairy farmers through the Dairy Training and Development Program. It is a historic day and we are delighted to partner with the National Dairy Authority,” said Mr. Harvey B. Uong, Managing Director of AMC.
Filipino dairy farmers and dairy cooperatives will be eligible to join the DTDP, which also aims to improve technical expertise of dairy farmers and the management skills of cooperative managers. The NDA, with its mandate to ensure the accelerated development of the Philippine dairy industry through policy direction and program implementation, will provide leadership and direction together with AMC.
“Today is a very eventful day as we start our partnership with Alaska. We all know how vital milk is in a person’s diet regardless of age and social status. With the DTDP, we hope to realize NDA’s vision of healthier children and wealthier farmers for the Philippines,” said Ms. Marilyn B. Mabale, Administrator of the NDA.
The capability enhancement offered under this partnership will be done through a variety of ways, such as trainings and workshops, expert or academic advice, and knowledge partnerships from the Netherlands.
“I’m glad to know that this project has committed partners from the government, private sector, academe and non-government organizations which clearly illustrates the Dutch Diamond approach – it means that the best competencies and expertise are brought together to achieve several Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), and 17 (Partnerships),” said Dutch Ambassador Saskia De Lang in her message of support. “This Memorandum of Agreement comes at a very auspicious time since we celebrate the 70th year since the establishment of the Philippines and Netherlands’ diplomatic relations,” Ambassador de Lang added.
The DTDP is part of AMC’s AlasKaunlaran Corporate Social Responsibility program, which includes the AlasKalusugan School Milk Feeding Program, the AlasKalikasan Wrapper Redemption Project, the AlasKabuhayan Livelihood and Nutrition Project, and the AlasKarunungan Digital Literacy Project.
“Today’s launch of DTDP is further proof that we believe in the potential of Filipino dairy farmers and the Philippine dairy industry. Kami po ay nagagalak na maibahagi at maiparamdam sa ating mga manggagatas ang Alagang Alaska (We are excited to share Alaska’s signature care with Filipino dairy farmers),” Mr. Uong said.
Also present in the ceremonial launch were: NDA Deputy Administrator Dr. Farrell Benjelix Magtoto, Atty. Gavino Benitez, and Ms. Maria Teresa Rozul; DA-Bureau of Animal Industry Director Reildrin G. Morales; AMC Corporate Affairs Director Atty. Maria Angela N. Esquivel, Public Affairs and Dairy Development Manager Mr. Kurt Cendana, Administrative Officer Ms. Katleah Talusan; Agriterra Business Advisors Mr. Maik Voets and Mr. Ben Lucas; UPLB-DTRI Extension Coordinator Ms. Mel Batocabe; Dutch Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Pieter Terpstra and Senior Commercial Officer Ms. Patricia Alvendia.