A first impression of the Dutch Dairy Pavilion at the African Dairy Exhibition & Conference in Rwanda: beautifully orange and breathing a vivid atmosphere. Eight dairy companies and organisations show what the Dutch dairy sector has to offer. They are exhibiting in the new conference centre in Kigali to inspire, inform, and do business. And so far…that has gone pretty well!
Right after the official opening on Wednesday 31st of August, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal resources, doctor Gerardine Mukeshimana, honoured the Dutch delegation with a special visit. Teddie Muffels and Carian Emeka of the Dutch embassy in Kigali welcomed her. Herco Hekking (Ante BV), Jos ten Horn (Mueller) and Martin de Jong (Bles/ The Friesian) answered her questions and showed her what The Netherlands has to offer in terms of dairy equipment, products, and knowledge.
Nico Maat (Van den Heuvel) explained that the Dutch Dairy Pavilion is an excellent opportunity to actively contribute to Holland Branding. ‘If every company had to go by itself to the AfDA, the visibility, impact, and success would not be as high as we currently have with our pavilion,’ Maat explained. In addition, the pavilion brings worlds together. Maat: ‘I have met people in person with whom I was exchanging emails before.’
Several parts of the dairy chain are present in the pavilion. Jos ten Horn (Mueller), Hielke Scherjon (Scherjon) and Sam Sebadduka (Inndigo) work together and have installed several innovative milk chillers and milk tanks in- and outside the Dutch Dairy Pavilion. The Dutch organisation SNV shows its strength through a presentation on sustainable dairy development. In the booth it displays the impact of its dairy projects in the region. Together these Dutch participants made the Pavilion strong through its diversity.
Martin de Jong (The Friesian) was invited as one of the speakers during the conference, which is organized parallel to the exhibition. He provided a fully packed conference hall with a presentation on quality based milk payment system. And the steps that need to be taken to implement it in the local context. ‘Rwanda has surprised me in a very positive way,’ De Jong said.
After long days, the evening programmes had three important ingredients: a relaxing atmosphere, good food and astonishing dances performed by one of the best dancing groups in Rwanda.
I’ve witnessed a lot of new contacts being made and it would surprise me greatly if this wouldn’t result in a number of new business opportunities.