The article discusses the new international dairy companies that have established offices in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. For example, the Japanese dairy company Yakult is headquartered in Almere and has also set up a production facility. “The Netherlands is a centre of ground-breaking fundamental research in the field of dairy production,” says Jan-Albert Blaauw, Yakult spokesman in the article. He adds, “New dairy companies have entered the Dutch market over the last years and new ones will probably join. The Netherlands seems to be the ideal springboard to the rest of Europe.”
The choice of the Amsterdam Area as Yakult’s European base was the result of the sort of in-depth research in which the company excels. Like many other businesses, Yakult was impressed by the ability of most of the local population to speak English. The excellent transport infrastructure, centred on the Port of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, won further points. More crucially, Yakult was also swayed by the quality of the water supply in the region, which is vital for its production processes. The presence of a thriving dairy industry and an impressive knowledge cluster also helped. Finally, there is the long history of trade between the Netherlands and Japan.
Another dairy giant that has utilised the Amsterdam Area is Fonterra. Once the decision had been made to find another location for the company’s European headquarters, a short list of attractive locations was drawn up. The new location had to be well connected and offer affordable office space, as well as a diverse international community, a favourable tax climate and a pro-business outlook. The Amsterdam Area equalled or surpassed the other nominated destinations (Paris, London, Madrid and Zürich) in all these areas. The Netherlands’ position as Europe’s leading centre of knowledge and innovation in the dairy sector formed the deciding factor.