The Ministry of Economic Affairs in Qatar has spoken to the Dutch Agriculture Council in the region about their plans for stimulating the expansion of poultry meat and egg production. Hans van de Beek of the agriculture council then approached DPC with a request for us to participate in a seminar in Qatar.

At the seminar, we provided an explanation of the ‘Dutch Approach’, which is an integrated approach towards the production chain in which every link has an effect on the others. In such a system, food safety starts in the first link of the chain. For the very reasons that both production and production monitoring in the Netherlands are at such a high level, and that Dutch companies are so strongly internationally focused, they are able to relate the quality requirements very well to the prevailing circumstances in Qatar. Also attending were several Dutch companies which zoomed in more closely on specific parts of the supply chain. 

The 30 or so guests at the seminar consisted partly of members of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and partly of companies who have spotted opportunities in setting up poultry supply chains. We have already been in touch with various guests and we have put forward their Dutch companies as ones that would be able to assist in the setting up of systems for the different links needed.

Having accepted an invitation to attend, DPC chair Jan Wolleswinkel visited the three-yearly Agritech Exhibition in Tel Aviv from 27 to 30 April. The exhibition focus was on Agriculture, Food, Water and Technology. Alongside visitors from Israel, guests from India, China and several African countries, including Nigeria, were also evident. The delegation from the Netherlands, organised by Three4life, was headed by Mr Jan Hak. In close liaison with the embassy, an orange-coloured Holland Point stand was set up at the exhibition in anticipation of there being a good representation of the Dutch business community. A number of DCP members were present with their own stands, whilst others placed their business interests in turnkey projects run by Israeli companies.

In addition to establishing contacts at the exhibition, Jan Wolleswinkel was given the opportunity of explaining the structure and methodology of the Dutch poultry industry at a symposium organised by the embassy and relating to the theme of ‘Reducing Food Waste’. It is a theme that touches on many vegetable-related issues as well as being of significance to the Dutch Poultry Supply Chain in terms of raising livestock. In the Netherlands the production of animal feeds is carried out through the efficient use of raw materials and products which are not or no longer suitable for human consumption. Questions centred mainly on the Dutch agricultural business's global export position in relation to the size of our country.

Dutch poultry team support cancer research

A team of sportsmen representing Dutch poultry companies, gathered in Dutch Poultry Centre (DPC), have raised over €35,000 for the fight against cancer. Early June, they climbed the French mountain Alpe d'Huez (alt. 1860m, 15km, 21 curves, and an average slope of 8.5%) by racing bike several times in one day during the large fund raising event Alpe d'HuZes. 
More than 5000 'athletes' participated in this Dutch-run annual event and raised almost €12.4 million for cancer research. 

The DPC team consisted of seven cyclists (John Kox, Joost Winters and Theo Hoen of Vencomatic, Diederick Feiter of Hotraco, René van der Muuren of VDL, Gerrit van der Linde of Heering Transport solutions and Geert van Tiburg of Marel Stork Poultry processing). For team captain Theo Hoen(CEO of the Vencomatic Group) it was the second time he participated in this emotional event. He climbed the mountain five times by which he remembered family and friends who suffered from cancer, whereby he - standing on the sideline - turned his powerlessness into a power to support patients and medical researchers to beat this devastating disease. 
Presentations during the event showed what is done with the money raised and what results have been obtained since the first event nine years ago.

(Publiced in Al Hayat Newspaper)
A high ranking Dutch economic delegation discussed the basic challenges confronting the poultry industry in the Kingdom, and they discussed with Saudi officials means of establishing an association representing the poultry producers in the Saudi private sector.  The delegation members were  accompanied by ARASCO and they visited Riyadh and Al-Kharj aiming at enhancing the strategic relations and exchanging the experiences between private sector companies in Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.

The delegation consisted of Dutch experts in the field of poultry headed by the Director General of the Poultry Center Mr. Andries de Vries and the former Head of the Animal Resources Council Mr. Jos Ramekers, and the Agricultural Counsellor in Riyadh Dr. Hans van der Beek, in addition to a number of heads of big companies and senior specialists in the field from the Netherlands.

The delegation viewed part of the food supply chain and the slaughterhouse managed by ARASCO in each of Riyadh and Al-Kharj.

The Agricultural and Food Officer at the Netherlands Embassy Mr. Mohsen Al-Bahaie said that this visit coincides with the hard work of the Kingdom to develop its poultry sector, due to the huge opportunities offered to this sector, declaring that the Kingdom counts on the Netherlands to cover more than 60% of its technical and technological needs in the field of poultry producing, animal feed and veterinary drugs, and also depends on the Netherlands to develop this sector  strongly through helping the private sector  by offering them innovative solutions to increase the producing competency of poultry farms spread all over the Kingdom.

Al Bahaie said that the Dutch delegation looks for strategic partnerships in the Kingdom within a plan that aims at a dialogue over the strategic cases and not only the trade ones, in the way to attain sustainable development of poultry industry sector in the Kingdom.

On his side, Fahd Al Shihry, from ARASCO, clarified that visiting the industries of ARASCO gave the members of the Dutch delegation a chance to know more about the characteristics of the Saudi agricultural sector, specially the sector of poultry.  He stressed that ARASCO has exerted all its human resources capabilities using the latest advanced technologies to manage its industries and numeral units.

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