The DTCC Dairy Agro group and a visiting trade delegation from Danish dairy industry joined this year’s National Dairy Cow Festival in Muak Lek in Saraburi. The festival was opened by HRH Princess Sirindhorn on 17th January and lasted until 22 January 2014.
By Stig Vagt-Andersen
After two years preparations, this year finally a large Danish stand was set up jointly by a group of five visiting Danish companies and the DTCC dairy-agro group which consists of six corporate members of DTCC. The National Dairy Cow Festival is combined with the National Milk Day and is organized by DPO – Dairy Promotion Organization of Thailand. DPO is by most people in Thailand better know for its brand name ”Thai-Danish Milk” which has its origin from the Thai-Danish dairy program initiated in 1962.
The fair host a number of national and international seminars and meetings related to the dairy industry as well as exhibition of dairy cows and equipment for the dairy industry. Thousands of daily visitors visit the fair, which is the largest of its kind in SEA and despite Denmark ceasing development assistance to the project in the mid 90’ies the Danish name is still remembered by the DPO (dairy Promotion organization of Thailand) which is the present day operator of the project.
The Danish dairy business delegation was organized by Andersen Consult, a DTCC corporate member, and supported by Væksthus Midtjylland represented by Kurt Bøgild Kristensen. The particiapating companies were SAC (milking machinery), Paul Tarp a/s (milk truck system and software), PTI ( dairy processing), Silkeborg Maskinfabrik a/s (stainless steel components for dairy industry) and Viking Genetics (dairy bull semen). The DPO and a number of Thai companies made the Danish visitors feel very welcome and they frankly shared their experiences and view on the Danish role in the future of Thai dairy industry. The delegation had a hectic and hands-on filled program visiting Muak Lek Dairy Cooperation, T.D Dairyfoods Co. Ltd, Farm Chokchai, Premier Dairy, Muak lek cooperatives, Mahidol University Reseacrh institute and other various operations of the DPO. The group also used the opprtunity to view the exibiting companies at the large dairy fair and get an idea of the products on offer in the Thai market.
Tuesday evening a wine tasting and dinner was held at the Gran Monte winery with over 40 dairy professionals attending and including acting director general of DPO Mr. Nopadon Tunvichien. The evening was held in a relaxed atmosphere and the owner of Gran Monte winery briefly explained of the challenges of growing wine grapes in tropical climate. Today Gran Monte is a successful winery with several international awards and the Thai-Danish dairy industry is a market leader in its field in SEA.
Thai dairy veterans Virat Promberd and Sawaeng Kongpetsak who were both trained in Denmark and speak fluent Danish, joined the event. Khun Sawaeng expressed his pleasure to see Denmark back and active in the Thai dairy industry. He did not like to see Denmark join Thailand in setting up the industry putting in many years of hard work and good cooperation only to have other countries just come in and skim off the cream! The general impression of all visiting Danish companies was an overwhelming good will and friendliness from our Thai colleagues .
Long time DTCC corporate and founding member Mr. Allan Jensen, CEO of Scanpro, shared his decades of experiences in Thai dairy industry with the group and Thomas Hansen, CEO of SKOV Asia, likewise hosted the group for a valuable insight in his company’s experience in setting up operation and offering services to the agricultural sector in Thailand.
The other member of the DTCC dairy agro group, Rich Group with Dr. Charlie, I-Tracking with Thomas Fatzler, Admirals Pub with Bent Laasholdt & Napakamon Anant, Scan Global CEO Torben Jensen, Ms Morrakot Na Chiangmai and Stig Vagt-Andersen with their team from Ben adisti and the Royal Danish Consulate in Pattaya all made this possible through allocating a lot of time and resources for the project.
The new Danish intern from Odense university Ulrik Bolvig Andersen landed in Thailand with his feet running and found himself helping out at the DTCC stand in Muak Lek on his third day in Thailand. After seeing the very positive reception of the Danish companies and the obvious opportunities for cooperation within the dairy industry he quickly joining the good team work and put in long hours of work.
The next activity of the network will be a reciprocal business delegation visit to Denmark in May / June this year. The repsonse from the Thai companies towards this initiative has been an overwhelming interest. Based on tentative indications of partipation there will now be two groups of each 16 participants leaving for Denmark on 28 May and 5 June and visiting Roskilde and Sønderborg dyrskue respectively. The visit will be hands-on in style with the Danish visit here and the companies visited will be hand picked to the interest and needs of the participants.
The many hours spent getting this project up and running over the last three years has paid off for the team. CEO of SAC Mr. Rene Meyer Johansen, which from company headquarter in Kolding operates export to 50 countries world wide, expressed during the final dinner at Grand Millenium Hotel that he hoped the Danish Export Council would clone this approach as it had been one of the best and most rewarding of its kind he had ever participated in.
Commercial Councillor Asbjoern O. Christiansen and Jan Dam Petersen IFU representative in Thailand, who joined the farewell dinner, could both conclude that the companies had reached positive results in Thailand. The continued work of the network was very promissing and they offered the support of the Embassy and IFU as required.
Any members of the DTCC who would like to join the activities of the network or request further information are welcome to contact Consul Stig Vagt-Andersen at email firstname.lastname@example.org