News - March 27, 2014

One million for Chinese dairy research

Albert Sikkema

This year Wageningen UR will be receiving one million euros from Chinese dairy company Yili for research collaboration in the areas of milk quality, food safety and manure processing. This was agreed on 23 March during the Chinese president Xi Jinping‘s state visit to the Netherlands.

Martin Kropff (righthand side) signs the agreement on behalf of Wageningen UR in the precense of King Willem Alexander and the Chinese president Xi Jinping.

For the time being, Wageningen UR and Yili will be collaborating on five themes, three of which are related to milk quality. Yili wants to make milk powder which is almost as healthy as breastfeeding. To this end, the company plans to collaborate with Wageningen nutritionists from AFSG. Together with Wageningen animal scientists, Yili aims to improve large-scale farms in northern China in terms of environmental friendliness, and manure processing. Lastly, Yili will collaborate with Rikilt in the field of big data: the collection and collation of data in order to improve food safety. Just like other Chinese dairy companies, Yili is still haunted by the melamine scandal. Since last month, Yili’s European R&D centre has been based in Radix. To date it has a staff of one administrator. The new research contract gives reason to expect a fast expansion of the centre.