At the beginning of this year, Yili Innovation Center Europe moved into the campus building Plvs Vltra. Director Gerrit Smit and his team now have the honour of welcoming Louise Fresco, Raoul Bino and Xiaoyong Zhang.
Gerrit Smit will give a brief introduction on dairy development in China as well as Yili’s ambition for their international strategy. There is great demand for dairy products in China in the categories of IMF and products for aging populations. Yili ranks Top 8 globally amongst dairy companies and aims to become Top 5.
The major tasks of this centre largely have to do with scouting the latest developments in the dairy industry, developing lead projects as well as providing sound recommendations for Yili’s R&D sector. Currently, five research projects with WUR are underway and more ideas and plans are in the pipelines for further development.
Louise Fresco emphasises how important it is for WUR to have Yili on Wageningen Campus. This suits WUR’s international strategy very well. It is fantastic to see Yili setting up shop on campus alongside Unilever and Royal FrieslandCampina. China is very important for WUR and is currently developing its China Strategy.
In terms of continued collaboration, both parties will discuss the possibilities for extending the current collaboration on food to topics such as sustainability along the entire chain (energy and CO2 emissions, etc.).
Towards the end, the opportunities for combining the opening of the new Yili office with WUR’s 100th anniversary will be discussed, including possible participation on the theme Sustainable Food for the World as well as an SDG conference.