Gerard Menting of FrieslandCampina:‘Being prepared for disasters is like having a comprehensive in-kind insurance policy’

With annual revenue of 11.3 billion euro FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies.

In Amersfoort, all of the business activities of the international dairy concern FrieslandCampina are accommodated in two office locations close to the Central Station. The dairy concern is managed from the Central Office. Gerard Menting, Corporate Director Real Estate: ‘The moment something happens here we have to ensure that our critical processes can be continued from a different location within four hours.’


Fortunately, FrieslandCampina has so far not been faced with a serious disaster within the Central Office. However, as Menting says, you always have to be prepared for such an event. ‘And that brought us into contact with COIN. They helped us create a precise analysis of our most critical processes. As a sparring partner, COIN held a mirror up to us and analysed what precisely had to be done for us to be able to continue our work immediately following a disaster. That is something we are obliged to do on behalf of our affiliated farmers, our consumers, suppliers and of course our own organisation and staff.’

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA), combined with a translation of that into a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), was conducted in collaboration with COIN. This BCP sets out what precisely has to happen in the event of a disaster. Clear templates, compliant with the ISO 22301 standard, are being used and these provide effective support in order to guarantee the continuity of FrieslandCampina’s business. Around 2,100 people work at the Central Office. If a disaster occurs 600 staff need alternative workstations immediately for continuing the most critical business processes within this international organisation. These staff therefore need immediate access to replacement ICT, telephony and data connections at an alternative location that is pre-configured for this purpose.

Recovery locations

Together with FrieslandCampina, COIN analysed the most critical business processes of the departments at the Central Office. The continuation of those activities must always be guaranteed. To achieve that in the event of a disaster, the activities can be continued at one of COIN’s recovery locations. The primary recovery location is in the immediate surroundings of Utrecht and the secondary is at Schiphol-Rijk. In the Netherlands, FrieslandCampina also has more than 30 locations from where staff can work. The staff at FrieslandCampina are involved in formulating the critical processes, so that everyone knows precisely what has to happen in the event of a disaster. The descriptions are reviewed annually and updated to reflect developments.

Menting: ‘It is extremely important that as a company you are prepared for disasters. You need to maintain the level of milk processing (FrieslandCampina processes around 10 billion kilos of milk annually from more than 19,000 affiliated farmers) and you have to guarantee supplies to customers and consumers. The fundamental principle is that our business must suffer the absolute minimum amount of damage, both internally and externally. That applies to our customers as well as to our suppliers. The impact of a failure in the process is enormous. We do not wish to wait, and we cannot afford to wait for that to happen so we have to guarantee the continuity of our processes in advance.’

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