Navigating the Dairy Trade Frontier

Michiel Beks

Finding the best opportunities to buy and sell our dairy products


Michiel Beks started his journey at FrieslandCampina in 2022 as a Sales Manager Cheese B2B and Sales Manager Cheese Sideflows. His role sits in Trading, the Business Group that manages the over- and undersupply of milk. “Our team valorizes all the milk that is not used by other business groups by selling commodities (cheese, butter and liquids). In times of milk shortages we are also the firsts to cut on volumes. By doing this we strive to get the best payout price for our farmers. Simply said, we look for the best opportunities to buy and sell our dairy products."

Michiel recently switched to a hybrid role divided into two parts: cheese on one side and Butter, Milk Powder, and Liquids on the other. “I am now responsible for sourcing Milk Powder in North and South America and butter sales in Europe. Besides this, I look after the raw dairy materials for our OPCOs (Operating Companies) in Nigeria (Wamco) and Ivory Coast. For the cheese part of the business I’m still responsible for cheese sideflows.”

The best of both worlds  

Every day is very different, as it depends on the market situation for different products, but also depending on internal needs. “It could mean that in the morning, I am visiting a customer who buys cheese sideflows (cheese off-cuts, cheese products with deviations, etc. ), and in the afternoon, I am on a call with the Nigerian team, discussing their forecast for Q1 2024. At the end of the day, I have a call with a supplier from the US to buy raw materials for our OPCOs around the globe.”


Valorising cheese side flows to combat food waste 


By valorizing 'cheese sideflows', he transforms potential cheese that would go to waste into valuable products, aligning with our mission to combat food waste! “Since January 2023, we have managed to arrange all cheese side flow activities in-house. Together with my colleague Robbert Boone (Supply Chain), we managed to take control of all the stock levels, manage the sales, find new customers and add more value. The fact that we built this from scratch makes me proud.”

"We managed to create value for a big volume of cheese, which was before considered as 'waste'."

The LEAP Program awaits

As Michiel prepares for what's coming next, he's looking forward to the LEAP Journey. This program - designed to unlock the full potential of FrieslandCampina’s Young Leaders – was recently awarded the Leadership Excellence Award by the Brandon Hall Group. “I feel a lot of trust in what I am doing at RFC. I am very happy that RFC supports initiatives like the Leap Journey, which aligns with my personal ambition. On the topic of growth, I feel like I’m in the right position at the right time, and I’m looking forward to my future at FrieslandCampina.” 

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