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Annex: Data collection
For this study we gathered empirical data in three different ways. First, several face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with people from Dutch companies and knowledge institutes that
are active in the Chinese agri-food sector. Second, a survey was held in order to generate quantitative
data about the business’ perspective on the threats and opportunities in China for the Dutch agri-food
industry. Third, a round table was organized with CEOs and high level managers from leading Dutch agrifood organizations that are active in China. This annex provides more details about the data collection.
Four important categories of companies were distinguished. In each category a number of companies
and organizations were selected for an interview concerning their relations with China. The names and
affiliation of the interviewees are mentioned in the overview below. The focus of the interviews was
directed at three central questions: first, the opportunities and ambitions in China; second, the risks and
threats for the activities in China; third, the relevant policies of the Dutch government with regard to
China. The interviews were not only directed on the company of the interviewee but also on the sector
in which the company has its activities. In each interview the possibilities for a broader strategic
cooperation between the Netherlands and China and the role of the Dutch government were discussed,
although the length of this part of the interview differed. The interview with Dr Chen, head of IFPRI's
China office, differed from the other interviews because it focused on a benchmark of Dutch activities
vis-à-vis competitors on the Chinese market. It did not address IFPRI's position as a knowledge institute
in China. The outcomes of each interview were coded in a structured data report, which was used in
drafting the report.
Interview respondents
Martin van de Ven
Atze Schaap, Tanja Goedhardt
Marc van der Lee
Jan Cortenbach
De Heus
Propagation material
Harry Iwema
Raf Beeren
Chris van der Winden
Jan Omvlee
Hendrix Genetix/Hypor
Rijk Zwaan
Mechanization and technology
Bram Koppert
Gijs Scholman
Koppert Biological Systems
Lely Industries
Knowledge, advice and finance
Roland Peerenboom
Aad van den Berg
Kevin Chen
Wilco Hendriks, Eric Fransen
Jan Fongers
Greenport Holland International
International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI
Wageningen UR
For the online survey, an invitation letter was sent via an e-mail to companies and organizations in the
Dutch agri-food sector with a link towards a questionnaire in Google. The questionnaire was agreed
upon by HCSS, LEI, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Agricultural Office in Beijing prior to sending
the invitation. The e-mail address list was made available by the Dutch Agricultural Office in Beijing, to be
used confidentially and one time only in the context of the study. A invitation letter was sent to the
respondents via Mail Chimp, which we also used to collect statistics on the response rate. The invitation
letter indicated that the survey was part of a broader research project carried out by HCSS and LEI for
the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. It also specified the time required for filling out the survey (5-10
minutes) and that the results would be used anonymously for the report.
Response rate
Background respondents survey
Figure 1 Size of the company
Figure 2 Years in China
Figure 3 Sector of operations
Figure 4 Reasons for activities in China
Round table meeting (HSB) on Golden Opportunities
On January 7th, a round table meeting - or ‘Haags Strategisch Beraad’ (HSB) - was organized at HCSS. The
meeting was attended by CEOs and high level managers from leading Dutch agri-food organizations that
are active in China. The preliminary findings of the research were presented to the audience for
evaluation, and in addition, participants were able to provide input for the report’s recommendations.
Participants were selected and invited by HCSS in close collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of
Economic Affairs and the Agricultural Office in Beijing. The invitation letter explained that the meeting
took place in the framework of the research project on ‘Golden Opportunities’ for Dutch agri-food
business in China, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and carried out by HCSS and LEI .
We asked participants to exchange thoughts on the prospects of developing a strategic agri-food
cooperation with China, the opportunities and threats for the Dutch agri -food sector in China, and the
efforts of the Dutch government in this area. Participants were informed that the results of the meeting
would be used in the report without specific attribution to an organization.
Participants HSB
Jasper Dalhuisen
Roald Lapperre
Pieter Vaandrager
Marinus Overheul
Martin van de Ven
Jos Goebbels
Ministry of Economic Affairs
Dutch Agricultural Office Beijing
Roald van Noort
Roelof Joosten
Jan Hak
Gerard Backx
Gijs Scholman
Bertino Verstege
Jan Maarten Vrij
Anke van den Hurk
Martin Bijl
Hans Out
Michel Rademaker (chair)
Marjolein de Ridder
Freija van Duijne
Esther van Luit
Thom Achterbosch
Jaap Post
Mark Zijlmans
Friesland Campina
Van Rooi Groep