Vietnam Foremost Dairy Company Ltd. yesterday [Thursday] officially announced it has changed its name to the Dutch Lady Vietnam Food and Beverage Company.

Vietnam Foremost was established in 1996 as a US$50m 70:30 joint venture between Friesland Coberco of the Netherlands and Protrade, a local firm in the southern province of Binh Duong, where the joint venture is located.

Over the last six years, the joint venture's dairy products have become familiar with Vietnamese, managing director J. Castelein said.

"We have such successful brands as Dutch Lady, Yomost and Completa. The new name of Dutch Lady Vietnam will help us capitalize more on the international image of Dutch Lady, putting Vietnam on the map of the Dutch Lady family throughout the world," he said.

 At the name change ceremony, the company signed a six-year agreement with the Vietnam Nutrition Association to improve nutrition among Vietnamese people, reported the Saigon Times.

The company will provide VÐ13.5bn (US$884,600) to be mainly used for financing research and awarding to the most outstanding young scientists in the field.

 The company employs more than 1,000 people directly and provides thousands of farmers in Binh Duong with indirect work via its dairy development programme.