KFPS director Marijke Akkerman: ‘All over the world people are proud of the Friesian breed’

The Friesian horse from Friesland has taken the world by storm, that’s pretty special’, KFPS Director Marijke Akkerman says in an interview in the June issue of Phryso. It is two years now since she took up her new function of KFPS Director and in this interview she looks back and to the future. ‘Anywhere in the world people instantly recognise our horse, the Friesian horse is an unbeatable brand.’

Making connections

Two years ago Marijke Akkerman made the switch from Manager PR & Communication to Director of the KFPS, her employer for twelve years. ‘I go for connection, that is what societies are about’, Marijke tells us. ‘Members want to know what’s going on, so the communication from and to the various bodies within our society is of crucial importance. That community feeling, that is what I like so much, we’re all in it together: with each other and for each other.’

Celebrating the community

During the Stallion Inspection – ‘the best celebration of the year’ – everything comes together. ‘I am super proud of what we organise there, all achieved by our own staff!!’ she says with an exclamation mark. ‘It generates a huge spin-off within and outside our country. We celebrate the Friesian horse as a community, no matter if people come from Friesland, Brabant or Australia.’

Boosting animal welfare

One of her most important tasks as Director she considers to be ‘minding the shop’. ‘For entrepreneurs that maybe has a bit of a passive ring to it, but it is the foundation of our society.’ With this she refers to the EU directive and animal welfare that are key pillars for a structurally sound foundation. ‘We have to make sure that we can continue breeding with our horses and competing them in the sport, taking into account all changes in the public sphere and anticipating on the significant influence animal activists have on politics.’

Cooperation and computerisation

Within the office organisation work is going on to advance service levels, transparency and efficiency. ‘Computerisation reduces the work load, supports the Jury Team and reduces the chances of mistakes.’ To achieve this we seek the cooperation with fellow studbooks, including the KWPN. ‘We help each other where we can and at the same time cherish our own individuality and culture.’

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