“Vesper is an excellent benchmark for buyers to double-check whether the quotes they get represent the market.”

Yue Li is market intelligence manager at the Market Intelligence & Market Risk Management team of Danone. Danone is a leading multi-local food and beverage company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in 3 businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant- Based products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition.

Could you tell us more about your background, your current role at Danone and how Vesper plays a role in your career?

I have been working in the Dairy industry for two and a half years. I really enjoy the industry; it’s never dull and always keeps evolving. My key stakeholders would be the risk management team and the procurement team, who need the information I provide them to make coverage or hedging decisions.  

When Danone started working with Vesper, I was relatively new to the Dairy industry. I appreciated that Alexander, founder of Vesper, took the time to share the fundamentals of the dairy industry and the insights and experience he gained during his career as a trader. Currently, I mainly use Vesper to gather prices for significantly smaller categories for which no public indexes are available. I believe that is one of Vesper’s strong points. I use the platform every month, as does the buyer's team. Another solution I have been using more recently is the monthly newsletter Vesper sends out. I mainly keep an eye out for information on smaller categories like whey or lactose.

How does a company like Danone use data in their decision-making process?

Danone uses data to make informed decisions. Data availability on milk fundamentals is not perfect. It is my job to collect quantitative and qualitative information, which can help me create a forward-looking view. My job consists primarily of looking at typical supply and demand data, so my stakeholders can make an informed decision, even though there is no perfect information available.
Vesper
“Especially our buyer’s team uses Vesper to gather information on speciality prices for which we don’t really have an official index to follow.”

Has Vesper changed how you feed data to those stakeholders or even how you gather data?

Mainly our buyer’s team uses Vesper to gather information on speciality prices for which we don’t have an official index to follow. Before they had a Vesper subscription, they came to me regularly asking me for this type of information. Vesper, therefore, has helped me free up some time in the sense that I don’t have to gather this type of information and send it to the other teams. Besides using Vesper for specialty prices, some colleagues told me that they appreciate reading the Vesper newsletters.

How often do you use Vesper? Is it more on a weekly or on a monthly basis?

Vesper is a complementary tool for me. Besides looking at data, my job requires me to gather market news, so I tend to rely more on the traditional dairy consultants we have a subscription to. When I don’t have enough price or market intel from other consultants on smaller categories, I will use Vester to see if I can find anything there. Of course, Vesper offers you the option to download data, so I don’t have to gather it myself. That’s something we could explore with the new analyst on my team, which can increase the use of Vesper.
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Do you have a favourite part of Vesper? What would that be?

My favourite part is the GDT poll, especially when the market is volatile and uncertain. I often go to the GDT poll to view people’s sentiment about the next auction, but I also vote myself from time to time and send the results to my stakeholders so they know how others in the market are experiencing it.

You guys have been with us for a while now. What was the actual reason you started using Vesper in the first place?

We started using Vesper because of my hiring manager Benjami. Benjami introduced me to the dairy world, a typical inspiring leader. In the first year, we subscribed to the Vesper platform with the option to download data because Benjami loves to support young businesses. Especially when they have the potential to bring more data transparency and accessibility to the dairy commodity market.
Vesper
“Vesper has made the market more transparent in terms of market prices. Especially for categories like WPI, WPC, and lactose Europe. ”

How do you see Vesper tackling some of the issues regarding the dairy market? For instance, the transparency and accessibility of data.

Vesper has made the market more transparent in terms of market prices. Especially for categories like WPI, WPC, and lactose Europe. I know there are buyers in the field who get quotations from suppliers, but they need to know whether these prices are representative of the market. Vesper is an excellent benchmark for buyers to double-check whether the quotes they get represent the market.

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