Improved Livelihoods of Smallholding Farmers in Egypt More Sustainably
Danone’s shared-value and Inclusive Business Model ensured sustainable Socio-Economic support to livestock of smallholding farmers in Egypt
Danone established milk collection centers, have contributed to the increased quality and quantity of the milk produced by smallholding farmers with 25% increase in revenues in one hand, while on the other hand securing 14% of the supply of cost efficient with higher quality Milk to Danone dairy products from more than 1,600 farmers.
Smallholding dairy farmers in Egypt produce around 80% of the milk available in the market. Yet, despite this high percentage, the majority of them struggle to compete with constantly falling prices and monopolies held by local dealers. Danone Egypt, the country’s leading producer of fresh dairy products, has identified two major concerns which hamper the development of the dairy industry in the region; including the quality and diversification of sourced raw material as well as the limited access of small farmers to formal dairy market chains. These concerns pose a significant hindrance on the socio-economic prospects of small farmers, who strive against low quality / quantity milk outputs, poor livestock services and price manipulation.
The Danone CSR Ecosystem Fund was established by Danone Group as part of the company’s adoption of a socio-economic, and environment-friendly business model. The fund’s objectives include Promotion of health and nutrition; apply cost effective solutions to its business operations; support the ecosystem by reducing environmental footprint; and develop sustainable and inclusive socio-economic relations with local communities.
Danone Egypt has designed, built and operated in cooperation with Care Egypt 12 milk collection centers to provide farmers with access to sell their products and support with an array of services including; weighing, milk analysis, storage, and high quality livestock treatment. Milk collection centers are owned by strong co-operatives which have received training and institutional strengthening support. The milk collection centers employ technical supervisors, the majority of which are women. The centers, and field volunteers, have raised awareness and provided accurate information on animal health, caring, disease control and prevention, appropriate feeding and hygienic practices to livestock owners.
More than 1,600 farmers have been connected to the milk collection centers, providing Danone with 14% of its milk supply in Egypt. Surveys conducted to assess the impact of these activities showed that 26% of project beneficiaries saw 25% average increase in revenues, 43% saw real value in services provided, 35% saw increase in milk prices, and 35% acknowledged that milk collection centers offered fair prices for their milk.