Today, many rural families live below the poverty line and owe their very survival to their private production. In these hard times, a responsible business can help increase the quality of their lives, and simultaneously, of the products they produce (viz., milk). Currently, the quality of milk leaves to hope for the best – cows are being milked manually, which results in bacteria ingress from milkmaids' hands; the udders are not being pre-processed; the milk is being poured into buckets, and transferred in vehicles not equipped with cooling equipment. As a result, the milk tends to be of poor quality, and cannot be used in production.
This has encouraged our company to invest in private households of Ukraine, cooperatives and family farms:
Inna Iliyenko: With the first issue of our magazine for Danone milk providers we are launching a series of interviews with officials of households that have joined to our Providers Development Programme. You and your household are an example of responsible cooperation. You believed in the opportunity and actively engaged yourself in the project with your whole team. To start our conversation, I would like to ask you how did you get involved in agriculture at the first place?
Oleksandr Korzh: I was born and grew up in a village 9km away from the household I now run. I graduated from Dnipropetrovsk Agricultural University with a Mechanical Engineer's Degree. In 1995, I started work at Haidamatske LLC as a Senior Engineer, only then the household was operating under the name of Mayak CAE. In 1996, I was elected as the Chairman of the enterprise, and since 2000, I have been the Head of Haidamatske LLC.