As you know, Danone's mission is to bring health through food, and what is more, Danone aims to contribute to the state's economy and increase the quality of life of Ukrainians. One of the most important social directions of the company's work is support of Ukraine's agricultural sector, viz. private households that produce milk.
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:
As for today, more than 1 million euros have been invested by Danone to Ukrainian villages.
The support has been actualized by:
- equipping cooperatives with all necessary equipment for milking and evaluating the quality of raw material. The work here included repair and refurbishment of milk reception points, purchase of new laboratory equipment, educational programmes considering animal treatment, purchase of milking machines for several cooperative members.
- developing additional services for small milk producers, cooperative members. On a cooperative basis, new points of cow artificial insemination were created, new fodder equipment provided, consolatory work and resource provision committed.
- "gift giving" mechanism, actualised by "Community Welfare" ICO (Heifer International Ukraine). Several cooperative members received heifers. With "gift giving" mechanism at work, those who received heifers give their cows' heifers to other cooperative members.
- micro crediting and consolatory support for those who wants to form or expand a family farm. Low-interest loans were given in order to perfect milk production mechanics and increase animal treatment conditions. Those cooperative members who form or expand family farms also get expert consultations on small farm creation, reconstruction, business planning, veterinary, and animal treatment.
- equipment grants for family milk farms. Those wishing to form or expand their family farm can get a grant on new equipment for cow treatment, and milking and cooling equipment through a cooperative.
- training on efficient milk production on principles of cooperation. With Danone's and our Partners' support, a demonstration 60-cow farm was built (with plans for extension up to 120 cows) in Dnepropetrovsk region. The farm operates as an example for cooperative members, and as a training centre where producers can learn how to increase their professional level in management, accounting and cooperative development.
- giving fodder during winter time for milk produced, and bonuses for milk quality. All cooperative milk delivers get an additional bonus for general cooperative milk quality – the higher the quality, the bigger the bonus. Furthermore, in winter months, cooperative members get additional fodder.
Also, within the framework of the project of milk cooperation development, a social grant programme was processed. The grants were directed to improve the villagers' life quality level; kindergarten refurbishment, street illumination installation, heating development, fitness club launch. Danone takes care of the youngest villagers as well – new playgrounds are set by company's employees in many villages with cooperatives at work.
"Cooperative Milk Farm And Services" project is operated by Danone in collaboration with "Community Welfare" ICO (Heifer International Ukraine http://heifer.org.ua/), with Danone Ecosystem Fund (http://ecosysteme.danone.com/) and CIDA/SOCODEVI (http://www.socodevi.org/) support.
"Milk Cooperative Development" project is operated by Danone in collaboration with "Community Welfare" ICO (Heifer International Ukraine http://heifer.org.ua/), with Danone Ecosystem Fund (http://ecosysteme.danone.com/) support.