To further Danone’s goal of dual Economic and Social project, the company created a €100 million general interest fund called Danone Ecosystem Fund. The Fund is intended to strengthen and develop the activities of the partners who make up Danone’s ecosystem: farmers, suppliers and subcontractors, transport and logistics operators, distributors, territories & local authorities.
The Fund carries out action in the areas of employment by aiding the strengthening of economic activities to create jobs. It also supports the development of skills through training and Micro entrepreneurship by helping to set up the economic activities and entrepreneurial projects to create jobs and support to the development of small and medium-sized companies.
The Fund finances the initiatives that have been identified by Danone subsidiaries in the territories where they operate: creating activities in conjunction with Danone’s business lines (such as micro-food retailers); running professional reintegration schemes around plants, to help get people back into work; running skills development programmes for local suppliers.
Punjab 2020 is a sustainable livelihood project working with dairy farmers in Punjab. It’s objective is to promote optimal dairy practices and sustainable agriculture amongst the Punjab farmers.
Small herd size, seasonality and lack of modern dairy practices lead to inconsistent incomes for farmers. Years of unsustainable agri practices have impacted soil, water, animal and human health which has cumulatively contributing to declining farm revenues.
The program has been designed and managed in collaboration with Danone Ecosysteme Fund and Naandi Foundation with the objective to help farmers improve farm productivity and their livelihoods. We also look at environmental issues and the current practices of farmer community to design interventions that conserve the natural resources in the milk cycle. For instance, Academilk , a dairy education system, has reached out to 6000 farmers. Our pilot group of champion farmers practise green farming without chemicals and do not burn crop residue that would otherwise contribute to air pollution.