The social – economic project called “A chance for your family”, initiated in 2012, goes to the second development stage with an additional investment of approx. EUR 1 million. The project will continue to be supported by the Ecosysteme international fund owned by the Danone company, Danone Romania, Open Fields, an NGO, and Polaris, a local partner. The total investment in the two stages of the project is approx. EUR 3 million. The beneficiaries of this new sustainable business for the rural development will be the householders in Zimnicea.
“A chance for your family” aims to support the development of the communities in the disadvantaged areas and to increase the superior quality milk production in Romania. The results of the first stage of the project, implemented in 2012-2015, include: the endowment of the households in the program with more than 370 cows of a superior race on the “Gift from gift” principle, householders further offering in their turn the first born cow; the endowment of the 58 families attending to the program with 22 mobile milking stations, milk cooling and storage tanks; the distribution of more than 11,000 artificial insemination doses, superior quality, to improve the genetic material; trainings for more than 600 locals, regarding: cows hygiene, nutrition, care and milking, the farms’ economic management, attracting additional funding, cost and profit control. At the community level, there are over 8,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries of the program.
The second stage of the program, held in Zimnicea, involves the consolidation of the householders association for the sustainable growth of its autonomy, endowing with two agricultural machinery (one round and one harvester and chopper) allowing the provision of fodder for the winter, as well as 7 new mobile milking stations.
“Milk is the main ingredient in our yogurts, and we need high quality to further provide consumers with the best products. It’s a natural liaison between this reality and the need to invest to support the development of production and of the milk quality in Romania, and we do it since 10 years ago in Romania. The factory in Bucharest processes around 55 million liters of fresh milk per year, mostly purchased from Romania. We wish the project called ‘A chance for your family’ to become a model to be followed also for other communities in the rural areas. This project demonstrated that small communities, provided that they have the needed support and help, can also produce high quality milk and develop an efficient local business model, as a family source of income. The social impact of the project is remarkable, since around 100 farmers recorded increased incomes with more than 55 percent”, stated Eduard Jerca, Milk Procurement Manager at Danone Romania.
Danone’s concern to support local production also reflects in other programs, dedicated to the Romanian farms, in which it invests since more than 10 years ago. Through such programs, Danone provides the farmers with support for developing and modernizing their businesses, from the advance payment to procurement of race cows and numerous milking and milk storage equipment.