Ukraine Milk Communities:
Kherson, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhia, and Dnipropetrovsk regions, Ukraine.
The main objective of the project is to help small-holder farmers to increase their revenue and to improve the well-being of their communities. Through creation of agricultural service cooperatives and family farms, not only do the small-scale farmers secure a sustainable income but they become important actors on the dairy market, and important strategical suppliers for a dairy company, like Danone. Both business and social goals are achieved.
The project aims to solve several problems. First, it is the economic decline of the Ukrainian countryside. Most people depend on incomes generated in their household through production of agricultural goods, such as milk, in particular. However, with lack of resources and training the milk produced is not of the best quality and each cow does not produce the optimal amount to reach an income of a minimum wage from the farm. There is also a lack of resources to expand the farm and transform it into a small sustainable business. Second, the rural communities are not well-organized and do not have effective means of solving local issues and investing into the community. Many people lack jobs, while Danone always needs quality raw milk.
The solution is the creation of agricultural service cooperatives and family farms, which the project helps to finance. Cooperatives provide better means for the community to coordinate their resources and decrease production costs for milk through wholesale prices for feeds and purchasing other services (e.g. veterinary). Cooperatives also significantly improve milk quality through purchasing equipment and create new jobs. They also generate extra funds through taxes paid to the local community. In addition, with the help of extra resources and training, suppliers of cooperatives can build better farms, with better equipment and practices that maximize their profit. They also serve as examples for sustainable agricultural practices.