Tetra Laval plans to open a Dairy Hub in Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa.
The news comes after FoodProductionDaily.com spoke to Ulla Holm, global director, Tetra Laval at Interpack 2014 following her speech at the Save Food Congress called ‘Food for Development - Making food save and available everywhere’.
Driving the dairy business
The Dairy Hub model builds on the one herd concept and links dairy processors to small holder milk farmers training and educating them to move from subsistence farming to driving dairy as a business.
The scheme began because most locally produced milk in developing countries is never collected and processed and dairy processors are often dependent on importation of milk powder.
Holm said Tetra Laval has been involved in the project since 2010 and it now has an agreement with Sida and UNIDO to set up three more hubs as well as a Dairy Academy.
“Our support has been to develop the methodology and to introduce new techniques to increase the profitability of the farmers,” she said.
“We get approached all the time and hope to set up a Dairy Hub in Cape Verde.”
She told FPD the theme of the conference was ‘How we are addressing food losses and food waste in the world’.
“I was invited to give examples of the private sector involvement. In our case I took an example from the dairy industry to show how by supporting the whole development of the value chain is one way to address food security issues,” she said.
2008 food crisis
“As a result of the food crisis in 2008 when the prices of milk powder more than doubled and customers in developing countries had difficulties to cope, we developed the Dairy Hub model as a way to help them access more locally produced and better quality milk.
“Developing countries where we started the initiative include Egypt, and now Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Kenya and Sri Lanka. We believe this is a model that can fit all over the world.
“Dairy Hub builds on the one herd concept that you create a connection between small holder farmers and dairy processors interested in building a long-term relationship based on terms that are favourable for both parties.
“The project is based on an area with 15-20 villages, 1,000-2,000 small farm holder farmers with up to 10,000 cows, in that area the processor sets up milk collector stations and the farmers can deliver milk twice a day where everything is recorded and checked and they get paid. The processor can then collect the milk and in return provide training in feeding, hygiene, and supports the farmers.
Mentality of the farmers
“When we have found the right partners it improves day by day. Challenges in the past include changing the mentality of the farmers.”
Holm said the company is looking to create more partnerships and the Dairy Hub model is an initiative that can be scaled up and speeded up.
She said Tetra Laval is prepared to share the methodology it has developed and this will help other customers to get more locally produced milk.
“If we are successful in helping local customers develop their operations it will in turn be successful for us. This is the beauty of a public/private partnership using the knowledge of the private sector,” she added.