When a sustainable business model and innovation go hand in hand

sustainable business development

A new yogurt will boost sustainable development in Ethiopia and help vulnerable children and women in the fight against malnutrition in Ethiopia.

That is the purpose of a new project where Arla Foods Ingredients, Conferderation of Danish Industy, DanChurchAid and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have joined forces to develop a nutritional yogurt.

“There is a huge potential in developing the dairy sector in Ethiopia and promoting a sustainable business model that benefits local farmers and dairies while creating innovative solutions to the fight against hunger,” says Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, General Secretary of DanChurchAid.

The partnership is inspired by UN’s Global Goals number two and eight that aim to alleviate starvation and promote sustainable growth. Therefore, the yogurt production will take place in Ethiopia.

“This project will lead to increased earnings and better living conditions for at least 400 farmers who are going to produce milk for the yogurt. In addition, the product will be the first on the market that is nutritional and cheap at the same time so we can reach the target group, who needs nutrition the most, “says Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen.

Malnutrition causes permanent damage

Today, it is estimated that up to 40% of all children in Ethiopia suffer from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition during a child’s first two years can cause reduced physical growth and reduced mental development. But with a vitamin-rich yogurt, which is also cheap, the partners hope to reach women and children who need better nutrition.

“This project is a good example of how responsible business management and product development can go hand in hand. The core of the project is innovation and knowledge sharing between Danish and Ethiopian partners. That is why I am looking forward to following this project the results it creates,” says Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen.

The first yogurt is expected in the stores in 2019 and will be a healthy and cost-competitive product compared to unhealthy alternatives today.

The project is supported by Danida and will run over three years. It is expected to be completed in 2020, where local businesses will run the yogurt production under market terms.

Watch a video about the project here.

Facts:

  • Project Name: GAIN Access to Better Dairy
  • Partners: Arla Foods Ingredients, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), DanChurchAid, Confederation of Danish Industry (members of GAIN Nordic Partnership) in collaboration with local dairies and organizations in Ethiopia.
  • Time frame: 2017-2020
  • The project is supported by Danida Market Development Partnerships