Danone launched its Women in Dairy: Future Farmers Programme this month, following a pledge to support emerging female farmers from Ncora Dairy in the Eastern Cape. The programme included a five-day workshop, training learners in dairy manufacturing, quality, operations, marketing, commercial and retail positioning of dairy.
“The five-day workshop strongly aligns with our business’s Impact Journey mandate on providing healthy foods to as many as possible, supporting responsible regenerative agriculture, fighting against food insecurity, closing the gender pay gap, and ensuring women gain the opportunity to occupy leadership roles within critical functions throughout the industry,” says Nosi Biko, head of cycles and procurement at Danone Southern Africa.
“If we want to support the growth of modern leaders, we have to help with the transition of taking dairy farmers to experience the other side of the coin, where their milk is converted to consumables like yoghurt, maas and custard and sold to retailers and supplied to our consumers. Understanding the consumer helps our farmers to better plan their farming strategy.”
Drive farming profitably
Says Athenkosi Mbambalala, an administrator in Middledrift Dairy and a participant at the workshop: “We are going back home with a wealth of knowledge. We now have the skills to position ourselves as leading contributors to drive farming profitably and efficiently. Going forward, I believe we also need to encourage the youth to consider farming as a lucrative and meaningful career path.”
“While the future of farming will be shaped by numerous factors and will vary across regions, the increasing recognition of women’s contributions in farming and the growing support for gender equality provides a promising outlook for the future of female-driven farms,” concludes Biko.
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Picture courtesy: https://www.danone.com/