Tetra Pak supports new school milk programmes and expands dairy hubs in developing countries
Tetra Pak celebrates World School Milk Day with news about new school milk programmes in Zambia, Senegal, Sudan, Honduras and Argentina and how expansion of Dairy Hub projects in Pakistan and Bangladesh is increasing supply of locally produced quality milk.
Tetra Pak has long supported World School Milk Day and school feeding programmes because milk is an important source of nutrition, helping to improve the health of children around the world.
Says Ulla Holm, Director of Tetra Pak’s Food for Development Office: “World School Milk Day is both a celebration of dairy’s many benefits to children and the ongoing work to bring milk to every child,” said Holm.” It’s a symbol of an industry bringing access to milk every day of the year, offering health, education and economic opportunities to millions of men, women and children around the world.”
Through its Food for Development Office and network, Tetra Pak cooperates closely with governments, development agencies, NGOs, local dairy processors and farmers. In 2010 more than six billion packages of milk and other nutritious drinks in Tetra Pak packages were provided to almost 50 million children in schools in over 50 countries.
New school milk programmes
In 2011 Tetra Pak is supporting development of a number of new school milk programmes, which include:
- Zambia: Since June 2011 Tetra Pak has been collaborating with the government of Zambia, international development agencies and industry partners on a pilot project to bring milk to 15,000 school children in Zambia’s Eastern Province. The pilot, designed to create a scalable model that can be rolled out across the country, is already delivering positive educational outcomes, with teachers reporting 100 per cent attendance on days when the milk is distributed. Milk is sourced from local farmers, also offering the potential for a significant boost to Zambia’s rural economies.
- Senegal: Tetra Pak is involved in a school milk programme run by the Municipalities of Dakar that expanded from 6,000 children to more than 80,000 in March 2011. Tetra Pak is providing administrative expertise with guidance on milk procurement, distribution, storage, best practice in terms of when and how milk is consumed, waste collection and parent awareness on milk benefits.
- Honduras: Tetra Pak has helped form a public-private partnership that, from August 2011, is bringing milk to 164,000 children in 780 schools, and increasing demand for locally produced milk. Based on a proposal from the Honduran Dairy Farmers Federation, a new school milk law has been approved that guarantees a child’s right to start receiving UHT milk in all public schools that lacks refrigeration facilities.
- School milk pilot programmes have also started in Argentina and Sudan.
The Dairy Hub concept, which Tetra Pak initiated two years ago in Pakistan and is now expanding to Bangladesh, is designed to increase milk production and farm efficiency in developing countries. It is based on the one-herd concept and typically includes 20 villages with 800-1000 farmers and a total of up to 10,000 cows. The dairy hubs are set up in close cooperation with dairy processors and deliver better economies of scale, with focus on feeding, breeding, animal health and training.
Thanks to Dairy Hubs, 27,000 Pakistani farmers have been trained and 4,600 animals have been vaccinated. In one year, an 800-farm hub in Kassowal increased milk collection from just 400 litres to 8,500 litres per day. In Bangladesh, where the first dairy hub was set up in 2010, milk collection increased from 6,000 to 17,000 litres per day in six months. The goal is to set up 60 dairy hubs in Bangladesh before 2020. Together with sister company DeLaval, Tetra Pak is also exploring similar projects in other countries in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
“The impact of these Dairy Hubs goes beyond just increasing supply. The milk produced provides a nutritious and economical source of food to men, women and especially to children, who need the 14 of18 vital nutrients that milk contains, to grow healthy. In addition, the hubs help create jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas,” said Holm.
Read more about the Food for development office
About World School Milk Day
World School Milk Day is an initiative established in 2000 and supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. FAO has played a co-ordinating role in collating information from list members regarding preparations for celebrating this Day. The goal of School Milk Day is to provide a particular day when attention is focussed on this issue and thereby promote such programmes. Importance is lent to the event by the fact that other countries are doing the same thing, on the same day, and that FAO is supporting the activity. Read more about FAO