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The world’s largest food multinationals Danone and Mars announced its intent to invest €120million over the next decade in an investment fundaimed at increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers, and also for secure their supply to the growing world population which is projected to be 9 billion in 2050.

The main priorities will be Danone and Mars keys crops, such as vanilla, cocoa, sugar and palm feature among the “obvious areas”, and will gradually include milk, fruits and peanuts. Mars and Danone hope to attract investment from both the public and private sector for the non-farmer benefits generated through its sponsored projects.

The two are seeking to raise funds for the project, and all the return from the project will help to payback debts and reinvest the reminders in future projects. The project is thought to work through best-of-class non-profits organizations with proven experience of implementing smallholder programmes, says Frank Riboud, chairman of the board of directors at Danone.

What makes the project viable or sustainable are the following characteristics: the more connection to the supply chain, the target is not just riches farm owners, increases in farmer incomes, improvements in farmer livelihoods and benefits to the environment (especially carbon emissions mitigated or sequestered through reforestation). The further factor of success it’s the fact that Danone and Mars have in the past, launched similar projects.

Mrs Tamir of Oxfam said: “To truly create opportunity for smallholder farmers, the food industry must shift more value from the traders and manufacturers back to the people and workers who grow their food”.


                                                                                                                 The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

9 February 2015

(Source: The Guardian Sustainable Business)