This week, Heifer CEO and President, Pierre Ferrari was asked to speak at the International Dairy Federation’s World Dairy Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. The World Dairy Summit brings together individuals and organizations around the globe that are involved in working in the dairy sector. This year’s theme, “A World in One Country,” reflects the diversity seen in South Africa’s farming systems, climates, markets and cultures. The conference is devoted to the dairy industry in emerging countries, with a focus on how the socioeconomic benefits of the business on smallholder famers.
By 2030, it’s estimated that the global demand for food will be up by 30 percent as the population continues to rise. As the food security need will increase, it’s important that Heifer continues to work within communities to provide them the tools they need to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty: training and livestock.
In order to address these concerns, the summit topics focus on: developing innovative ideas for the dairy sector; the health benefits of consuming dairy; and how to create a holistic, sustainable approach to dairying that protects the environment. By learning how other organizations are working with dairy cooperatives, Heifer’s East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program can learn to further improve sustainability in the dairy value chain. Heifer’s work with EADD brings smallholder farmers in communities together into cooperatives to better position them to sell their surplus milk. Through Heifer’s work, smallholder farmers receive more training to strengthen their businesses and earn more income to provide for their families.
As Heifer’s CEO and President takes part in the 2012 World Dairy Summit, our message is simple: Heifer’s farmers are not just providing milk in a growing dairy industry, they’re creating sustainable livelihoods and strengthening their communities.