Bangladesh / Dairying / Nutrition / South Asia

Dairy conglomerate Danone’s yoghurt factory for the poor in Bangladesh

Here is an old (July 2009) news item we missed.

The dairy conglomerate Danone built a small factory in Bangladesh to make nutritional yogurt for the poor. Danone’s yogurt brand in Bangladesh is called Shoktidoi, which means energy in Bengali.

‘When French dairy food firm Danone ventured outside the troubled business climate of Europe and the US, it was not expecting to start a business that deliberately avoids paying dividends to shareholders.

‘But a meeting between Danone’s Franck Riboud and the founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, led to the opening of a small factory in Bangladesh which does just that.

‘Danone made a profit of more than $1bn in 2008 and expects that to rise by 10% this year, despite a downturn in sales in Europe.

‘The company has set its sights on South Asia. But to succeed there, it has to learn how to sell to low-income customers, many of whom live in the countryside.

In Bangladesh, Danone has teamed up with local experts to build a yogurt factory with a difference – what Professor Yunus calls a social business. The factory, which produces nutritional yogurt for poor people, is a joint venture between Grameen and Danone.Danone’s Emmanuel Marchant explains that the enterprise has to make enough money to be sustainable, but it also has a social goal.’

Read more at BBC: Danone’s yoghurt strategy for Bangladesh, 8 July 2009

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