SOUTH AFRICA – South African-based multinational dairy corporation, Danone SA, has launched the Women in Dairy Programme aimed to tackle the issue of food security in the country.

The programme  follows a pledge to support emerging female farmers from Ncora Dairy Farm in the Eastern Cape, including a five-day workshop training learners in manufacturing, quality, operations, marketing, and 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 and closing the gender pay gap,” Nosi Biko, the head of cycles and procurement at Danone said.

“If we want to support the growth of modern leaders, we have to help with the transition of taking dairy farmers to experience, where their milk is converted to consumables and sold to retailers and supplied to our consumers.”

Biko added that the increasing recognition of women’s contributions to farming and the growing support for gender equality will provide a promising outlook for the future of female-driven farms.

Earlier this year, the French dairy coop appointed Tsholofelo Ngobeni who was the first woman to hold the head of manufacturing position.

Danone described Tsholofelo as a seasoned operations leader, with experience in operations, safety, quality & food safety, supply chain, and engineering in the FMCG sector locally and internationally.

“She has demonstrated capabilities, with a strong work ethic and a focus on ensuring that health, safety, and environmental issues are prioritized which aligns deeply with the Danone brand values,” the dairy giant said, noting that Tsholofelo is a remarkable individual with the extensive expertise required to take on a role of this magnitude.

Danone also added that the company is not only about breaking barriers but also paving the way for future generations of women to succeed and thrive in the industry.

Meanwhile, the French dairy giant has sold its minority stake in Ireland-based yoghurt and milk firm Glenisk.

Danone’s shares in the company, which were reported to amount to a stake of 38%. were redeemed by mutual agreement.

“As part of its ongoing portfolio review and having received a buy-back offer from the company, Danone has sold a percentage of its stake in the Irish dairy products company, Glenisk. This was a non-controlling stake in a business which is not core to Danone’s activity in Ireland,” Danone said.

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