The Future of Our Milk is in Safe Hands

Milk and dairy products have a very important place in human health and nutrition both in the world and in our country. Turkey is becoming a country of milk and dairy products with increasing the number of cows being milked and the increase in the product obtained per animal. 

With a raw milk production of 22.1 million tons, Turkey is one of the ten largest milk producers in the world. However, the amount of milk produced by small producers is gradually decreasing. Feed and other expenses required for milk production are expensive. In addition, farmers have difficulty reaching the capital required to purchase modern equipment. Animal health problems that significantly reduce milk production, lack of health services and improper hygiene put milk quality at risk. Small-scale milk producers should be supported by providing them with access to comprehensive information in these areas. 

Contributing greatly to the producers in addition to animal husbandry, milk is also a unique product in terms of adequate and balanced nutrition of the society. Therefore, the quality of milk is of great importance for both public health and sustainability of production. 

At the same time, it is a known fact that milk and dairy products have an important place in the nutrition of all age groups. In order to maximize the all benefits of milk, which is of great importance, it is necessary for our animals to be healthy, properly fed, and our producers to be conscious about hygiene and sanitation. 

Pınar has always believed in the importance of education in the production of high quality and healthy milk and dairy products. Since its establishment in 1973, Pınar has been supporting education to raise the awareness of producers. These training, awareness-raising and producer support programs have been carried out under the direction of Pınar Institute, within the framework of the “The Future of Our Milk is in Safe Hands” project in cooperation with Pınar Dairy & Çamlı Feed Animal Husbandry Co. since 2014 within the framework of public-university-industry cooperation. 

Main Target of the Project 

The aim of the project is to maximize all the benefits of milk by raising the quality, value and efficiency of the produced milk by raising the awareness of the producers about animal health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation. It is aimed that, through these efforts, contributions to the protection of public health will be made and the welfare of producers will be increased along with the increase in quality and productivity. 

Social, Environmental and Economic Aspects of the Project 

Even though herbal products come to mind in the first when it comes to agriculture, the production of animal products constitutes an important part of agriculture, especially in our country. 

In this context, milk producers, one of the most important elements of milk and dairy products production, are among the most important stakeholders of Pınar. 

Providing training sessions and supporting its produces since its establishment, Pınar has placed this training and support process as a comprehensive business model within the scope of sustainability activities with “The Future of Our Milk is in Safe Hands” project. 

The comprehensiveness of this project arises from its impact on both social, environmental and economic fields. 

From the social aspect, the project means meeting the dairy producers' need for training and expertise, increasing the level of knowledge and competence related to their own business and thus achieving more efficient and high-quality milk production. Local training sessions organized in the producers' own region also makes producers feel valuable and reinforces the trust and sense of belonging towards the brand. In addition, the cooperation between the Provincial Directorates of Agriculture, Dairy Unions and Cooperatives in the region strengthens the relations between stakeholders. 

From the environmental aspect, the project contributes to the sustainability of nature and the environment with the aim of efficient use of resources. Especially considering the effects of agricultural activities on climate change, efficient production is of great importance at every stage from producer to end consumer. 

Considering the economic aspect of the project; factors such as the decrease in animal diseases in farms and consequently in medication and veterinary costs, as well as the decreased loss of milk yield due to fewer diseases, longer use of machinery through proper maintenance, avoiding feeding errors, and improvement of housing conditions mean more efficient production by producers. Efficient production means increased producer welfare through reduced costs and/or increased income. 

Activities Carried Out Within the Scope of the Project 

  • Awareness Raising Trainings (Protection of Animal Health and Milk Quality, Importance of Feeding in Dairy Farming, Milking Practices & Hygiene for Women Producers)
  • Pilot Area Practices for Improvements in Quality and Efficiency
  • Training of Chilling Center Employees
  • Educational Videos for Producers (Birth, Nail Care, Milking Applications)
  • Informative Printed Materials (Training Notes, Practical Information Brochure for Dairy Farming)
  • Promotional Gifts
  • Social Impact Research to Measure Social Benefit 

UNDP Business Call to Action Program Cooperation

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is a program that provides the knowledge, experience and resources necessary for people to have better living standards, with a particular focus on developing countries.

Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global leadership platform within UNDP that supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in inclusive and sustainable governance. Companies contribute to their core businesses with specific and measurable solutions for development.

Companies apply to the BCtA platform with a commitment after a specific application process. Within the scope of “The Future of Our Milk is in Safe Hands” Pınar Dairy became a member of as of April 10, 2017 with the initiative of Pınar Institute and it was linked with Sustainable Development Goals (End to Poverty, End to Hunger, Qualified Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production). 

Highlights of the Project 

What differentiates the Future of Our Milk is in Safe Hands project from other similar projects is that the training programs are conducted in the region where the producers are located. Trainings were sometimes held in the form of saloon trainings, but in some regions, trainings were given even in village coffee houses, wedding halls, schools and public educational centers in order to reach the people who could not participate and benefit from these trainings and this situation was observed to be greatly appreciated by the producers.

The project aims to popularize correct practice and to increase the awareness levels by reaching the producers through the above mentioned training sessions. “Milking Practices and Hygiene” trainings were planned as a separate module for women producers in order to strengthen women, and 11 of the 19 trainings held in 2017 were held for women producers. 

In addition to the trainings, activities were organized in order to carry out one-on-one studies on the basis of quality and efficiency with the producers determined within the scope of Pilot Area Practices in İzmir and Eskişehir provinces with the renewed content. In this context, the quality of milk was measured by analyzing the samples taken from the farms. Regular producer visits were made by expert personnel and best practices were transferred through one-to-one activities and improvements were observed. 

As a first in Turkey, within the studies carried out in this context, a social impact analysis was performed to measure the social benefits of such studies and to identify the profile of the dairy farming in Turkey. Within the scope of this analysis, questionnaires for producers, training monitoring activities, ethnographic observations and one-on-one interviews were conducted. 

Project Outputs and Effect on Business Results 

  • Within the scope of the project, direct communication with the producers has been established by providing trainings to more than 7000 producers in 12 provinces (İzmir, Eskişehir, Şanlıurfa, Aydın, Muğla, Denizli, Adıyaman, Uşak, Burdur, Afyon, Kütahya, Bursa) over 4 years.
  • In line with the “contribution to the region” principle, it was emphasized that Pınar attaches importance to the development of the region not only in terms of financial investment but also in the social sense.
  • The trainings provided within the scope of the project were carried out in the regions where the producers were located, and the producers were given the message that they were with them and they were made to feel valuable.
  • Contributions to the sustainability of nature and the environment were made by aiming to produce more efficiently with less resource consumption.
  • The project was realized within the framework of “Public-University-Industry” Cooperation and the cooperation between institutions was strengthened.
  • “Practical Information Brochure for Dairy Farming”, one of the written materials prepared within the scope of the project, has been prepared as a guide booklet that guides the producers on animal health, feeding and hygienic milking practices. It was aimed to allow the producers to access the information whenever they need, and long-lasting effect of the information was ensured.
  • The project was considered as an Inclusive Business Model among the company projects that could be supported in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Business Call to Action (BCtA) program. The cooperation carried out within this scope is important to spread the project in the international arena, reach a wider group of people, measure the social impact and pioneer a first in the sector.
  • The project has become a role model by being published in the “Sustainable Agriculture Principles - Best Practice Guide” by the Sustainable Development Association in 2018.
  • The project was awarded Bronze Reward within the scope of International Business Awards in the Stevie Awards, Europe's Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year in 2014. It also made it to the finals in 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards organized by Confederation of Employer Associations of Turkey and within the scope of Sustainable Business Awards organized by Sustainability Academy in 2018 in the Social Impact category. The project, therefore, contributed positively to the awareness of both the brand and the project itself.
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