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Danone and IDB announce partnership

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By Jim Cornall+


The Kiteiras micro distribution project in Brazil is one of the existing Danone projects. Pic: ©Danone.
The Kiteiras micro distribution project in Brazil is one of the existing Danone projects. Pic: ©Danone.

Danone and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have announced they are joining forces with Livelihoods Funds and the Danone Ecosystem Fund in an attempt to boost economic growth in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The four organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding with a 2020 goal.

The three-year global strategic partnership will promote sustainable, inclusive development initiatives in the region.

The five key areas for cooperation are fostering sustainable agriculture; supporting inclusive recycling; protecting watersheds; increasing clean water access; and driving CO2 reduction.

During the first phase, the IDB and Danone will look to strengthen and scale projects currently being implemented or designed by Livelihoods Funds and the Danone Ecosystem Fund in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Private/public involvement essential

IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno said he hoped more French companies, including those in Danone’s value chain, will get involved in development projects in any emerging or frontier markets where they operate.

Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber said the company believes private and public sector collaboration is central to fostering sustainable development, reducing social inequalities, and protecting the environment.

“As a major global company operating in the Latin America region, we are committed to playing a part in its economic development,” Faber said.

Building on existing projects

The partnership will build on joint projects previously co-financed and implemented by the IDB, Danone and the Danone Ecosystem Fund.

These include the Kiteiras micro distribution project, which has provided training and professional development for 2,000 underprivileged women in Brazil, as well as recycling projects that have improved working conditions for more than 3,700 grassroots recyclers in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

These projects are set to expand, as the IDB, Danone and their partners have agreed to co-finance more than $6m in grants.

Pascal De Petrini, President of Danone Ecosystem Fund said the new global partnership will enable the fund to expand its presence and impact across the region.

The Danone Ecosystem Fund

The Danone Ecosystem Fund was created in 2009, with the goal of building a more inclusive economy by strengthening and empowering the most fragile stakeholders in the Danone ecosystem. The €100m ($112m) endowment fund was established to create innovative business solutions with local partners that generate social, environmental and economic value for small local business, and provide a competitive advantage for Danone.

To date, the fund has supported 67 projects, generated €139m ($156m) in investment, and created 4,650 jobs.

About the Livelihoods Funds

The Livelihoods investment funds have been created by private companies to generate social, environmental and economic impact while making their businesses more sustainable.

The funds join forces with civil society, public institutions and experts to create value through: improved livelihoods for rural communities; public good (nature and water conservation, CO2 sequestration); sustainable sourcing and carbon offsets for businesses. 

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