For more than 10 years, the Danone Ecosystem Fund has been developing inclusive and sustainable agricultural models, accessible to all through projects that promote job creation, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and skills development. In order to amplify HECTAR's impact on future generations of farmers, we wanted to join the project by providing both our expertise in creating agricultural projects with social impact and our financial support.
For more than 10 years, the Danone Ecosystem Fund has been developing inclusive and sustainable agricultural models, accessible to all through projects that promote job creation, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and skills development. In order to amplify HECTAR's impact on future generations of farmers, we wanted to join the project by providing both our expertise in creating social impact agricultural projects and our financial support. Our collaboration was based on a co-creation model with the aim of bringing together the expertise of a coalition of actors and amplifying the impact of the Godets pilot dairy. In particular, the fund brought to the project its knowledge of regenerative agriculture in which the animal must have its full place.
We have been convinced for several years that regenerative agriculture is an opportunity to be seized in order to meet the social and environmental challenges of our food. Its implementation involves three main principles: protecting the soil and biodiversity, supporting new generations of farmers, and promoting animal welfare. In this model, we have deployed cows on dynamic rotational pastures to ensure natural fertilisation and better soil health, hence the importance of a dairy farm in the HECTAR project. We are delighted to be able to extend the impact of this farming through the creation of the Godets dairy, to bring our ten years of experience in this field and to give concrete tools to the farmers of tomorrow.
The ambition is to enable farmers to reconcile economic and environmental issues for their farms
while improving their life balance. The Godets farm will rely on organic and regenerative agriculture that preserves the soil and biodiversity and respects animal welfare.
HECTAR and the Danone Ecosystem Fund have also modelled the "Godets dairy" project so that it preserves the farmer's life balance: only one milking per day, no milk processing at weekends and one weekend in three worked. The aim of such a rhythm is to improve working conditions and to remove the obstacles to maintaining dairy farming in our country, particularly among the younger generations.
One of the key innovations that we will test in situ is actually a combination of
innovative practices (organic, regenerative farming, mono-milking) with on-farm milk valorisation via local processing. In addition to this innovative model, the pilot farm will be the ideal place to test new technological tools such as sensors to closely monitor the health of the cows and to optimise certain elements of herd management such as inseminations.
The whole objective of this project is to test a model under real-life conditions to demonstrate its replicability. We therefore started from scratch, listed all the costs (salary of the farm manager, renovation of the buildings, acquisition of a herd of 60 cows, etc.), modelled the income from the sale of products processed on the farm to ensure a viable economic equation while providing a good life balance for the farmer and respecting environmental issues. Thanks to this pilot farm, HECTAR hopes to train a maximum number of farmers, farm workers and the general public in the field in order to disseminate this vision throughout the region and inspire the farmers of tomorrow.