Posted by: bklunk | March 25, 2007

Yogurt: It’s More Than A Tasty Healthy Treat

How many other partnerships like this could be forged?

The world’s smallest yogurt factory… in Bangladesh « Les Relations Internationales

Yunus

The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and founder of the now well-knowned Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, has ventured into another microfinancing idea. Collaborating with Danone, a yogurt producer, Yunus has developed the Grameen Danone Foods. Going off his original idea of microfinance, Yunus proposed that this “world’s smallest yogurt factory” be another stepping stone for the people of Bangladesh to become self-sustaining.

“The plan is to re-invest all profits with the exception of paying back Danone their initial seed capital. The factory will buy milk from Grameen Bank microvenders (who’ve been financed by Grameen Bank to buy cows) and microentrepreneurs will sell the yogurt door-to-door. Each factory will employ 15-20 women directly and up to 1,600 people in an area.”

This process will, like the Grameen Bank, develop into a continous process where the people of Bangladesh can make a living on their own. They will be using their own resources to produce more resources, in which they will get to consume. The perk to this is that the yogurt is extremely affordable, costing about 7 cents a cup. Better yet, the yogurt factory is environmentally friendly and hires mainly women. The opening of the factory provides more job opportunities in the region, and allow more opportunities for entreprenuers in the region to succeed.

The Grameen Bank was so successful in its attempt to provide a means for people to make a living. I am very curious to see how the yogurt factory will work out. I think it’s a genius idea and will further strengthen the notion of microfinance. For more details on Yunus’ plans with the yogurt factory, visit Saving the world with a cup of yogurt.

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Responses

  1. The yogurt factory appears to be another great accomplishment for this Nobel Peace Prize wining entrepreneur. His efforts to spur entrepreneurial thinking and help with poverty alleviation in the country we’re a blessing to the people. We need more ethically conscious individuals in the world like Yunus. I remember hearing about his concept of the microfirm last year and thinking how amazing it was that just one person with a little faith in humankind could be the link to help countless individuals, especially women, become self-sufficient and earn honest livings to support themselves and their families. His new venture in creating the world’s smallest yogurt factory will create more jobs for citizens in the country and spur economic growth within the state. Through his local and global networking, Yunus is a model humanitarian that the world community can learn something from.

  2. Sometimes it takes a genius to figure out a simple solution; making yogurt from cow’s milk and selling it to stimulate economic growth is one of those solutions. Not only does this opportunity give the poor people involved in the program the chance to earn money, but it is also beneficial for the community as a whole. With the yogurt being sold at only 7 cents per cup, these people will have the ability to enhance their diet in a way in which was most likely not available to them before. So Yunus’s idea is helping the economy and the poor people who will be involved in the smallest yogurt factory, as well as aiding the problem of hunger that is so prevalent in economically destitute areas of the world. However, an arrangement like this is not an easy one to come by. Not many companies who are interested in selling their product and making a large profit would be willing to partake in an idea like the new one Yunus created, which could be part of the reason poverty is perpetuated. Hopefully Yunus’s creative and simplistic ideas to curb poverty and hunger will encourage other entrepreneurs to follow his example, rather than focus on making a profit.

  3. When I first stumbled across this article, I became instantly interested in this one man’s work to help alleviate poverty in Bangladesh. Muhammad Yunus is the type of individual needed in every country of the world; someone who promotes an increase in the collective good over making a profit. His ideas are truly innovative, and it completely makes sense why this idea would never rise up from the US. The extremely pro-capitalist, social Darwinism so heavily promoted, that it leaves no room for trying to produce the cheapest product with the greatest number of workers. That type of product will directly help the poorest members of society – by giving them a job, only using products from other small farms/businesses, then selling an extremely cheap product which can then be bought by the worker because he/she can afford it. In fact, this idea directly contradicts Ricardo’s labor theory of value. By going through these extra middle men, to help promote the small farmer/business, it should increase the value of the product. Instead, the product stays cheap, while considerably helping those small businesses – everyone gains. The more I thought about this new idea of microfinancing and “the world’s smallest yogurt factory”, the more amazing it became.

  4. I think the making of this yogurt company is great. I am especially enthusied by the fact that it employs mostly women. It’s really great that there is such an economically stimulating business for Bangladesh and it will hopefully do great things for that country. There should be more examples of this in struggling countries, and hopefully others will try out the system. Muhammad Yunus has truly done a great thing and with his efforts Bangladesh will prosper. His yougurt company has given the poor a chance to change their economic standing and the ability to be producing something everyone in their country can enjoy and afford.


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