Danone to Open Second Yogurt Plant in Bangladesh

Company is working with Grameen Bank which relies on micro-credit to empower residents to increase incomes.

In conjunction with the Grameen Bank, Danone plans to build a second yogurt-producing plant in Bangladesh, chief executive Franck Ribboud said April 29.

The Grameen Bank, established in 1976 by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus, relies on micro-credit to empower the poorest of the poor to boost their incomes and raise living standards. A first yogurt plant, held 50-50 by Danone and Grameen Bank, has been in operation since March in Bogra, northern Bangladesh, said Danone managing director Emmanuel Faber.

The Bogra facility will turn out 3,000 tons of yogurt a year made from milk supplied by 300 micro farms, having on average four cows each, that were created with credit from Grameen Bank.

Faber said a sharp rise in the price of milk had put pressure on the operation, which is designed provide yogurt for the country at low cost.

Riboud meanwhile confirmed Danone's 2008 target to boost sales by 8% to 10%, up from the previous range of 6% to 8%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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