Supporting communities

Empowering Bangladeshi women to bring nutrition to rural regions

To fight poverty and malnutrition, Arla helps a great number of female microentrepreneurs in Bangladesh generate their own income

Since 1961, Arla has been among the leaders in the powdered milk category in Bangladesh. But growth isn’t Arla’s only agenda. In a country where 56% of children are underweight and malnutrition is prevalent, Arla is determined to give everyone access to affordable, nutritious dairy products.

This inspired the development of Dano® Daily Pushti, fortified filled milk powder in 20 gram sachets at an affordable price – the first product of its kind in Bangladesh.

The launch was a great success. Reaching consumers in the country’s cities proved straightforward, but nearly 70% of Bangladeshis reside in rural areas, coupled with poor infrastructures and limited distribution networks. An innovative alternative sales model was necessary to reach these remote regions.

The solution turned out to be a team of female microentrepreneurs. These determined women are not only gaining knowledge and accreditation through Arla’s training programme, they are also securing access to a reliable income, helping to lift them out of poverty.

They are known as Arla’s Pushti ambassadors. In addition to selling products in the hard-to-reach rural areas of Bangladesh, these women conduct courtyard sessions to educate people about health and milk nutrition generally.

The ambassadors are being mobilised through Arla’s partnerships with the Dutch-based NGO BoP Innovation Centre and in Bangladesh with the NGO dNet and social enterprise iSocial.

The Pushti Ambassador Partnership is aligned with numerous UN Sustainable Development Goals, as it gives the women new skills, training and a sustainable source of income. The programme is also helping Bangladeshi families who previously could not afford to consume milk drink it on a regular basis.

The number of Bangladeshis drinking milk is likely to increase to two million new rural consumers within the next couple of years. Arla’s Dano Daily Pushti sales force is currently 200-strong, but by 2022 Arla and our partners aim to have empowered 5,000 female microentrepreneurs.