Investment of €807,000
Loan of €457,000 *
(Local currency equivalent)
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“90% of the milk consumed in Senegal is imported in powder form, while 30% of the population traditionally lives from livestock and can produce milk. It is this observation which led to the creation of the Laiterie du Berger. Bagoré Bathily, Founder of the Laiterie.
The social enterprise was created in 2006 with the aim of promoting local milk production. The Laiterie collects milk from the Peuhl breeders in the Richard Toll area, in the North of Senegal, to then develop dairy products, with local and natural milk. In 2019, a new subsidiary was created, Kossam SDE, which aims to structure the milk sector in northern Senegal by providing material resources and training to breeders and by developing an innovative model of pilot “mini-farms”.
The company works with 432 Peuhl breeders, employs 300 people and produces 6,000 tonnes of yogurt each year. “More than 432 families of breeders are impacted by the development of the local milk sector who saw their income increase by more than 50% between 2018 and 2019,” said Jonathan Michaud, Director of Kossam, an agricultural engineer from from Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, who, after a Solidarity Bankers mission (skills-based volunteering mission) in 2018, left for 2 years to lead the project.
KOSSAM and the digital payment for farmers in Senegal
Supported by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, CA Franche Comté and Amundi, Kossam SDE is a subsidiary of Laiterie du Berger that aims to structure and strengthen the dairy industry in Senegal. In February 2020, Kossam SDE successfully launched the dematerialisation of the “payroll” for more than 850 farmers contributing to the improvement of their living and working conditions. Spotlight on the interview for Portail FinDev of Jonathan Michaud (former Solidarity Banker of CA Franche Comté) Director for the past 3 years of Kossam SDE) and Mamadou Fall, his Deputy Director, who shed light on this transformation.
1. What used to be a typical payroll day before the transition to digital payroll?
Jonathan Michaud & Mamadou Fall: Until February 2020, all farmers were paid in cash during one or two specific paydays. Farmers used to travel to the factory in Richard Toll to collect the money due to them. Firstly, the cash payment was inconvenient for the farmers. They had to arrive early in the morning and sometimes wait all day in high temperatures. In addition, farmers were forced to come to Richard Toll on a specific day to get paid, without being able to make it fit in with their other travel. It was also laborious for Kossam SDE, as the teams had to handle cash for two days with some pressure linked to the waiting time of the farmers, which can lead to errors.
In November 2019, the Kossam SDE team decided to digitalise and the first digital payroll took place in February 2020.
2. What are the concrete benefits of digitalisation for farmers?
JM & MF: We have identified 5 benefits for farmers:
- Time saving. Today, a farmer no longer has to wait hours to receive the payment.
- Security. Everyone knew which day the farmers received their pay, which could potentially create a context of insecurity with risks of theft.
- Flexibility. Now all farmers receive their money on the same date, but collect it when they want.
- Cost. The majority of farmers do not live in Richard Toll and travelling there has a cost. They can now optimise the cost of their journey by deciding the day they will collect their money.
- Traceability. Each farmer is identified in our database with his/her telephone number and identity card. We can therefore be sure that it is the farmer who is receiving the money, as we know which telephone number the funds are being sent to.
3. What solution have you put in place with Wizall Money to pay farmers?
JM & MF: The vast majority of our farmers do not have a smartphone. They have a basic phone that can only receive and send calls and SMS. We therefore opted for a code sent directly to the farmers’ phones. With this code and their ID, farmers go to the Wizall Money kiosk of their choice to withdraw their money. The beneficiaries (farmers) pay the costs associated with this service.
The introduction of this solution has clearly removed a considerable number of constraints for farmers, including time and organisation. In addition, we feared that farmers would be reluctant to pay for their money. However, the question of cost was not mentioned. On the contrary, it costs them much less than paying for transport to Richard Toll on a specific day of the month. We have not had any complaints in this regard.
4. More than a year after the digitisation was implemented, where do you stand? What is the next step?
JM & MF: The digitisation of the payroll was implemented just before the Covid-19 hit Senegal in March 2020, where drastic measures were quickly taken: curfews, forbidden gatherings, etc. Without digitisation, farmers would not have been able to move and would not have been paid.
Today, we are moving on to the second and final stage of payroll transformation. Indeed, there are 2 disadvantages to the SMS codes that our farmers receive on their phones: you need to have your own phone, which is not the case for all our farmers, and you also need a network. The main problem was that some people never received the code, so we had to keep paying them in cash.
To deal with this situation, we have provided all our farmers with an individual NFC card. The payment will be sent to this card in an electronic purse. Farmers can then go to a Wizall Money kiosk, hand over their card, enter their PIN and withdraw all or part of their money. There are no more network constraints and no more obligation to withdraw all the money paid in. This major innovation allows us to enter into new uses and services that are a form of micro-savings and passive savings.
From now on, we will be working on various subjects that digitalisation will enable us to tackle more effectively and with greater peace of mind: access to health insurance, development of savings and financial education.
(1) The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole Franche Comté, shareholders of Laiterie du Berger, supported the creation of Kossam SDE as part of a technical assistance mission Solidarity Bankers, a skills volunteering programme of the Crédit Agricole Group. An agricultural engineer from the Regional Bank, who led the mission in 2018, left for 3 years to coordinate the launch of Kossam SDE. He is Jonathan Michaud, today General Manager of Kossam SDE.
La Laiterie du Berger and Kossam receive $ 5M Support from the Mastercard Foundation
La Laiterie du Berger, the strength of African entrepreneurship
La Laiterie du Berger is an example of the strength of entrepreneurship in Africa. The social enterprise was created in 2006 by Bagoré Bathily and a pool of active shareholders, with the objective of developing local dairy production. “90% of the milk consumed in Senegal is imported in the form of powder, while 30% of the population traditionally lives from livestock and can produce milk. It is this observation that led to the creation of La Laiterie du Berger”, indicates Bagoré Bathily.
La Laiterie du Berger collects the milk of Peul breeders from the Richard Toll area of northern Senegal to then produce dairy products, with local and natural milk. The company works with 800 Peul farmers, employs 300 people and produces 6,000 tonnes of yogurt each year. After 12 years of existence, with the support of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, a second chapter opened with the creation of a new subsidiary, Kossam SDE.
Kossam aims to structure the dairy sector in northern Senegal by promoting access to material resources for milk production, by providing training to livestock farmers and by developing an innovative model of pilot “mini-farms”. “Over 600 breeders’ families have been impacted by the development of the local milk industry and have seen their revenues increase by more than 50% between 2018 and 2019”, says Jonathan Michaud, Director of Kossam, an agricultural engineer from Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, who, after a Solidarity Bankers mission in 2018, left for 2 years to lead the project.
An unprecedented change of scale for the company
A new stage will begin for La Laiterie du Berger and Kossam. Conquered by the social enterprise model of the Laiterie du Berger, The Mastercard Foundation has just allocated a grant of 5 million USD for the period 2019-2022 in Kossam. The objective of this grant is to allow Kossam and La Laiterie du Berger to create 5,000 direct or indirect jobs in the area. The amount allocated will be used in particular to increase the collection of milk to 4000 T and to valorize the restructuring of the collection system. This financial support particularly targets women, who are traditionally responsible for the production activity and milk collection in Senegal.
This new project is titled MéLiTeJi, the letters (M, L, T, J), symbolically representing in Wolof milk (Meew), employment (Ligueey), success (Tekki) and women (Djiguen). This funding reinforces the company’s objectives of developing livestock in a sustainable, responsible and social way and to build a sustainable Senegalese dairy sector, established on the basis of a modern economy and generating employment.
This grant is already a great success in itself, demonstrating the strength of this social enterprise model and the confidence in its potential to structure the sector and create jobs
Laiterie du Berger: a promising experiment
By Jonathan Michaud, CA Franche Comté
The rationale of the Laiterie du Berger
Processing milk collected from Fula stockbreeders in the Richard Toll region in the North of Senegal has been part of the business plan of the Laiterie du Berger (LDB) from its very beginning in 2008. The Fula people are nomadic stockbreeders who have always produced milk, mainly for consumption on the farm, considered as a by-product of a suckler herd. The LDB aspires to turn this milk into a full-fledged production to be sold and generate stable income for the household.
This powerful idea of an integrated and sustainable development through the marketing of an agricultural output by a social business company brought together many initiatives around the LDB which are being pursued by stakeholders in research, development or by the LDB itself. Although they at times suffer from a lack of coherence, all these actions have nonetheless made it possible to draw many lessons and thus contribute to the premises of a real territorial dynamism around milk product. The Laiterie du Berger and its shareholders wanted to capitalize and enhance this rich experience at this time to embark on a new stage of development for the milk sector in Senegal.
An ambitious partnership to develop the milk sector in Senegal
Alongside the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, the regional bank of Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté wanted to invest so as to guide and support the LDB in this exciting project. A support mission was consequently carried out against this background under a skills-based volunteering programme: “Solidarity Banker by CA.” The aim is to chart a development plan for the dairy sector aimed at reconciling the needs of the Laiterie du Berger, its social impact, and the expectations of the stockbreeders and the territory.
The action plan proposed after two weeks of work was endorsed by the Board of Directors of the Laiterie du Berger last June. It is the outcome of a collaborative effort with the teams of the LDB and the Foundation, and consultations with the other shareholders, capitalizing on past experience and taking advantage of the analysis of the principal stakeholders.
The mini-farm: point of entry of the strategic plan
The action plan comprises two phases. First, the plan is to deploy 15 mini farms to try and test the model while building the necessary material and immaterial conditions (forage harvesting method, stockbreeding advice, training for farmers, structuring for stakeholders). Then, in a second phase, the plan is to deploy 100 mini farms gradually throughout the territory to reach a larger number of stockbreeders.
A mini farm is a dairy specialization hub in the dominant suckler herd. It is the place where all the material and immaterial production factors converge to optimize and maximize dairy production: feeding, watering, reproduction monitoring, advice. From a very practical perspective for the stockbreeders, the mini farm consists of stabling the best four dairy cows of the herd every moment of the year, where the point of departure consists of the purchase of four Moor zebus (animals with better milk potential than the local zebus) and a hybrid bull (a cross between a European dairy breed and a zebu). Securing the zootechnical conditions (water, feed supplement, production and reproduction monitoring) coupled with advice and guidance to appropriate the required stockbreeding practices will enable the stockbreeder to product 20 litres of milk per day.
The price of the milk paid by the LDB will secure profitability to pay for the initial investment while ensuring income for the household (see diagram below). This technical trajectory is coupled with a financial trajectory, whereby the value of the capital is vastly improved after a 4-year cycle, the time it takes for the hybrid females (from the crossing of the Moor zebus and the hybrid bull) to go into lactation.
The mini farm thus makes it possible to meet the three key factors of success for the development of a dairy sector around LDB: temporality, giving stockbreeders and the territory the time to appropriate and capitalize on the changes; the trajectory, making material and immaterial means and resources available (animals, feed, etc., and training and support, respectively) so that each breeder can embark on a path of technical progress; and the gradual removal of restrictive factors in the territory (lack of access to water, difficulties in feeding the livestock, etc.) to enable a larger number of stockbreeders to improve and increase the milk production of their herd.
Towards an innovative territorial development method
The implementation of this development plan will be effective and relevant if and only if the project is pursued jointly by the LDB (which buys and uses the milk) and the stockbreeders (who produce the milk). This sectoral or inter-professional type of approach has to materialize on the territory. We therefore propose to create an entity owned by the LDB, the stockbreeders and possibly other stakeholders in the territory. This company will have its own governance and will be tasked with meeting the needs of the stockbreeders (production of forage, trading feeding stuffs, technical advice, training) and the needs of the LDB (selling milk) with an obligation of result. It will be the armed wing of the stockbreeders and the LDB in the service of balanced territorial development based on the production and use of milk, that could expand its scope of action tomorrow to guide and support the transition to a sustainable rural community in Senegal.
The Foundation strengthens its support for the Laiterie du Berger
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation stepped up its support initiated in 2010 for Laiterie du Berger in which it holds 11.5% of the capital, with a new loan in the form of a shareholders’ current account and a new stake in the capital. With this new investment, the Foundation’s overall investment in the Laiterie du Berger comes to €758,000, or 16% of the Foundation’s Social Business commitments.
The Laiterie du Berger is a social business that processes the milk collected from Peul livestock breeders in the North of Senegal into yoghurt and other dairy products sold under the Dolima brand. By ensuring a fixed income for livestock breeders and helping them to improve the productivity of their flocks, the Laiterie du Berger helps to strengthen the local economic fabric and ensure a greater food security for the country which imports 90% of the milk consumed.
Created in 2008, under the joint impetus of the directors of Crédit Agricole S.A. and Professor Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Crédit Agricole SA Foundation is a multi-business operator that contributes to the fight against poverty through financial inclusion and entrepreneurship with a social impact. As an investor, lender, technical assistance coordinator and fund advisor, the Foundation supports microfinance institutions and social enterprises in nearly 40 countries.
CA Franche Comté and the Foundation support la Laiterie du Berger
Amundi, through its solidarity savings funds, invests on behalf of its clients in unlisted, innovative, growing companies with a positive social and environmental impact. This new investment enables Laiterie du Berger, a key player in the dairy sector, to develop and strengthen the resilience of the dairy sector in Senegal.
This investment has been carried out alongside the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, a partner of Laiterie du Berger since 2010 and in which it holds 11.5% capital stake. An international stakeholder in inclusive finance or microfinance services, the Foundation works with a network of nearly 70 microfinance institutions and social companies in some 30 countries, mainly in rural areas. It is through this network that the Foundation contributes to social inclusion by the financing of income-generating activities.
The dairy sector favours the emergence of territorial dynamics in Northern Senegal
Interview with Bagoré Bathily, founder and CEO of Laiterie du Berger
A committed player to the professionalization of the dairy sector, from its dairy factory located in the Saint-Louis region in northern Senegal, Laiterie du Berger is based on a local supply organisation considered a model in Sahelian Africa. A social impact company in which the Foundation is a shareholder, it continues to flourish thanks to the implementation of its subsidiary Kossam SDE, a livestock development company. This is an interview with Bagoré Bathily, Founder, Chairmain and CEO of Laiterie du Berger.
– You created Kossam SDE, a subsidiary of Laiterie du Berger. What is it?
Bagoré Bathily, CEO of Laiterie du Berger: The Kossam project started in 2017 with a Solidarity Bankers mission, a a skills volunteering programme of Crédit Agricole, carried out by Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, who today heads Kossam.
The objective of Kossam is to strengthen and structure the dairy sector in Northern Senegal. It operates through fifteen mini-farms that test and make the model more reliable.
– What exactly are these mini-farms? What is their impact on the region?
They are pools of dairy specialisation. In practical terms, farmers place the best milk-producing cows of their herds in the stables at any time of the year. Kossam provides them with the best production conditions in terms of feeding, watering, reproduction monitoring, advice.
These actions give coherence to the sector, enhance the sector and slow down transhumance. The sector is getting organised and becoming more attractive. Young people get involved, train in new professions, gain responsibilities. It also has an impact on families. Thanks to the income from dairy farming, they settle down, improve their living conditions, and send children to school. Around Kossam, an entire territorial dynamism is being established.
– With Kossam, Laiterie du Berger expands its scope of expertise. What balance and prospects do you draw from the Senegalese dairy sector?
Today, our local milk production level has reached industrial levels. With higher income prospects, the industry is now structured and our social entrepreneurship model continues to demonstrate its effectiveness. We have found outlets for our products in the Dakar region. When it was launched ten years ago, Laiterie du Berger had a turnover of € 30,000. Now it reaches € 10 million. We plan to reach 2,000 families by 2022 and deploy 100 mini-farms nationwide. Each progress represents a new challenge!
– Laiterie du Berger benefits from the support of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté and Amundi. How important are your partners?
Laiterie du Berger and Kossam are companies based on the social impact entrepreneurship model, one for the production and distribution of dairy products, the other for the raising of livestock and milk production. Our model goes hand in hand with a culture of alliance and cooperation. All of our stakeholders commit themselves with mutual understanding: local communities, farmers, financial partners. We all work with the same objective: allow Fulani breeders in the sahelian zone, who represent more than half of the population, to make a living of their activity. This is essential to the stability of the region.
What are the next steps for Laiterie and Kossam?
Kossam received a USD.5 million grant from Mastercard Foundation. It will help speed up the dairy’s activity and generate over 5,000 jobs in the dairy sector in Senegal. The grant will be used to increase milk collection to 4,000 tonnes and to capitalise on the restructuring of the collection system.
The Foundation grants 7 new fundings in sub-Saharan Africa
During the first half of the year, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has granted seven new fundings in sub-Saharan Africa to historic partners.
In Benin, the RENACA microfinance institution received a loan in local currency equivalent to € 762,000 over a three-year period. RENACA is a mutual microfinance institution whose mission is to significantly strengthen the economic base of rural populations. To date, the institution has 27,000 active borrowers, 80% of whom live in rural areas and 59.5% of whom are women.
In Kenya, the Foundation granted a new loan in local currency equivalent to € 2 million to the microfinance institution Musoni. Musoni Kenya is a microfinance institution that leverages Information Communication Technology (ICT) heavily to manage its operations efficiently and to scale rapidly. To date, the institution has 44,000 active borrowers, 66.3% of whom are women and 63.3% of whom live in rural areas.
In Uganda, ENCOT received a new loan in local currency equivalent to € 296,000 over a three-year period. This loan was made within the framework of the African Facility, a programme developed by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation in partnership with the French Development Agency to support small microfinance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. ENCOT is an indigenous rural community development microcredit and rural-enterprise development NGO whose goal is to provide financial and enterprise development services. To date, the institution has 6,200 active borrowers, 56% of whom are women and 88.4% live in rural areas.
Similarly, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Foundation granted a loan equivalent to € 540,000 within the framework of the African Facility, to the microfinance institution Paidek, an institution whose role is to finance the development of small commercial or livestock-raising activities. To date, Paidek has 15,500 active borrowers, 51% of whom are women and 31.2% of whom live in rural clients.
In Zambia, the Foundation also provided a new loan in local currency equivalkent to € 300,000 over a three-year period to Agora Microfinance Zambia (AMZ), within the framework of the African Facility. AMZ is a microfinance institution which targets specifically people with low incomes through suitable financial products. To date, it has 37,100 active borrowers, 58% of whom are women and 85% of whom live in rural areas.
Finally, in Senegal, the Foundation has made two new investments. A first investment was made with the microfinance institution CAURIE in the form of a loan, for an amouint in local currency equivalent to € 1.14 million over a four-year period. Caurie Microfinance’s mission is to contribute to the economic and social improvement of poor microentrepreneurs. The institution now has 72,200 active borrowers, 99% of whom are women. 55% of Caurie’s customers live in rural areas. The second investment made by the Foundation in this country was made in the form of an equity investment to Laiterie du Berger for an amount equivalent to € 99,700. La Laiterie du Berger, of whom the Foundation has been a shareholder since 2010, is a social company that collects milk from Fulani herders, in the North of the country, and transforms it into yogurts and other dairy products that are sold under the brand Dolima.
With these new investments, the Foundation raises the amount of its commitments in Sub-Saharan Africa to nearly € 41 million, that is 41% of the total amount of the Foundation’s commitments as of end of August 2019.
Solidarity Notebooks: A Solidarity Banker in Senegal
By Haoly Basse, Crédit Agricole CIB
Launched by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A. in 2018, Solidarity Bankers is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees for microfinance institutions or impact companies supported by the Foundation. Discover the platform of Haoly Basse, a CACIB Solidarity Banker who went to Senegal in July to provide guidance and support to KOSSAM, a social business supported by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.
When I discovered the Solidarity Bankers programme, I felt an affinity with the values of commitment, solidarity and sharing embodied by the assignments offered. I became aware that the values conveyed by Crédit Agricole were not just “pretty words” but were backed by inspiring, visible and concrete actions.
I therefore decided to apply for a “digital” assignment in favour of KOSSAM Société de développement de l’élevage (KSDE) in Senegal — an assignment even closer to my heart as I stem from the North of Senegal. KOSSAM is a social business, a subsidiary of the Laiterie du Berger, which works with nearly 450 local dairy farmers and aims to develop a sustainable dairy industry in the North of the country. The aim of the assignment was to provide guidance and support for the company in deploying the digital application “Com care” which will help improve the collecting conditions and the company’s knowledge of its farmers – suppliers.
After a series of talks with the Foundation’s team, I was confirmed as a Solidarity Banker. I also had the support of my employer, Crédit Agricole CIB, which covered 50% of the assignment time by way of skills-based sponsorship. The adventure had started.
Morning visits, meetings and learning
The discussions leading up to the assignment with the team of the Foundation and KOSSAM enabled me to prepare for the intense task that lay ahead. I arrived in Dakar on Saturday, 29 June, and was met at the airport by Jonathan Michaud, one of the first Solidarity Bankers stemming from Crédit Agricole Franche Comté, who was posted on a two-year assignment as General Manager of KOSSAM.
The next day I attended the annual Convention of supplying farmers held in Saly by the Laiterie du Berger. It was a sterling opportunity for me to take part in a key moment during which I was able to observe the strong cohesion of the dairy farmers and teams of the Laiterie du Berger and KOSSAM in facing the challenges of the dairy industry.
The following Monday was my first day at work in Richard Toll. As it happened to be payday, I was able to meet most of the farmers who worked with KOSSAM. On the days which followed, I paid several field visits which started at 5:00 AM to help the teams of KOSSAM with the deployment of the digital application “Com Care” to collect milk from the dairy farmers and to feed the company’s database. The needs of the users vary: save time when performing their work, have reliable data that can be shared in real time, automate repetitive tasks, implement procedures and have a reliable information system. The discussions with the farmers were rich and instructive, particularly concerning the establishment of mini farms – one of the development pillars of KOSSAM.
In addition to visiting several farms, I also visited the plant of the Laiterie du Berger. I found the shop foreman’s description of the industrial processes for the design of dairy products captivating. I was impressed by his professionalism and technical acumen. I also took part in the inauguration of the water fountains in one of the stores selling food in the bush – a fine moment of sharing and celebration.
10 days after – the next steps
I drew on all the data collected to analyse the existing situation and to make recommendations on how to accelerate the company’s digitization. The subsequent steps will consist of putting in place a reliable information system for KOSSAM so as to have access to shared data in real time to manage the work on a day-to-day basis and to develop the company’s business.
This assignment was very eye-opening for me, because I would have never imagined that being close to the farming world would have pleased me so much. I enjoyed being close to the dairy farmers and the local teams, sharing their everyday lives, listening to them and seeing the impact their actions and collective work had in the field. There is an African saying: “we are broke but not brazen.” I find it most telling of the mutual assistance and solidarity that I witnessed throughout my assignment. These values are deeply rooted in Senegal and it is invigorating to share them.
I returned to Paris transformed with a desire to go back to Senegal, because the country has enormous potential for development. I have come away with a rich professional experience and a fine human adventure which has reinforced my ties with the Crédit Agricole Group.
Acknowledgements: I wish to thank Eric Campos, Céline Hyon-Naudin and Carolina Herrera of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Jonathan Michaud and the teams of KOSSAM for having shared this great adventure with me. I would also like to thank Martine Boutinet, Gwenael Le Rosec, Vanessa Ferreira and Marion Longchambon of the Human Resources Department as well as Pierre-Yves Bollard, Aude Richard, Stéphanie Prigent and Sylvain Lefebvre of the GIT Department of Crédit Agricole CIB for their support.
Follow the Group's employees committed to the Solidarity Bankers missions
This summer, follow on Instagram the Group’s employees who have committed themselves to the “Solidarity Banker” missions.
Solidarity Banker is a skills volunteering programme open to all Crédit Agricole Group employees for organisations funded by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. Created in 2008, the Foundation supports over 75 microfinance institutions and social enterprises in some 30 countries.
Since the launch of the programme in June 2018, 12 missions have been proposed. This is a great success and it demonstrates the commitment of employees and the Group to support projects with a social impact.
This summer, we will follow three solidarity bankers throughout their missions: a first “digital” mission to support a Senegalese social enterprise, a “business plan” mission to support a Haitian social enterprise and a “Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT)” mission to support a microfinance institution in Morocco.
A Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole CIB in Senegal
From Sunday 30 June, follow Haoly Basse, who, with the support of Crédit Agricole CIB, is heading to Senegal to support KOSSAM, a social enterprise that works with nearly 450 local farmers and aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in the North of the country. Haoly will support Kossam in the deployment of a digital application that will improve collection conditions and KOSSAM’s knowledge of breeder-suppliers.
A great story to add: KOSSAM is now managed by Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from Crédit Agricole Franche Comté who, after a mission as a Solidarity Banker for La Laiterie du Berger, was seconded for 2 years to support the development of the project.
A Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole SA in Morocco
On July 13th, Sarah Belbachir, a Solidarity Banker from Crédit Agricole SA went to Morocco to support the Al Karam Foundation, a partner microfinance institutionof the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The mission, which is done in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc, which organized a training session in skills sponsorship, and Crédit Agricole SA, aims at improving the Alkarama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco.
Visit the Group’s Instagram account @groupecreditagricolecareers !
For further information, visit //gca-foundation.org/solidarity-banker
Contact Carolina Herrera
Kossam SDE: reinspiring youth, investing in development
By Chloé Chevrand & Evelyne Offroy, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
After a mission as a Solidarity Banker for La Laiterie du Berger, Jonathan Michaud is now Director of Kossam SDE, a project led by La Laiterie, which aims to structure the dairy sector in northern Senegal. Spotlight on our discussions with this agricultural engineer from Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, who has been seconded for two years to support the development of this project with a strong social impact.
Structuring the dairy sector in Senegal
To be the driving force behind the territorial development of Richard Toll’s dairy basin in northern Senegal: this is the shared ambition of Laiterie du Berger and its subsidiary Kossam SDE. Since its creation in 2005, La Laiterie du Berger has established itself as a pioneering social enterprise in the country.
Today, it has become the second largest player in the Senegalese yoghurt market and the main national company processing local milk. It works with the Coopérative des éleveurs de Dagana, which groups 800 Peul farmers, employs 300 people and produces 6000 tonnes of yoghurt each year. In early 2019, in order to consolidate the activity and the dairy sector, La Laiterie du Berger and the Coopérative des éleveurs de Dagana cofounded the social enterprise Kossam – Société de Développement de l’Elevage (Kossam SDE).
Kossam SDE aims to structure and strengthen the dairy sector by providing local services (livestock feed, fodder,…) and training and advice to local farmers. The company is developing a model of “mini-farms” currently in the pilot phase (15 units in operation) and aims to set up 100 mini-farms by 2022 (more information on the project here).
Young people as actors of development
At the heart of this development plan, youth occupies an important place. In a context where youth employment is a challenge in Senegal, Kossam is setting up an ambitious system to support young people in a process of professionalization in dairy production.
Thus, the training offered to breeders are also open to their families. Indeed, the breeders of La Laiterie are mainly families, or rather family organizations, consisting of a “canister manager”, man or woman, behind whom works a whole family structure. “There is a real will of the breeders trained by Kossam to involve and empower their children in the work of the farm. Kossam SDE has planned to intensify the training and support for the and local youth, on the aspects of technical and economic management of the farm and family,” says the Director of Kossam SDE, Jonathan Michaud, Credit Agricultural Engineer Agricole Franche Comté, detached for 2 years to develop the project.
Moreover, young people are not only involved as breeders, but in others links in the dairy chain. Indeed, from many young people are elected as managers of the dairy divisions (which are of the local chapters of the cooperative). Whereas these positions were once reserved for senior managers, today the involvement of young people in agricultural and local of the sector’s model in structuring.
Finally, youth employment is promoted at the level of milk collection. Kossam SDE has thus made it possible to create the profession of “collector”, now exercised by local young people. Jonathan Michaud says that the development of milk collection and the generation of increasing incomes through dairy activity contribute greatly to the stabilization of young populations in Richard Toll’s dairy basin. In addition, the project has changed the image of the dairy industry towards young people: dairy production has become a rewarding, remunerative and attractive activity for local populations, especially for new generations. With the increase in productivity of farms, the creation of new professions around breeding will become essential (by for example, the creation of livestock advisors, technicians of breeding). As pointed out by Jonathan Michaud, it is the logical continuation of the movement already initiated by La Laiterie du Berger for more than 10 years around professionalization dairy, which requires support, supervision, structures and thus creates employment by and around the milk production.
With Kossam, the movement is growing stronger, based on training, entrepreneurship and the involvement of young people, innovators and key development actors in Senegal.
A first successful year for the Solidarity bankers programme
By Carolina Herrera, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
At the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole S.A., “Solidarity Bankers” missions are offered to Crédit Agricole Group employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or companies with a social impact supported by the Foundation.
Senegal, Morocco, Haiti… : a great success for the first year
Less than a year after its launch in 2018, the success of the program confirms the commitment and willingness of employees to support projects with a social impact. This is the first time that a partnership of this type has been launched by Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to enhance the skills of Crédit Agricole Group employees and, on the other hand, to provide additional support to the Foundation’s microfinance institutions and partner companies with one- to two-week missions in the field.
In 2018, six missions were launched, three of which were carried out in 2018 and three planned for 2019. For example, a mission took place in Cambodia with the support of Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI) to support the human resources management of Chamroeun, a partner microfinance institution serving more than 27,500 clients. Another mission was carried out in Senegal, in partnership with Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté, in favour of Laiterie du Berger, a social enterprise in which the Foundation is a shareholder. In addition, with the support of the Regional Bank, the Solidarity Banker who carried out the mission left for 2 years to support Kossam, the Dairy’s project to structure the dairy sector in Senegal.
A mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in July 2019 in cooperation with Crédit du Maroc and Crédit Agricole SA to improve the Al Karama Foundation’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems (AML-FT). The institution currently supports more than 26,200 clients in Morocco. Another mission launched in 2018 will be carried out in Haiti to support Palmis Enèji, a social enterprise that offers clean and accessible cooking and lighting solutions to Haitian households. Crédit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank supports the Solidarity Banker, who will carry out the entire mission in terms of skills sponsorship.
Cambodia, Kenya, Tajikistan… in 2019 the programme scales up
To date, six missions have been launched in 2019. A mission in favour of Kossam, the Laiterie du Berger project, which aims to develop a sustainable dairy sector in Senegal. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for supporting Kossam in the deployment of a digital “commcare collection” application. Another mission is planned to support the financial management and organizational structure of Cirque Phare (PPSE) in Cambodia. PPSE aims to promote the social inclusion and empowerment of young people through Cambodian culture and arts. A mission will take place in favour of ACRE Africa, which provides crop insurance services to smallholders. The Solidarity Banker will be responsible for analysing the organisation’s new business strategy.
For these first missions launched in 2019, the selection process for Solidarity Bankers has been finalised. To date, three new missions are to be filled: a mission to support the “business model” of Humo, a microfinance institution in Tajikistan; a “management control” mission to support Musoni, a microfinance institution in Kenya; and a “digital” mission to support SFA, a social enterprise in Senegal.
Other missions are currently being planned with the support of the Crédit Agricole Group’s entities and Regional Banks. With this scheme, the Group reaffirms its commitment to support employees’ solidarity initiatives and work alongside the Foundation to promote more inclusive and sustainable finance.
During the first quarter, the Foundation makes 5 new investments in Africa
During the first quarter of 2019, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation stepped up its presence with its African partners with the granting of five new financings, notably in the form of senior loans. At the end of March 2019, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation had 40 partners located in sub-Saharan Africa, which represents 42% of the Foundation’s commitments at the end of the first quarter.
As part of the African Facility programme, it has provided a loan in local currency equivalent to € 800,000 to Eclof Kenya, a microfinance institution that provides financial and non-financial services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. while actively promoting savings. To date, the institution that finances 58% of women, has over 30,000 clients, 60% of them located in rural areas.
Also in East Africa, the Foundation has granted a new loan in local currency equivalent to €1 million to UGAFODE, a Ugandan microfinance institution whose main mission is to offer its clients affordable primary financial services. The institution currently has 17,300 clients, of whom almost 20% are women and about 80% are in rural areas.
In West Africa, the Foundation has granted a new loan to Togolese microfinance institution Coopec Sifa for a total amount in local currency equivalent to € 305,000. Coopec Sifa, which is funded under the African Facility programme, is a microfinance institution that offers small loans to its nearly 38,000 clients, mostly women (86%) in the north of the country.
In addition, ACEP Burkina has also been granted a new loan equivalent to €2.3 million in CFA francs. This microfinance institution, a partner of the Foundation since 2016, specialises in financing microenterprises and very small businesses in urban centers and near suburbs. It currently has 12,300 clients, 20% of whom are women.
Finally, in Senegal, the Foundation has strengthened its partnership with Laiterie du Berger, of which it has been a shareholder since 2010, with the granting of a loan in the form of ashareholders’ current account, for an amount in CFA francs equivalent to €229 000. Laiterie du Berger is a social company that collects milk from Fulani herders, in the North of the country, and transforms it into yogurts and other dairy products that are sold under the brand Dolima.
Harmony between social performance and economic performance is possible
By Hélène Sananikone, Fondation Grameen Crédit Agricole
“Social” and “business” are two terms that have often been considered incompatible and for many continue to be so. Nevertheless, there are economic models which set structural objectives to reconcile social impact and economic development in one plan. In the beginning of the 2000s, professor Yunus laid the foundations of a model with these characteristics: social business. Like any conventional business, it aims to turn a financial profit, but must at the same time meet its social utility objective which is integrated into the core of its governance and operations.
Projecting a profitability profile when you are concerned about social impact is no easy matter, because this objective entails additional costs for the company. The break-even point necessarily takes longer to reach, as the capital requirement is often mechanically greater, but the equation is far from impossible.
More specifically, when executives are driven by a determined resolve to create positive externalities by creating value for their company, they find the means to generate social impact and to sustain their action. Increasingly in demand, this model that combines impact and profitability is establishing itself more and more as a model for the future. At the foundation, we see more and more companies that are seeking to serve low-income (Base of Pyramid, BoP) customers by relying on the volume effect but also by pooling the costs on an extensive range of products. In this case, the social objectives turns out to be a wealth creation lever. A case in point is the Laiterie du Berger, a Senegalese social business company in which the Grameen Crédit Agricole holds a shareholding stake.
The Laiterie du Berger: an entrepreneurial adventure
The Laiterie du Berger is the story of a Senegalese family and friends who believed that it was possible to structure a milk production sector in Senegal. At the outset, the project entailed proposing an economic model to Fulani stockbreeders to enable them to increase their income and thus to improve their standard of living, thanks to a model for the production, collection, and marketing of Senegalese milk.
When the project was developed, many thought it was impossible: using Senegalese fresh milk to make dairy products is like building an oasis in the desert: very expensive and not very competitive vis-à-vis competitors who use only milk powder imported directly from major producing nations.
Faced with these difficulties, the project initiators looked for industrial and financial partners for the long run to build a milk value chain together. The Laiterie du Berger thus developed a hybrid model by using milk produced locally together with milk powder to bring down the cost of industrial production. The company moreover developed an umbrella mark, “Dolima,” that covers a range of products at an affordable price intended for populations with varied income level, all of which were nonetheless interested in consuming dairy products. The company recently reinforced its growth with the slogan “Good for me, good for my country” which enabled “Dolima” to become a national reference.
After 12 years of activity, the Laiterie du Berger provides a wide range of well segmented dairy products and has now reached the economic balance point. The factory is fully operational and new investments are planned to keep up with the demand for Dolima products.
Thanks to the tenacity of its founder and joint shareholders, the company has always been mindful of its social mission while having to wait for many years for its economic model to be put in place. It is by mastering the agricultural value chain “from farm to table,” or “from farmer to consumer,” that this project not only managed to see the day but also to break even – a process that took 10 years.
A future to be shared by and between Franche-Comté and Senegal
A second chapter will now open thanks to the entry of a new shareholder: Crédit Agricole Franche Comté. Following a “Solidarity Banker” mission in June 2018, the regional bank accepted to second an agricultural engineer for two years to KOSAM 2, a project that aspires to set up a milk sector. The territorial problems of the North of Senegal are actually similar to what Franche-Comté went through to create the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée du Comté (AOC) [designation of origin] and the development of dairy farm milk. The aim is to sustain the income of stockbreeders by building their production capacity and making sure that the Laiterie du Berger has the necessary supplies to develop its specific range.
The story of the Laiterie du Berger shows us that although complex, the marriage between profitability and social impact is possible. At the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, we are convinced and will continue, alongside our partners, to promote this vision of the future of the company and sustainable finance.
The Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary
A festive evening to mark the 10th anniversary of the Foundation
Women and the Africas at the heart of the Foundation’s actions
2019-2022: An ambitious action plan for enhanced impact
Banquiers solidaires, the Crédit Agricole Group's volunteer programme
Many Crédit Agricole Group employees volunteer for solidarity projects. To support this dynamic, the Group launched “CA Solidaires”, a programme that promotes employee commitment to projects with positive social impact. It is within this framework that a new commitment scheme is now proposed to the group’s employees: Solidarity Leaves. On the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, skill-based voluntary missions carrying the “Banquier Solidaire” label are proposed to employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or “social business” companies, partners of the Foundation.
This is a unique partnership in the history of Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. With “Banquier Solidaire,” the Group and the Foundation are capitalizing on their synergies and stepping up their action in favour of sustainable finance. The objective is to provide additional advice and guidance for the microfinance and social businesses supported by the Foundation via pro bono missions carried out by the staff of the Crédit Agricole Group.
First missions in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cambodia
The first mission under the “Banquier Solidaire” programme was carried out in Burkina Faso, in cooperation with Crédit Agricole Assurances. Eduardo Cardoso de Miranda, an expert in borrowers insurance at CA Insurance, provided guidance and support for the Foundation during a due diligence exercise at CIF-VIE. Created in 2013 with the support of the RCPB, the main microfinance cooperative network in Burkina Faso, and the NGO ADA, CIF-VIE intervenes in the micro-insurance sector and holds 6% of the shares of the local market. Taking a new step in its growth at this time, CIF-VIE is opening its capital to new shareholders. Thanks to the contributions by CA Assurance, the Foundation has been able to get a better understanding of the structure and to assess the possibility of investing in it. The assessment of the CIF-VIE financing file is in progress.
A second mission was carried out in Senegal for the Laiterie du Berger, a social company in which the Foundation is a shareholder, which today supports over 800 Peuls stockbreeders in the north of the country. With the support of Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté (shareholder of the Laiterie du Berger), Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from the Regional Bank, embarked on a technical assistance mission for two weeks. The aim was to structure an operating framework to be able to go from experimentation to deployment for 15 pilot mini-farms of the Laiterie du Berger. As a result of the mission, an action plan was formalized and a more ambitious cooperation was planned between Crédit Agricole Franche Comté and the Laiterie du Berger.
In cooperation with Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI), a mission was held in September and October in favour of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. François Galland, International Human Resources Manager, spent two weeks in the field to help improve the HR management of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. The HR strategy that will be charted following the mission will be geared to providing support for the organisation restructuring of Chamroeun, which today serves over 25,200 clients in Cambodia, including 82% women.
Upcoming missions in Morocco and Kazakhstan
Before the end of 2018, two other missions could be launched in favour of Al-Karama in Morocco and KMF in Kazakhstan. Al-Karama today serves over 26,200 clients in Morocco. It should benefit from financing and technical assistance under a cooperation scheme by and between the Foundation and Crédit du Maroc, including a mission of “Banquier Solidaire” to improve its systems for the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. KMF is the largest microfinance institution in Kazakhstan with more than 220 000 active borrowers and a €257 million portfolio. KMF will welcome a Crédit Agricole expert to help it develop its products and services offering.
The commitment of the Crédit Agricole Group alongside the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is being bolstered with “Banquier Solidaire,” which marks the commitment of the mutualist Group for a sustainable finance that promotes a more responsible and better-shared economy.
How to apply?
There are several missions pending for CA Solidaires. To discover them:
Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find your mission ”
Enter “Grameen Foundation” in the search bar: All the Solidarity Leaves will appear!
Click on the offer of your choice and you will find all the information you need to apply.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Second meeting of the Foundation Friends Club
The second meeting of the Foundation Friends Club, the very first of 2018, took place on June 26 and brought together collaborators of both Crédit Agricole Group and the Foundation. This event provided an opportunity for sharing information on the Foundation’s activities and its projects with the Group. The meeting was organized in three parts and focused on the Foundation’s activities in 2017, the program “Solidary Banker by CA”, and the cooperation schemes with Group entities at the international level.
Eric Campos, Delegate general of the Foundation, opened the event by making a brief presentation about the Foundation and its 2017 integrated report. With 49,3 million euros of financing granted in 2017 and 69 microfinance and social business institutions supported in more than 30 countries, the Foundation has shown a positive record and has confirmed its position as an actor committed with a more inclusive economy.
Thereafter, the meeting turned to the existing synergies between the Foundation and the Crédit Agricole Group. Carolina Herrera, Head of Communication & Investors and Partners Relations, presented the skills-based volunteering programme “Solidary Banker by CA”, recently established between the Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA. This is a unique initiative in the history of both the Group and the Foundation, which aims at strengthening the assistance provided by the Foundation to microfinance institutions and social businesses while promoting skills of Crédit Agricole group collaborators.
This is the case of Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer of Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté who participated in the event with the purpose of sharing his experience after a mission to the Laiterie du Berger in Senegal – a social business of which the Foundation and the Caisse Régionale are shareholders.
During the meeting, Hélène Sananikone, equity investment manager of the Foundation, and Jonathan Michaud presented the Laiterie du Berger that promotes the development of the dairy industry in Northern Senegal through a cooperative production mode.
Besides Crédit Agricole France-Comté’s societal commitment, similarities between Laiterie du Berger’s business model and Franche-Comté’s development paradigm have motivated the Caisse Régionale to support this project. As a result of the mission, a detailed action plan has been elaborated and approved by the Laiterie’s Executive Board. The purpose of this action plan is to enhance the business’s productivity and ensure the sustainability of its business model.
The final part of this Foundation’s Circle of Friends meeting focused on the cooperation between the Foundation and the Group at the international level. Caroline Brandt and Violette Cubier, investment managers of the Foundation, presented the cooperation schemes – already in place in Egypt and under negotiation in India, Serbia and Morocco. These partnerships will provide financing to local microfinance institutions, thus allowing both the Foundation to expand its activities and Group entities to position themselves as funders of the social solidarity economy sector.
At the end of the meeting, the audience has been invited to the next edition of the Foundation’s Circle of Friends to take place on October 2nd in Crédit Agricole Montrouge Campus. More news will follow on the Foundation and Group commitments in favor of the inclusive finance sector and the development of rural economies around the world.
Entrepreneurs who change the world
From the very the first pages of their book, Matthieu Dardaillon and Jonas Guyot say: “The future belongs to those who do not resign themselves”. Still full time students in a prestigious business school, the two friends left for three years, to meet social entrepreneurs, enlightened leaders and committed citizens who use their businesses to make a difference in society.
From Europe to Asia and Africa, they speak about their discussions with these “visionaries”: Antonio Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, who fights poverty in the Philippines; Bagoré Bathily, from la Laiterie du Berger in Senegal; or Arnaud Poissonnier, founder of the Babyloan microcredit network … *
From this world tour, they mainly brought back the conviction that it is always possible to act, at one’s own level and on its own way.