Former Dairy Industry CEO Launches Enterprise-Based Inititve for Chance

Former Dairy Industry CEO Launches Enterprise-Based Inititve for Chance

venture | dairy is Novel Organization for Social, Economic Advancement in Emerging Markets

Trevor Tomkins, Ph.D., the recently retired chief executive officer of Milk Specialties Global, today announced the launch of the enterprise-based development organization venture | dairy. A 38-year veteran of the dairy industry, Tomkins looked outside of the traditional aid and assistance models to found an organization that infuses emerging-market dairy enterprises with knowledge, technology and capital for positive social and economic change.

The launch of venture | dairy comes as the global demand for milk continues to rapidly increase, outpacing supply in much of the developing world. Promoting social entrepreneurship and international development, Tomkins and the venture | dairy organization work with partners around the globe to increase the efficiency and productivity of small-scale dairy production in emerging markets, building environmentally and economically sustainable dairy enterprises that support healthy, prosperous communities.

“venture | dairy was founded to empower dairy entrepreneurs to establish sustainable business practices that can improve their lives and the lives of their families, and better their communities,” commented Tomkins. “This is the driving force behind our organization.”

Structured to produce measurable outcomes, venture | dairy is both a non-for-profit organization and a social investment fund. The non-for-profit operation prepares dairy enterprises to thrive by supporting technology advancement and training in dairy production, and coaching those involved through the fundamentals of business and value-chain development. The social investment fund provides access to affordable, patient capital in the form of loans or equity that can be used to procure equipment, purchase feed, build infrastructure and oversee operations. Combining the strengths of a non-for-profit organization and an impact-driven social investment fund, venture | dairy allows donors and investors to support the organization’s initiatives in ways that best meet their financial and philanthropic goals.

“venture | dairy’s impact component is in the quantifiable returns it will provide for investors,” explained Tomkins. “Our fund is designed to benefit the entrepreneurs and the investors who will see real and measureable results.”

The organization’s inaugural project in Nicaragua is the formation of a Dairy Hub that will work with Nicaraguan farmers to improve milk production and farm profitability. The Nicaraguan dairy company, Centrolac, is one of the partners in the project, and will have the Tetra Laval Food for Development Office as an advisor. Currently, venture | dairy is also undertaking a feasibility study in Rwanda to determine whether its developing dairy industry can be helped by construction of a dairy processing plant.

venture | dairy is supported by a team of leaders in finance, business, international development and the dairy sciences, all of whom have been involved in the crafting of the organization. The official launch of venture | dairy will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1 at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd.

To learn more about venture | dairy and its projects, please visit www.venturedairy.org.

About venture | dairy
venture | dairy is a novel, enterprise-based development organization that utilizes a hybrid not-for-profit organization and a returns-driven social investment fund to transform dairy enterprises in emerging markets. Founded by Trevor Tomkins, Ph.D., a recognized leader in the dairy industry, venture | dairy combines Tomkins’ executive experience, dairy science background, and passion for development through enterprise into an innovative organization for social change. Promoting dairy as a powerful tool for growth around the world, particularly in emerging markets, venture | dairy works to improve milk production and quality, generate income, create jobs, help businesses grow and communities develop. To learn more about venture | dairy, please visit www.venturedairy.org.

4.25.2012