This project aims at training the next generation of farmers to organic and regenerative dairy farming, while proving the viability of a direct to consumer business model, thanks to a pilot farm.
In France, the dairy sector has difficulty in retaining and attracting farmers and workers, with the number of farms having decreased by 40% over the past 12 years. In addition to this labor shortage, dairy farmers face three recurrent challenges: limited social recognition, an intense workload, and low income. However, demand for local and short-distribution-chain products is growing.
In this context, the Danone Ecosystem Fund teamed up with HECTAR, a 600 ha, tuition-free agriculture school, to launch a pilot dairy farm 40 minutes outside of Paris. The goal of the pilot farm is to showcase how regenerative agriculture, a model that brings together soil protection, animal welfare, and improved work-life balance for farmers, can be economically sustainable thanks to on-farm processing. The farming practices will include rotating grazing land, calves being kept longer with their mothers and one milking session/day instead of two. The project, “La ferme des Godets,” aims to train farmers to regenerative agriculture techniques, as well as business practices, and thereby improve the image and attractiveness of the dairy sector.
“La laiterie des Godets” will welcome students year-round. Students will help produce and transform 200 tons of organic milk/year into yogurt, cream, and cheese. In total, the farm will comprise 60 grazing cows who will have free range on 60 hectares of land. The project intends to showcase the key role played by breeding in regenerative agriculture, to improve farm circularity and soil health.
people trained every year
T of milk produced every year