Following the tsunami in 2011, Minero Pilot Farm supported farmers in the Fukushima region while maintaining levels of milk production in Japan.
Although demand for milk was growing in Japan, the country was facing a fall in raw milk production due to recurrent droughts, an increase in abandoned farms, and lack of regeneration of farming population. Danone Dairy Japan wished to secure its milk supply in the long term by contributing to the revitalization of Fukushima’s dairy industry. Danone Ecosystem Fund, Danone Japan and its local partners FAR-Net co-built Minero Pilot Farm project which aimed to develop a cooperative model farm to demonstrate the profitability of a mid-sized farm in Japan. In doing so, it can prove that co- operative farms can go a long way towards securing a balanced life for farmers. Training was provided to support farmers’ professional skills and promote sustainable farming practices, improving milk quantity and quality. Other than that, the project provided a model for sustainable, eco-friendly, energy-saving farming practices.
The project created job opportunities for displaced Fukushima dairy farmers. It also fostered a better quality of life for them especially with stable incomes and a better work-life balance. Meanwhile, Danone Dairy Japan secured its milk supply and built goodwill-based relationships with farmers and key stakeholders in Japan’s milk industry.
The project is now independent and has been handed over in 2015.