Diageo India (United Spirits Ltd), an alco-bev company, has launched a micro enterprise initiative to empower small holder women farmers in Nashik. The initiative will initially enable 100 small holder women farmers with the skills and resources to tackle crop loss, food waste and ensure sustainable livelihood.
In collaboration with Savitribai Phule Ekatma Samaj Mandal (SPMESM) as the implementing partner and S4S Technologies as the technical partner, Diageo India will provide training, financial support and equipment to small holder women farmers to sun dry surplus produce and enable last-mile connectivity to the consumers through the food supply chain.
This initiative is aligned to Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress plan which provides support to local sourcing communities to build economic and environmental resilience. In addition, it will contribute towards United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 which aims to halve per capita global food waste and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
The program will focus on skilling women with the right methodology to cut, air-dry, and solar-dry vegetables like tomatoes, onions and ginger. This produce will then be supplied to hotels, restaurants and ingredient manufacturers to enable consistent supply for the food industry and stable income for these women micro entrepreneurs by creating a complete value chain.
Jagbir Singh Sidhu, corporate relations director at Diageo India, said, “At Diageo India, our commitment to Pioneering Grain-to-Glass Sustainability is integral to our Society 2030: Spirit of Progress ESG plan. This collaboration with SPMESM and S4S technologies exemplifies our unwavering commitment to empowering our communities while working with industries and stakeholders in the agricultural supply chain to create tangible and lasting solutions. This initiative marks the inception of India’s contribution to our global commitment of supporting small-holder farmers by enabling them with opportunities to secure their livelihood.”
Pratibha Phatak, founder trustee, SPMESM, remarked on the collaboration, expressing, “We are delighted to partner with Diageo India on this transformative initiative to empower women while devising sustainable solutions to address food and crop wastage issues in Maharashtra. The potential for positive impact is immense, and we look forward to making a meaningful difference together.”
In addition, Diageo India has undertaken several water replenishment projects through construction of check dams, desilting of ponds and improved sanitation and hygiene by building toilets in schools. The company continues to create a positive impact on the environment and has impacted over 59,000 individuals across 23 villages in Maharashtra.
Started in 1994 as a wing for social projects of the well-known Health Organization of Central Maharashtra- Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan’s Dr Hedgewar Hospital (www.hedgewar.org), Savitribai Phule Mahila Ekatma Samaj Mandal (SPMESM) is a not-for-profit of Maharashtra.
Diageo India is among the country’s leading beverage alcohol companies and a subsidiary of global leader Diageo Plc. The company manufactures, sells and distributes a portfolio of brands such as Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, VAT 69, Antiquity, Signature, The Singleton, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No1, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Godawan, an artisanal single malt whisky from India. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it has 37 manufacturing facilities across states and union territories in India.