04 February 2024, Nashik: Diageo India (United Spirits Ltd) has launched a unique micro-enterprise initiative to empower smallholder women farmers in Nashik. The initiative will initially enable 100 smallholder women farmers with the skills and resources to tackle crop loss, and 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 smallholder 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 Nation’s 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.”
Dr. 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 issue 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 the 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.
About Savitribai Phule Mahila Ekatma Samaj Mandal (SPMESM)
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, Savitribai Phule Mahila Ekatma Samaj Mandal (SPMESM) is today a trusted Not-for-profit of Maharashtra.
After a journey of almost 3 decades, SPMESM today is known for meaningful, need-based developmental projects with extraordinary results! With 90 projects in Health, Education, Skill Development, Natural Resources Management, Women Empowerment, and Sustainable Development; SPMESM has a strong presence in 900+ villages in 12 Districts and 80+ Slums in 2 cities.
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