GAIA actions 2018

September 2018–Milking parlor inspection programme for cooperating dairy farms in the Western Peloponnese.

DELTA’s milking parlor inspection programme for cooperating dairy farms in Western Peloponnese is yet another example of the company’s solid support for produces and the sustainable development of the primary sector of dairy farming.

The program was implemented in 34 cattle-feeding units in the districts of Ilia and Achaia. The company in charge of the inspection compiled a detailed report for each farm, which provided useful input on how to ensure each parlor’s optimal operation, the programming of services and the timely provision of spare parts–a task undertaken by EUROFEED.

Responsible for this initiative was E. Mikropoulos, Veterinarian and Regional Director of milk zone of South Greece, and was implemented under the supervision of R. Karambellas, Veterinarian and Support Supervisor of the local Zone. This particular DELTA initiative is implemented in cooperation with EUROFEED and will expand to other regions of Greece. It is expected to have a positive impact on the quality of milk, as well as the sustainability of animal farms. Furthermore, it reinforces the sense of trust that exists between DELTA and cooperating animal farmers all over Greece.

4/6/2018–Completion of the scholarship programme for new animal farmers offered by DELTA to the American Farm School of Thessaloniki for the second consecutive year.

May 29th, 2018, marked the completion of training of 25 new animal farmers which took place at the American Farm School of Thessaloniki’s School of Professional Education. For the second time in a row, DELTA offered scholarships to new animal farmers and children of cooperating animal farmers. The programme’s goal is to provide specialised, experiential training to new animal farmers, in order to improve the sustainability of the farms where they’re employed.

The graduates participated in educational seminars with a duration of four months, studying techniques on animal farming unit management.

The scholarships were part of the GAIA Action Plan, which DELTA has been implementing since 2012.  The plan’s mission is the support and sustainable development of the primary sectorparticularly animal farmingas well as to advance the company’s strategy of encouraging and supporting youth.

During the graduation ceremony, which took place at the American Farm School, the graduates received their participation certificates from the Center for Life-Long Learning Level 2 of the American Farm School, and attended speeches by DELTA and American Farm School executives.

12/3/2018–DELTA’s educational seminar titled “Conditions and prospects for the development of cattle breeding in the Western Peloponnese.”

Part of DELTA’s GAIA Action Plan, the seminar took place in Kourouta, Ilia, on Monday, March 12th, 2018. Implemented with the cooperation of EUROFEED, the aim of this particular event was to provide training to cattle breeders on areas pertaining to the sustainability and the competitiveness of dairy farms, such as animal welfare, proper feeding practices and reproduction. In charge of this successful event was Mr. E. Mikropoulos, Regional Director of milk zone of South Greece. Attendees included many producers from the districts of Ilia and Achaia, representatives of local veterinarian and geotechnical services, as well as local media.

In welcoming the attendees, the mayor of Ilida Mr. H. Christodoulopoulos emphasised the importance of initiatives in supporting the primary sector in the prefecture. Also presented during the seminar were DELTA’s supportive actions for collaborating animal farmers, as well as the importance of ensuring cashflow for producers through the Program of Contract Framing.

Addressing animal farmers, University of Thessaly Professor G. Amoiridis analysed the need of a solid business plan, as well as the ability to prioritise important issues pertaining to animal welfare. He mentioned that “milk is intrinsically linked to animal welfare, and before evaluating animal productivity an animal farmer ought to perform a tough and objective fair self-evaluation regarding his implementation of proper practices.”

Agricultural University of Athens Professor G. Zervas analysed the pivotal contribution of a balanced nutrition to the financial sustainability of dairy farms, as this can be conducive to animal welfare and longevity, as well as to the quality of milk. Emphasising the biological value of milk as food, Mr. Zervas said: “Milk is an irreplaceable food because it is full of nutrients. It is the first food we consume when we’re born and continues to be beneficial throughout our lives.”

The event was covered by local TV, print and electronic media and was hailed as being extremely important for the development of dairy farming in the Western Peloponnese.

The conclusion of the event was followed by the commencement of the Farm Consultation Programme, which included visits and evaluations at 6 farms in the regions of Ilia and Achaia, in cooperation with the University of Thessaly’s Veterinary School.