Land O’Lakes/Philippines Receives Presidential Honor

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The Philippines government has awarded Land O'Lakes International Development with a Presidential Citation for implementing programs that have “uplifted the lives of the Filipino people,” while supporting the government’s policies focused on increasing food security and productivity.

We are enormously honored to be recognized like this by the Philippines government...

The Philippines government has awarded Land O'Lakes International Development with a Presidential Citation for implementing programs that have “uplifted the lives of the Filipino people,” while supporting the government’s policies focused on increasing food security and productivity.

Land O'Lakes Country Director Qazi Yawar Naeem and Business Development Manager Alan Racoma were presented with the award, signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, at the Presidential Palace on June 28, 2010. Land O'Lakes received the prestigious commendation in response to nominations from the National Dairy Authority and the Philippines Department of Agriculture.

Land O'Lakes has led a range of development programs in the Philippines for the past eight years, which have improved children’s education and health, and played a formative role in developing the country’s indigenous dairy industry.

Beginning in 2002, funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture enabled Land O'Lakes to lead school nutrition programs that provided over 168,000 children across 447 schools in areas with severe malnourishment with daily snacks of milk and biscuits.

With less than 1 percent of milk in the Philippines locally produced, Land O'Lakes later began establishing dairy zones across the island of Mindanao, improving breeding and animal husbandry, access to local feed and veterinary services, expanding consumer marketing, and strengthening dairy processing and quality assurance programs, in efforts that are currently benefiting approximately 118,000 people.

One of the earliest dairy zones established by Land O'Lakes is now being used by the Philippines government to sustainably provide tens of thousands of school children with fresh milk each day. Developing the country’s dairy industry is expected to play a critical role in promoting economic opportunity and sustainable livelihoods for impoverished people across the island.

“We are enormously honored to be recognized like this by the Philippines government, particularly for our supportive role in enabling them to realize priority policies,” said Tom Verdoorn, Vice President of Land O'Lakes International Development, upon hearing of the award. He added, “While our ultimate goal is to improve people’s lives through effective food and agriculture programs, our work is most effective when it supports country-led plans for long-term growth.”

In the Presidential Citation, Land O'Lakes was also specifically lauded for running programs that supported “Beat the Odds,” a set of core policy directives within the Arroyo Administration aimed at promoting food security, education, poverty alleviation, political transparency and conflict resolution.

Founded in 1981, Land O'Lakes International Development functions as a not-for-profit division of the $10 billion agribusiness cooperative Land O'Lakes, Inc. Through more than 170 projects in 75 countries to date, Land O'Lakes International Development assists people in emerging countries to develop cooperative systems and enterprises, improve their agricultural productivity and competitiveness, strengthen food systems and safety, bolster nutrition and health, and reduce food insecurity.

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Jeanne Forbis

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