Dairy Virtual Exchange Tour


APL, Asople, Fedeple, Fedeplet and La Purita, five dairy farmers’ organisations from Bolivia, participated in the First Virtual Exchange Tour organised by Agriterra Latin America. 
Although Covid19 frustrated the possibility of an on-site exchange tour, the flexibility of a remote tour allowed to discuss and analyse for a longer period, with more cooperatives, more countries and more Agripool experts. 

Fifteen Agripool experts from eight cooperatives of The Netherlands, Spain and Chile and two inclusive cheese businesses of Bolivia and Colombia shared their knowledge and experience with five dairy farmers’ organisations from Bolivia in the First Virtual Exchange Tour organised by Agriterra Latin America and the Caribbean.

Each Friday during four months, managers and employees from the dairy farmer organisations joined online sessions with experts from different peer organisations to discuss and learn good practices in the sector, which in turn could be latter adapted to their reality.

Virtual sessions were split in three phases: governance bodies and economic regime in the cooperative model, member support services to increase milk productivity and improve quality, and dairy transformation processes with a focus on quality and efficiency. Each phase had between three and five sessions, one per organisation, in which one or two expert Agripoolers from the organisation shared their experiences and knowledge with staff from APL, ASOPLE, Fedeple, Fedeplet and La Purita. 

In the action plan for 2020, Agriterra planned an Exchange Trip, so Bolivian dairy associations could visit on site cooperatives in Chile. These exchanges allow organisations to learn from their peers. The trip was frustrated due to Covid-19 travelling restrictions. In Agriterra we had to adapt to the new situation so our clients wouldn’t miss the opportunity to learn and grow. For that we reasses and adapted the Exchange Trip to the virtual format. The sessions were organised around previously identified topics and more cooperatives could be discuss. Also two inclusive businesses were included in the tour. The whole process happened over a longer period, giving farmer organisations time to evaluate and rethink experiences before next session.

As part of the mission, consultants analyse Bolivian legislation and evaluated the implications of becoming a cooperative, mainly in terms of tax obligations. Also a parametised tool was developed to do financial analysis and project revenues and cash flows for all organisational models presented in the online sessions. Both, the consultancy and tool, had the objective to explore and adapt the models to the Bolivian reality, so our clients could better decide which practices could be locally implemented.


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