Elanco Animal Health Incorporated released its 2019 CSR Impact Report detailing measurable progress in helping change the trajectory of global hunger. Through nearly 100,000 employee hours, collaborations and innovative education programs, Elanco helped break the cycle of hunger in 293 communities, impacting more than 1.4 million households, and improving the health of millions of poultry and livestock. The results nearly tripled Elanco’s goal to impact 100 communities.
In the last year alone, Elanco’s shared value efforts have improved the health of millions of poultry and livestock by increasing training and access to products for smallholder farmers. This included a collaboration that used rural farm radio programming to reach and train East African farmers on animal disease, treatment and prevention, resulting in 60% behavior change and improved health not just of animals, but also of the farmers and their communities.
“As a purpose-driven leader in animal health, Elanco is uniquely positioned to make an impact because the health of animals, people and the planet are intrinsically linked,” said Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco. “The impact report highlights our commitments to bringing scientific solutions and expertise that make a difference to animals, our customers, our communities, and society as a whole.”
Food security efforts, like Elanco’s programs, are even more important given the current COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations World Food Programme recently estimated the number of people facing food insecurity worldwide may double to 265 million by the end of this year.
“World Hunger Day has a heightened meaning this year as the COVID-19 pandemic underpins the importance of addressing food insecurity to build resiliency in communities across the globe. The newly formed Elanco Foundation has already donated $700,000 to help in this effort,” said Maria Zampaglione, senior advisor, Corporate Social Responsibility at Elanco. “As a purpose-driven company, Elanco has been and will continue to be committed to improving access to healthy animal protein for communities across the world.”
In 2016, Elanco set a goal to improve food security in 100 communities around the world. The effort:
- Supported communities in 29 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Central/South America.
- Raised nearly $8.8 million in funds.
- Included invaluable volunteer hours by our employees and customers to make the program possible.
Driving Significant Change among Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania
Elanco extended its commitment to fighting food insecurity in 2019 through a breakthrough educational effort with collaborator Farm Radio International (FRI), Expanding Interactive Radio for Livestock Health in Tanzania. The radio programs brought a new way to connect with hard-to-reach populations, focusing on knowledge transfer, disease awareness, prevention and treatment. The program particularly addressed coccidiosis, a common, contagious parasitic intestinal disease in poultry, and mycoplasmosis, a highly infectious and difficult-to-treat bacterial respiratory disease, as well as important topics such as fly, tick and rodent control. In collaboration with FRI, Ultravetis Tanzania, and four radio stations in Mwanza, Arusha, Tanga and Dar es Salaam, Elanco reached just over 10 million people of working age, of which an estimated 4.8 million were in rural areas. Research showed the program drove behavior change that improved farming practices and animal health with more than 60% of farmers changing their livestock management behaviors after listening to the radio programs.
“Every time I tried to raise chickens, I would lose almost all of them to diseases. The radio programs have given me new hope for animal husbandry. I learned how to keep the chicken yard clean and understood the importance of vaccines and where to get them,” said Modesta Joseph Masanyiwa, one of the smallholder farmers in Tanzania who benefited from the FRI programming. “Last time there was an outbreak of Newcastle, I lost all 15 of my chickens, and I was depending on them for nutrition and earning money to meet the small needs of the family. After implementing the advice and tips from the programs, I started fresh and now have more than 30 healthy chickens.”
"We know how critical good information is to farmers and livestock owners, and information on animal health is not as widespread as other agriculture practices,” said Emerilinda Temba, Projects Coordinator with FRI. “The response showed us how important the programs were for farmers — and how much animal health education and products are needed by farmers and animal keepers."
Elanco’s support of the radio campaign with FRI formed part of a ground-breaking project to provide sustainable development solutions to address food insecurity in East African countries. The East Africa Growth Accelerator (EAGA) is Elanco’s first pure “Shared Value” project which is made possible through a $3.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant enables the registration, manufacturing and distribution of affordable, high-quality veterinary products, along with intensive training initiatives for smallholder farmers and channel partners.
Both efforts are part of Elanco’s CSR and sustainability framework, Elanco’s Healthy Purpose, which focuses on improving food security and supporting the human-animal bond.