Grameen Danone Foods, Danone's 50:50 joint venture with "Bank for the Poor" Grameen, will launch a new yoghurt line on 7 November. Grameen Danone Foods is a partnership dedicated to making dairy products at affordable prices for the local population in Bangladesh.

Present at the launch in Dhaka will be Danone chief executive Franck Riboud, Grameen founder Muhammad Yunus and Danone ambassador Zinedine Zidane, the French soccer star.

The yoghurt, which will be manufactured at a mini-plant plant in Bogra, situated around 200 kilometers north of Dhaka, will be sold at EUR0.05/unit - more or less at cost price, a spokesperson for the French food giant told just-food.

"The final stages of product testing are currently taking place and the first yoghurts are likely to be ready for distribution at the end of November/early December when the 1,000 Grameen Ladies, designated to provide door-to-door delivery services within a 25-kilometres radius of the plant, will have completed their training."

The yoghurt has been designed in association with Swiss-based NGO Gain and is specially-adapted to the nutritional needs of the Bangladeshi people, particularly its children, being rich in zinc, iodine and iron," the Danone spokesperson added. 

The Bogra plant will have a production output of 2,500-3,000 tonnes and will be supplied with milk by around 500 Grameen-supported local dairy farmers who on average have a herd of four to five cows.

"This is a new business model which Grameen Danone Foods is trying to develop and, if successful, could see as many as 50 mini-plants in Bangladesh in the longer term," Danone said.