With its high-quality milk, Nairobi-based Brookside Dairy has a 40 per cent share of the Kenyan dairy market. Seven per cent of its 80,000 suppliers are commercial farmers and the remainder are small-scale producers.
The widespread lack of refrigeration facilities means that Brookside employs an army of delivery personnel, including more than 1,000 “bicycle boys” in the Nairobi area alone, to collect milk.
Brookside’s sales depots now stretch from the East coast to the shores of Lake Victoria in the West. Its training field days, each attended by up to 6,000 local farmers, help spread best practices in livestock management and provide networking opportunities for smallholders, many of whom are geographically isolated.
The business links rural and urban economies and offers a sustainable route out of poverty for many. Additional benefits to local communities are health education programmes and funding for school, church and road building projects.