Chicago-based AbelsonTaylor giving back by helping Tanzania up its milk production


An advertising agency, which specializes in helping market health and wellness products, is now in its second year of involvement in a program to expand the production of milk in one east African country.

Chicago-headquartered AbelsonTaylor has operated on a charitable basis in Africa for some decades, including working with the charity, Heifer International.

Heifer International's stated mission, as outlined on its website, is to "work with communities to create income, empower women, care for the Earth, and ultimately end world hunger and poverty."

AbelsonTaylor began working with Heifer International in Tanzania on the East African Dairy Development (EADD) program. This project is aimed at helping small-scale farmers to increase their milk production.

Mitch Apley, the director of the company's print and broadcast production, said its founder, Dale Taylor, has made contributions on behalf of clients to projects in Africa for decades. 

While AbelsonTaylor has supported projects in Kenya for many years, however, it only more recently became involved in Tanzania.

The "overarching" aim was to supply training and support to dairy farmers to help them increase their production and market range.

"A lot of people have cows but do not know how to maximize output," Apley recently told the Illinois Business Daily.

The work being done by AbelsonTaylor and Heifer International is proving successful, with farmers upping their milk production from half a liter to as much as 10 or 12 a day.

Tanzania is an interesting market, Apley explained, because, traditionally, the demand for milk has been low, with many solely adding it to their tea.  People are more likely to drink sugary liquids, said Apley, adding that there is a wariness of pasteurized milk.

From AbelsonTaylor's perspective, there is a benefit to its charitable work beyond pure altruism because it is great for employees as a "creative exercise," Apley said. 

The company also can use the videos of its work in both Tanzania and Kenya in any portfolio or presentations to clients, he added.

In the company mission statement, as outlined on its website by one of the prime movers behind the Tanzania program, Kristen McGirk, the aim of the campaign is to "increase awareness of and educate on the benefits of processed milk (as opposed to raw milk, which is a more common choice at the moment)."

"A few of my colleagues and I just returned from a research-gathering trip to Tanzania, where we spent time helping Heifer figure out how to create demand for the processed milk these farmers produce," she added.

For more information on AbelsonTaylor or Heifer International, please contact Gretchen Kren at 312.894.5900,

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