venture l dairy Founder Dr. Trevor Tomkins Gets U.S. Feed Industry’s Distinguished Service Award
Innovative Investment Company Works with Local Partners to Bring Value Chain Opportunity to Dairy Producers and Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has assigned its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Dr. Trevor Tomkins, founder of venture l dairy and former CEO of Milk Specialties Global. The award was made at a dinner hosted by AFIA and its board of directors at the Ritz Carlton in Arlington, Va. Tuesday evening.
In making the award, AFIA cited Tomkins’ achievements during his 30-year career as an active member of the U.S. Feed Industry, including his research contribution to the U.S. dairy industry, contributions to the National Research Council’s subcommittee that revised the Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle in 2001, and more recently his role in leading Milk Specialties Global to its position as one of the largest independent dairy companies in the U.S.
Following the profitable sale of Milk Specialties Global in 2011, Tomkins founded venture l dairy, using his industry experience, passion and connections to advance dairying in emerging global markets. venture | dairy is an innovative, for-profit impact investment company working with local partners in emerging markets to bring capital, technology, education and opportunity to producers and entrepreneurs throughout the dairy value chain.
Tomkins earned a Ph.D. in animal science at the University of Reading and emigrated with his family from the U.K. to the U.S. after living and working in Europe and South Africa for the first 10 years of his career.
“I am deeply humbled at having been selected to receive this award,” Tomkins said, “I am grateful for the recognition because it sheds light on the work we are doing with venture l dairy and will help create a platform for conversation about the dairy industry and its impact in emerging markets.”
On the heels of a whirlwind trip to Haiti as part of former President Bill Clinton’s Ag Mission, Tomkins was also a featured panelist at the recent Global Philanthropy Forum during which the main point of discussion was the daunting challenge of feeding the next seven billion people, particularly in Asia and Africa, with a nutritious diet and foods that are both accessible and affordable.
“Our new work has a global focus and our enterprise-based business model is gaining attention and traction in the developing countries in which we are working, because it capitalizes on the work already being done by producers in these regions and enhances it with opportunity throughout the value chain,” Tomkins said. “We believe that the key to feeding the next seven billion and beyond is by connecting small holder farmers in developing countries to markets. Farmers currently have little access to formal markets, which creates a disconnect in the value chain. venture | dairy focuses on connecting all parts of the value chain from producer to consumer, with particular focus on establishing market-driven processing firms, and dairy hubs that provide the producer communities with products and services.”
“Having spent the last 18 months on the ground in Central America, East Africa, India and South East Asia testing the thesis that investment of this nature will make transformative change and provide significant financial returns, we are now raising the capital needed to fund the opportunities,” Tomkins added.
Just 29 other people have received the AFIA’s Distinguished Service Award since its inception in 1981. The award recognizes “elite members of the U.S. feed industry, who have through their careers provided outstanding support to AFIA and the entire feed industry,” according to the organization’s website.
About venture | dairy
Founded in 2012 by Dr. Trevor Tomkins and Mike Drennan, venture | dairy is a socially responsible, for-profit investment group whose purpose is to bring equity, debt capital and deep operational experience in milk processing and milk production to emerging markets. venture | dairy’s work with small holder farmers and processors throughout the value chain ensures not just better product quality, but affordable consumer access and secure market opportunities, in turn helping to build economically stable communities and generating significant investor return. For more information, please visit www.venturedairy.com
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