iOS app Android app

Pierre Ferrari
Pierre Ferrari is the President and CEO of Heifer International. In his tenure at Heifer International, Ferrari has implemented three important strategies, the most ambitious of which is significant expansion of Heifer’s projects in developing countries. In an effort to feed more hungry people around the globe, Heifer intends to increase the size of its programs by an order of magnitude, focusing on the areas with the most need. Doing so, Ferrari says, will not just bring more families into self-sufficiency; it will also increase Heifer’s efficiency and effectiveness, and demonstrate the power of Heifer’s model to the rest of the development sector. It will also help fulfill the true destiny of the smallholder farmer -- to feed the world.

Prior to working at Heifer International he worked for Coca-Cola Co. in marketing and currently serves on the board of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Inc.

You can follow him on twitter @heiferceo

Entries by Pierre Ferrari

If You Could Imagine a Better World, What Would it Look Like?

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 9:42 AM

For me, it's a world where no one goes hungry and everyone has the means to provide for themselves and their families. It's a world where we can be confident the environment will be clean and healthy for future generations.

2015 has the potential to be a landmark year for humanity, if we do it right. In September, the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development will determine what replaces the Millennium Development Goals. The UN Climate talks in Paris in December could help chart the course for halting man-made climate change.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Malala Fund co-founder Malala Yousafzai said:

People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy. Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilized more than ever to see real change take place. Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child. That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school.

Today marks the official launch of action/2015, a campaign calling on local and world leaders to make ambitious commitments to eradicate poverty, address inequality and stop man-made climate change.

Speaking for action/2015, Amitabh Behar, Indian anti-poverty activist said:

If we get this wrong, we could see the number of people living in poverty increase for the first time in our generation. But if we get it right -- tackle poverty, inequality and climate change -- we could eradicate extreme poverty within a generation. With two summits of this importance within just months of each other, 2015 could be one of the most important years for our planet since the end of the Second World War, but only if we rise to the occasion.

This is a big year for Heifer International, too. We have charged ourselves with our own ambitious goal: to end the hunger and poverty of 4 million families by 2020.

When we say ending hunger and poverty, we are literally talking about families moving all the way into self-reliance and prosperity, not simply the number of families who will have participated in our programs. By 2020, 4 million families will achieve a level of income that allows them to educate their children (including the girls); feed themselves adequately across every month of the year; and have proper housing, water, hygiene, etc. They will primarily pay for all of these things with a reasonable amount of income, meaning a living income.

But we won't succeed alone, or in a vacuum. Work like ours requires collaboration and enabling environments. We are only part of the solution. That's why this year's commitments from world leaders are critical. They must make bold, ambitious goals and be held accountable for them. That's what action/2015 is all about.

I am excited about Heifer International's participation in action/2015, and I look forward to seeing how this year unfolds.

This post originally appeared on Heifer International's World Ark Blog.

Read Post

Bathrooms: A Necessity Denied to Too Many

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 11:43 AM

I'd like to introduce Norm Doll, a consulting engineer and adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Doll also sits on the Heifer International Board of Directors as Chair of the Heifer Foundation, the global partner whose mission is...

Read Post

World Food Day: Let's Not Leave Smallholder Farmers Poor

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 12:36 PM

For 70 years, Heifer International has been putting the power to produce more food into the hands of smallholder farmers. Heifer founder Dan West's observation--that poor families needed cows, not cups of milk --paved the way for our organization to serve more than 20.7 million families.

We want...

Read Post

Where's the B-12? Include Animal-Based Foods in the Global Malnutrition Agenda

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 3:26 PM

August 18 marks the 500-day countdown to the deadline for achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, so we should expect to see increased discourse on where the gaps lie.

Development experts are beginning to take note that, although progress has been made in reducing...

Read Post

World Environment Day 2014: Are You Paying Attention?

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 7:01 PM

Today is World Environment Day, and if you're not scared about climate change yet, you are definitely not paying close enough attention.

Flor talks about raising crops with little access to water. Photo by Dave Anderson, courtesy of Heifer International.

It's going...

Read Post

Reflecting on What it's Like to Live #BelowtheLine

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 5:24 PM

Reflecting on my Live Below the Line experience has been as interesting as the practice, shopping and challenge itself. I realized quickly that I eat too much. I like variety, which is not the problem: it's the quantity. I have the leftover habit from...

Read Post

Shopping to Live #BelowtheLine

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 10:39 AM

Live Below the Line is an awareness and fundraising campaign challenging people to eat and drink on only $1.50 a day for five days (April 28-May 2). Participants can turn awareness-raising into fundraising for a Live Below the Line charity partner organization of their choice. I am proud...

Read Post

Women Farmers Will Save Us

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 5:07 PM

This post originally appeared on Heifer International's World Ark Blog.


Women farmers: The backbone of smallholder agriculture. They grow 60-80 percent of the food in developing countries yet own less than one percent of the Earth's land. Despite making up...

Read Post

I Found Social Justice in Puerto Rican Village

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 10:34 PM

Since 2007, the United Nations has recognized Feb. 20 as the World Day of Social Justice. They identify social justice as a major underlying principle for peace and prosperity. Last month I traveled to Castañer, Puerto Rico and I witnessed the validity of this belief.

Read Post

Ending Poverty for Good: The Secret's in the Sauce

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 8:41 PM

When you're at the helm of an organization fighting hunger and poverty for 70 years, it's easy to get excited when you see "poverty" as a topic in mainstream media channels. Between Pope Francis's outspoken position on global poverty (it's a scandal), the 50th anniversary of...

Read Post

Turning Nonprofit Beneficiaries Into Donors

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 10:06 AM

This holiday giving season, I'd like to encourage you to give your neighbor half the cash in your savings account.

Sounds absurd, right?

Imagine you're among the world's poorest: you've never had enough for your family, let alone to spare. But today, for the first time, you...

Read Post

The ONE Partnership You Need to Know About

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 10:23 AM

What do you get when you combine the active voices of 3.5 million people who want to change the world with nearly 70 years of experience in on-the-ground programs that have helped lift 20.7 million families out of hunger and poverty? A powerhouse partnership between The ONE Campaign...

Read Post

Rural Women Take Power Over Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 8:00 AM

The future health and well-being of the Earth and its inhabitants is largely in the hands of rural women. Our job is to make sure they have the tools and training they need.

Sofia Arivilca in Puno, Peru. Photo by Annie Griffiths for...
Read Post

If We Fail Women Farmers, We Fail the World

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 3:17 PM

Most people in the international development sector will tell you: there is no development strategy more beneficial to society than one that involves women as central players. And without sufficient investment in women farmers, we will fail to feed the world's booming population, reversing gains made through the Millennium...

Read Post

We Must Close Gaps in Inequality and Poverty

(1) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 3:57 PM

We have much to celebrate about the progress we've made so far on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Extreme poverty in developing countries is down from 43 percent to 21 percent.


Gender gaps in literacy have closed through MDG-related efforts. Manu Rasaili...

Read Post

World's Poor, Hungry Have Little to Celebrate This New Year's

(2) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 7:28 AM

As much of the world looks forward to the promise of a New Year, there's another group, nearly a billion strong, whose only promise is a continued struggle -- against hunger, against poverty -- to survive.

No fireworks like those in Sydney, or crystal ball drop as in New York...

Read Post

Alternative Giving on Giving Tuesday

(14) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 7:10 AM

What time did you ditch your Thanksgiving leftovers to head out for Black Friday shopping? Retailers sure were clever this year; some of them open all of Thanksgiving Day, luring us away from family, friends and the giving-thanks part of the holiday to get a jumpstart on the biggest shopping...

Read Post

World Food Day 2012: Heifer International's Cooperatives Will Help Feed the World

(8) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 7:58 AM

Our fragile and beautiful Earth is home to seven billion people. Right now, the global food system is struggling, one in eight people goes to sleep hungry, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which declares October 16 World Food...

Read Post

Rio+20: Empty Promises Won't Fill Empty Bellies

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 11:28 AM

This post originally appeared on the Heifer Blog.

"The Future We Want" is not the future Heifer International believes we will see following last week's Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Lots of issues were raised, lots of solutions proposed, but in the end,...

Read Post

Help Us Help Haitians Learn to Fish, and More

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 4:38 PM

Sean Penn is an angry man. Expletive-filled outbursts and scuffles with photographers and fans commonly show up in Internet searches of his name. He is without question one of the most explosive actors of his generation. And one of the most committed to doing good.

His personal life is characterized...

Read Post