Jordbrukare > Indian Diary Sector > How to milk a billion dollar Amul Style?

Twelve years ago, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation became India’s first billion-dollar milk cooperative. Now, three more milk unions are set to touch the mark by March 31

VADODARA: It was 12 years back when the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) – the marketers of brand Amul – earned the prestigious tag of becoming India’s first billion-dollar milk cooperative with its turnover touching Rs 5,255 crore.

Now, three more milk unions – Banas Dairy, AmulFed Dairy (a unit of GCMMF) and Amul Dairy – are set to comfortably become billion-dollar entities by March 31.

Both Banas Dairy and Amul Dairy have expanded their footprint outside Gujarat. “We have increased our processing as well as procurement capacity outside the state. Also, while milk and dairy products remain in focus, we have also diversified in non-dairy business with new product launches including bakery segment and packaged fruit juice,” said Amit Vyas, managing director, Kheda District Milk Producers Union Ltd (KDMPUCL), better known as Amul Dairy.

On January 23, the Banas Dairy’s peak collection was a record of 73.75 lakh litres per day, highest procured by any dairy union in Asia, said chairman Shankar Chaudhary. It has expanded dairy plant operations in Faridabad and Kanpur and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh in the last five years.

GCMMF managing director R S Sodhi attributed the growth to the procurement price paid to Gujarat dairy farmers, which is highest in the country. “It is because of them that our business has grown,” said Sodhi.

In fact, Brand Amul itself is expected to be worth the US $ 7.1 billion as unduplicated sales of GCMMF and its 18 member unions are expected to touch Rs 50,000 crore by the end of the financial year. GCMMF’s turnover is expected to be around Rs 39,000 crore, making it the US $ 5.6 billion co-operative, five times bigger than what it was in 2008.

Cooperatives plan new diaries

Milk cooperatives of Gujarat have already left footprints across the country – be it Manesar in Haryana or Kolkata in West Bengal. GCMMF and its member milk cooperatives currently run 84 dairy processing plants inside and outside Gujarat. And all of them are currently on expansion mode. A tip official of the GCMMF earlier told TOI that “projects were being planned for setting up dairies at Pune, Kolkata, Punjab, eastern and western Uttar Pradesh, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh by our member unions in addition to expansion projects for milk and milk products at the dairy plants within Gujarat.” Liquid milk still brings in nearly 92% of the revenue.

Worst fears gone

In October last year, millions of farmers in Gujarat had faced their worst fears. As the government was in final stages of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), women milk producers from Gujarat had sent 15 lakh postcards urging Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s intervention. RCEP, proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six FTA partners – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, would have meant dumping of foreign surplus milk in India impacting domestic milk prices. It would have proven suicidal for India’s dairy sector, both Amul and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) – had said. In November, much to the relief of farmers, the PM announced India is pulling out from RCEP.