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Dairy Food Industry News

Dairy sector set to grow more than double with an outlay of 17,300 cr.

National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has procured 7.9 million tonnes of milk from the cooperatives in 2006-07 registering a growth of 1.1% over the previous year, according to the Annual Report 2006-07 of the NDDB. During 2006-07, NDDB reported a surplus of about Rs 51 crore before tax and appropriations.

The report highlights the need for dairy cooperatives to evolve strategies to meet the challenge from rapidly increasing competition. During the year, producer prices for milk increased substantially leading to a rise in consumer prices. The year also witnessed a hike in the international prices of skimmed milk powder that was unprecedented in the history of international trade. While recognising that India continues to be the largest milk producer in the world with a production of about 100 mt, the report also highlights the need to double the annual incremental milk production from 2.5 mt over the last 15 years to 5 mt to reach 180 mt by 2021-22 to meet the rapidly growing demand. To meet this challenge, a National Dairy Plan (NDP) has been prepared with a total outlay of Rs 17,300 crore which is expected to be funded through a consortium. The investment during the 11th Five-Year-Plan period is estimated at Rs 3,700 crore. These investments will focus on productivity measures to enhance milk production at the pace required and strengthen and expand the infrastructure (village-level testing, chilling and processing plants) to procure, process and market milk, through existing and new institutional structures. By 2021-22, it is expected that the organised dairy sector (both cooperative and private) will increase its share of the marketable surplus from 30% today to around 65% thereby ensuring quality milk to consumers.

NDDB continued to provide technical and financial support to dairy cooperatives to strengthen cooperative business infrastructure, productivity enhancement, quality assurance, create a national information network and enhance women participation/leadership. With regard to the performance of the cooperatives, the Report states that the cooperatives procured 7.9 million tonnes of milk registering a growth of 1.1% over the previous year. During the year, producer prices for milk increased substantially leading to a rise in consumer prices. The year also witnessed a hike in the international prices of skimmed milk powder that was unprecedented in the history of international trade.

In a recent symposium organised by NDDB in which key stakeholders participated, foreign scholars and practitioners in cooperatives presented insights into how dairy cooperatives abroad had and continue to deal with the challenges of liberalisation and globalisation. Most significant among these was the need to build institutional structures to cope with the competitive environment. Most dairy cooperatives abroad no longer follow geographic or administrative boundaries but those defined by economic logic since scale and focus in business are critical to remain competitive. The usefulness of three tier structures lies in whether costs are commensurate with the returns and whether it remains the best arrangement to have both better governance and greater business efficiency. New competencies are necessary to match internationally accepted standards of quality and efficiency. Elected boards need to induct expert external directors to bring in important skills to the policy and planning process and appoint professionals who are given the autonomy to operate the business and are held accountable for results and most importantly there is a growing demand on members to make significant contributions to the capital of the cooperative.


Institute grants for dairy research

Dubai: The Anchor Institute, which comprises a network of nutritional and dairy experts, has started an initiative where a total of $70,000 (about Dh257,138) will be awarded in research grants to postgraduate and post-doctoral students and researchers to further the goal of helping children throughout the world reach their potential.

The grants reflect the Anchor Institute's desire to combine expertise in scientific research with its deep knowledge of dairy product development.


Amul to launch Calci Plus

Amul will soon launch fortified calcium MILK CALLED Amul Calci Plus in the second week of June. The new product, priced at Rs 35, will be available in one-litre tetrapak.

According to Hrishikesh Bhatjiwale, depot-in-charge, Mumbai, "The milk contains 100% natural milk calcium and is targeted at pregnant women, children and old people suffering from osteoporosis. A person needs 400-600mg of calcium daily whereas a pregnant woman requires 1000 mg. Amul Calci Plus easily meets these requirements.

As a market leader, it is our initiative to bring out products which also addresses the health issues of the masses." Overall there's daily consumption of 2.5 lakh litres of tetrapack milk in the country. Amul has a 60% market share in the tetrapak milk segment with brands like Taaza, Gold, Shakti, and Lite Slim and smart.

Amul will also be launching a blister school pack of butter in the middle of January. It will have 12 packs of 8gm butter each, in plastic box, and will be priced at Rs 24. "We already got a favourable response for blister pack in airlines. Now we want to extend this convenience to our daily customers too," Bhatjiwale said.


Four cleared of altering expiry dates on milk powder

Dubai: Four managers of a multinational dairy products company have been cleared of manipulating expiry dates on milk powder and endangering the lives of thousands, ruled a court on Monday.

A fleet of lawyers defended the suspects, the two Emirati company owners, G.A. and M.H., and two Asian managers, M.J. and S.K., who were acquitted by the Dubai Court of Appeal for uncorroborated evidence.

The Dubai Court of Cassation earlier threw out the prison terms [one-year jail terms imposed by the Court of Appeal at an earlier stage] given to the suspects and ordered a retrial.

The Public Prosecution charged the suspects with various charges including endangering the lives of consumers by manipulating the expiry date of milk powder products, commercial fraud and hiring illegal workers.

Procedures

Defence lawyer Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi, Al Shamsi and Co Advocates and Legal Consultants, said the milk specimen wasn't taken according to the regular procedures stipulated in laws combating commercial fraud. "The Dubai Municipality inspector was supposed to properly store the sample. The law enforcement procedures were unlawfully carried out because the suspects should have been present when the specimen was taken."

Defence lawyers Salim Al Sha'ali and Khalifa Al Salman, of Al Sha'ali and Co Advocates and Legal Consultants said in their argument: "The company's owner was acting out of good intention since the local authorities were aware and authorised his company to change the expiry dates on the packages. The milk's properties were unaffected."

Specimen

"The milk specimen was put in a sealed pack but when it reached the laboratory for examination, the pack was opened and the sample was tampered," they said. Meanwhile lawyer Samir Jaafar, of Jaafar, A'alwan and Al Jaziri and Co Advocates and Legal Consultants, said: "The Municipality's procedures were unlawful and unsafe. The laboratory test was not up to the ordinary standards."

The defence lawyers told the court the factory was licensed to change expiry dates as the product was re-exported to many countries including Sudan, Morocco and Somalia as proven by the certificate from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Food Committee.

Presiding Judge Mahmoud Fahmi Sultan who pronounced yesterday's verdict also ordered the Emirati suspects to jointly pay Dh30,000 for hiring three illegal workers [Dh10,000 each]. Yesterday's verdict is still subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 30 days.


Mother Dairy posts 33-cr. loss in 2006-07

Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Private Ltd (MDFVP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), has posted a net loss of Rs 32.62 crore on total revenues of Rs 2,204.61 crore for the year ended March 31, 2007.

MDFVP's annual report for 2006-07 shows that the company incurred an operating loss of Rs 23.50 crore (on sales of Rs 1,676.36 crore) in its dairy business and Rs 10.77 crore (on sales of Rs 219.60 crore) in horticulture ('Safal' brand). These were partly offset by the edible oil segment ('Dhara'), which returned an operating profit of Rs 8.26 crore on sales of Rs 277.53 crore.

Industry sources attribute MDFVP's losses mainly to its inability to put in place an effective milk procurement network - despite Delhi being surrounded by the country's top three producers (Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan), besides Haryana. This, in turn, has forced reliance on purchases of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and white butter and their reconstitution, entailing additional energy costs.

The sources felt that 2007-08 may still turn out to be better for MDFVP on two counts. The first is the ban on SMP exports between February and September, which has helped put a lid on domestic prices to its advantage (even while hurting GCMMF and other exporters). Secondly, there have been three rounds of retail price increases (by Re one a litre each) in Delhi during 2007.

In 2006-07, MDFVP's liquid milk sales aggregated 8,99,407 kilo-litres (kl), valued at Rs 1,503.73 crore. The company also sold 10,324 kl of ice-cream (Rs 65.86 crore), 15,783 kl of other milk products (Rs 67.34 crore), 138,194 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables (Rs 141.24 crore) and 7,554 tonnes of frozen vegetables (Rs 35.02 crore.


UAE camels clear of mystery killer disease, say scientists

Al Ain: The mysterious bug which has killed thousands of camels has not affected herds in the UAE as scientists and authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

The disease recently killed thousands of camels in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, sending a wave of panic among farmers and scientists who are baffled as to what the disease is and its cause.

Dr Ghaleb A. Al Hadrami, Dean of the College of Food and Agriculture at the UAE University, said no trace of any such disease had yet been found anywhere in the UAE.

"We have closely been monitoring the situation and people need not to worry," he told.

He said Saudi Arabian experts were not describing it as an infectious disease. They are calling it an incident of food poisoning.

"Nobody, however, knows the exact cause of this camel ailment so far, but scientists have been working on it," said Al Hadrami.

Dr Ulrich Wernery, Scientific Director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in Dubai, said scientists had been investigating lines such as poisoning, antibiotic pollution, viruses and climate change as possible causes.

It was earlier believed the cause of the camels' death was some kind of infectious disease. However, according to international reports, blood tests of the camels indicated towards a contamination of fodder.

An estimated 5,000 camels in Saudi Arabia and North Africa have died so far from the mystery bug.

Dr Wernery said the Saudi authorities remained tight-lipped over the situation and were not sharing information.

"This has been a problem in finding out what has actually been killing the camels," he said, adding his organisation was willing to help Saudi authorities.

"I am to go to Saudi Arabia to collect first-hand information and on-site evidence," said Dr Wernery.

This message has been sent to the Saudi authorities through the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water but no reply has been received, he said.

He said on-site investigation was very important for scientists and experts in identifying the cause of the bug and finding a solution.

Dr Wernery said the CVRL has a monitoring system in the UAE and so far had not found a single incident in the UAE. He said farmers and people who own camels in the UAE need not worry about this mysterious disease.

The UAE, he said, had stopped importing camel fodder from Saudi Arabia years ago. Now most of the hay comes from Oman and food pellets from other countries in the world.

Fast facts:

The world camel population is 12 million.

The UAE camel population is 250,000.

Some 190,000 camels for milk are reared in the UAE.

Camels are used to produce 1,700 tonnes of meat in the Abu Dhabi Emirate annually.

The animal has significant tourism and sporting value in the UAE.


Amul Any Time Milk

In a bid to serve better and reach out to more customers. Amul is all geared up to launch 24/7 ATMs or Any Time Milk outlets. The concept is already being tried out at a few places in Gujarat and will eventually be replicated across the country. The proposed ATM outlets will be operated through coins or tokens.


Local cartoon characters will drive home food safety awareness

Abu Dhabi: A group of local cartoon characters may become popular among the children soon.

Like Tom and Jerry, they will entertain the children but with a message on food safety.

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) will create cartoon characters for its animated films to make children aware of food safety, a senior official told

"The characters with local names will represent the local culture and ethos to fac-ilitate easy communication with children," said Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Manager of Communication and Information Department at ADFCA. "Cultural diversity ... in the UAE will also be considered while making the films."

He said the films will be made in Arabic, English and Urdu to reach out to all communities.

The official said the cartoon characters will symbolise ADFCA in all awareness campaigns by using brochures, posters and leaflets. The one-hour films will have six segments of 10 minutes each.

Each segment will concentrate on various areas of food safety like precautions against food contamination or poisoning, safe cooking, safe storage, hygiene, guidelines on purchases of food, and others.

"It can replace the efforts of ADFCA officials who visit schools to speak to children on food safety," said Al Reyaysa.

"The animated films can easily convey the serious message to children," he said.

ADFCA will make elaborate arrangements to screen the animation films in all schools in the country. The authority has taken the initiative keeping in mind the role children play in ensuring the food safety.

"When they grow up they will be more vigilant on such issues." Al Reyaysa said children can prompt their parents to be cautious on food safety. "Once implemented, we expect that it will make our awareness drives [hugely popular]."


Gokul Dairy chalks out expansion plans

Gokul Dairy, the face behind the 'Kaveri' milk brand in Karnataka, will now infuse funds to the tune of Rs 2 crore to upgrade its plant and double the milk capacity from 50,000 litre to 1 lakh litre. Milk is procured from farmers at Tumkur, Hassan and Mandya.

The decade-and-a-half old company will be assisted by the Karnataka State Financial Corporation (KSFC) for the loan. It has already invested Rs 12 lakh for machine with a 5,000 litre per hour capacity from West Germany to homogenise milk and retain its whiteness.

As part of its expansion plan, the dairy located at Kunigal in Tumkur, will not only upgrade its plant but will offer value-added products like Khova to begin with. In this connection, it will also have a Khova making unit of half a tonne capacity. Currently, demand for Khova in Bangalore alone is around 20 tonnes a day and Gokul plans to have a major share.

In the area of curds, Gokul will be able to increase the capacity from 500 litre to 5,000 litre per day.

Plans are underway to set up a condensing and evaporation plant for production of milk powder with the surplus milk. In fact the dairy major has gauged the export potential for the same. It is also working to adhere to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards, keeping in mind a wider market reach.

Two chilling centres are also being opened at Belur Cross, Mandya district and Tiptur in Tumkur district which will enable the State private dairy major to collect milk 25,000 litre each from farmers located in the areas. The close proximity of the chilling stations to the farmers who provide the milk will also allow the State's private dairy major to retain the freshness of the milk and maintain its quality. The two locations are known for their milk purity and 'Kaveri' brand has been accepted by discerning customers, K N Krishnamurthy, managing director, Gokul Dairy told F&B News.

The brand is popular in the districts of Karnataka which include Chickmagalur, Chitradurga, Sandur, Hospet, Rannebennur, Haveri and Hosur; and outskirts of Bangalore where households are the main customers.

Milk is packed in poly film pouches. The dairy has a machine which produces 5,000 pouches an hour of quarter litre, half and one litre capacity. Milk is distributed by the three puffed vehicles.

Right now the company is in the 4th place in Karnataka; while in the district of Tumkur they are No 1 in the private sector. Though there are a lot of private players from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Gokul made a steady growth over the years.

Delving in to the issues affecting the Dairy sector, Krishnamurthy said that during the lean season which spans from February to July, there is a shortage of milk and Gokul sources it from farmers at Belgaum.

As part of its support efforts to the farmers in terms of providing a profitable price for the milk, the dairy also educate farmers on hygiene standards and the kind of fodder to be used to increase milk production.

Cienfuegos: Oil for bananas and sugar—that's what Venezuela’s president is offering Carribbean and Central American nations.

At a regional petroleum summit in Cuba, Chavez said his plan to provide low-cost oil to the region should go beyond financing mechanisms.

"We have begun to create a new geopolitics of oil that is not at the service of the interests of imperialism and big capitalists," Chavez said in his speech at the Petrocaribe summit.

Chavez said Petrocaribe members' collective debt for Venezuelan crude is currently near $1.2 billion and is expected to grow to $4.5 billion by 2010.

He proposed that more of his neighbours could pay for cheap oil and pay off debts with goods or services in lieu of cash.

Chavez also called for creating an international fund to promote solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative energy sources.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East. It is South America's largest oil exporter and the fourth-largest supplier of crude to the United States.


Now, ice-creams go designer

After specially-designed costumes, accessories, sets, and mandaps in big fat Indian weddings, it is ice-creams that are now going designer. Savour a 'paan ice-cream' or burn your tongue with a 'chilly ice-cream' at weddings you attend this season. Wedding caterers say there is a rising demand for ice-creams that not only taste different but also have good aesthetic appeal. Mumbai-based caterer Vinit Modi of Chetak Caterers, says: "We provide various flavours as rare as chilly ice-creams, paan ice-creams and mix 'n' match kulfis.

Italian Gelato, prepared with fresh fruit and other ingredients such as pure chocolate, cocoa, dried fruit and nuts, cookies or sweets is also the flavour of this wedding season. Demand for exotic ice-cream flavours has risen by 15-20% from previous season."

Indian marriages have become style statements with innovations in the choice of venue, delectable cuisines, themes, and exotic flowers.

Willingness to experiment and 'look different' has encouraged people to try things like these. Swati Pandya Sood of Bollywood Secrets says the concept is increasingly becoming a trend in high-profile weddings. "Culinary experimentation was till now restricted to different cuisines from within and outside India. Icecreams, though a part of every wedding, were not much innovated," she says.

Such ice-creams have a long manufacturing process and are therefore, much expensive than regular ones. The concept is, therefore, just limited to high-end weddings right now. "The price range for these ice creams starts from Rs 450 per kg and goes much beyond that depending upon the flavours," says Vinit Modi.

"People usually love to adopt innovative concepts in weddings to show off a certain international consciousness. Adventurous cuisines and desserts are now becoming a fad in Indian weddings. Italian ice-creams, Ricotta cheese flavor, Guava ice creams and frozen desserts including ice-cream cakes are high on demand," says Sumer Mehta, Delhi-based Kitchen Art.

Besides popularity of international flavours, it is the traditional kulfi that is becoming designer. "Even if people have all western cuisine they like to have kulfi in desserts. The demand for kulfis as well as kulfas (Pakistani ice-cream) has risen this year. We have tricolor kulfis served in thellas, which is how people like the dessert best," says Sumer Mehta.

The trend has, however, not yet caught up down South at all. Bangalore based wedding planner Saif Abdali, Maverick Entertainment, says, "Innovations in weddings has just been restricted to just locations as of now. People aren't too willing to experiment with food and designer ice cream is something not even heard of here." Agrees Joe of T J Wedding Planners, Bangalore, who had not heard of such a concept.

Though top brands in north have not introduced any special range for weddings or parties, some of the local brands have lots to offer. Vadilal is introducing a range of what it calls 'artisan ice creams'. "Considering people's demand for something innovative in ice creams for weddings and parties we are adding a range 'Artisan ice creams' this season. We will have three layered Tartufo, an Italian ice cream dessert made of gelato; a range of fruit shaped and sweets shaped ice creams, decorated with varakh and nuts," says Rajesh Gandhi, managing director, Vadilal.

Havmor, in Gujarat, has a party special menu. "During the wedding season we have a special range of ice creams which are not available otherwise. Kulfis are preferred the most along with sweet-shaped ice creams. Our four-flavoured Vibgyor kulfi is quite popular.

We have Mango Barfi ice-cream which looks like a barfi with varakh or silver-foil on it; Dry fruit Katri ice-cream; ice creams with a base of malai and nuts; kesar bhog with golden foil on it. Such ice creams cost anywhere between Rs 20 to Rs 30 per head," says Kamal Dixit, marketing head, Havmor.