Corporates battle for India's milk co-operatives

INDIA - Indian's milk and milk products is a mammoth industry and has been growing at 27 per cent per annum over the last two years, reports NDTV.
calendar icon 15 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

No wonder the corporate battle for milk is focused in its biggest base, Gujarat. Gujarat's Milk Federation controls the largest milk cooperatives in the country with a market share of 20 per cent in the organised sector.

The extremely rich Gujarat milk cooperatives seem to be caught in covert takeover battle. This by political parties, who see it as a voter and a capital base, and multinationals, who know if even a part takeover goes through more than half the market is won.

The takeover war has started with poaching of manpower with 135 senior executives of Amul been already picked up mainly by Reliance, Bharti and Godrej.

Reliance has also offered several big cooperatives under Gujarat's Milk Federation a higher price for their milk.

Corporate takeover

To fight back, Gujarat's dairy bosses want the milk cooperatives to turn into a more corporate structure so that farmer's are protected from a corporate takeover.

"There should not be any district-level cooperative. They should all come under the regulations of the Companies Act," said Amrita Patel, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board.

But the famers who run Gujarat's milk cooperatives feel that if they turn corporate they may lose their powers. They are also worried about whether Gujarat's dairy bosses are truly representing their interests.

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