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AgroTech Foods opens peanut butter manufacturing unit in Jhagadia, Guj
Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
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AgroTech Foods Ltd, an affiliate of Conagra Foods Inc. of USA, recently announced the opening of its manufacturing unit in Jhagadia, Gujarat, to start local production of Sundrop peanut butter.

According to a press release issued by the company, the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will serve as an integrated multi-category grocery and snacks manufacturing hub for the India market.

The plant built at a cost of Rs 35 crore, is just one part of an ambitious investment programme that Agro Tech Foods Ltd has embarked upon over the last few years.

Commenting on the occasion, Sachin Gopal, president and CEO, AgroTech Foods Ltd, said, “The commencement of local production of peanut butter at our new facility reinforces AgroTech Foods’ commitment to lead the development of the processed foods industry in India and will further enable us to drive the growth of peanut butter as a category in India. The spreads category in India is still small and underpenetrated. The introduction of peanut butter will address the changing needs of the Indian consumer and also help in growing the spreads category. Over the last few years we have successfully built the Act II Popcorn business as a meaningful player in the sweet & salty snacks category and we are confident that we will be able to replicate this success with Sundrop peanut butter.”

He added, “Our demonstrated capability in building new categories together with access to a huge portfolio of products, means that we have an unparalleled opportunity to contribute to the growth of the processed foods industry in India which will undoubtedly be one of the largest beneficiaries of overall economic growth. The significant investments we have already made in manufacturing capacities in addition to those that we are in the process of doing, will enable us to deliver increased value to all stakeholders from job creation across the supply chain to enhanced shareholder value.”

The unit in Jhagadia will not only produce peanut butter for commercial sale but also for the company’s ‘Poshan’ programme, which creates shared value with its communities through the use of peanut butter to address the problem of malnutrition. In the last two years, the programme in collaboration with the Gujarat government and various other schools across the country has covered 5,000 children and peanut butter has demonstrated capability to fight malnutrition. AgroTech plans to expand this model to help address child malnourishment in other parts of the country.
 
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