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Record number of 40,000 visitors at 4th Mapro Strawberry Festival
Tuesday, 06 April, 2010, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The 4th edition of Mapro Strawberry Festival witnessed over 40,000 people in four days (April 1-4). The event was jointly organised by Mapro Foods Pvt. Ltd and All India Strawberry Growers Association.

The festival displayed raw strawberries and many strawberry based products like strawberry pizza, strawberry bhel, chocolate dip strawberry, strawberry sandwich, strawberry with cream, strawberry ice cream, strawberry milk shake and other delicious items made by strawberry. Addressing the media, Mayur Vora, MD of Mapro Foods, said with the strawberry festival the company would extend the strawberry season for two weeks.

“The strawberry festival has come a long way. Today we can serve 1,000 people per hour at Mapro Gardens, Panchgani. Last week, around one lakh people visited Panchgani and Mahableshwar of which over 40,000 participated in the festival,” Vora said.

Mahableshwer contributes over 85 per cent of the total strawberry production in India. Around 80 per cent of strawberry is consumed fresh.

“We aspire to enhance tourists experience and make them try our array of products. Every year, Mahableshwar registers 30 per cent increase in footfalls which helps us to display state-of-the-art technology and produce in our hometown,” Vora added.

The four-day event also encompassed free strawberry farm visit – where one can pluck fresh strawberries and eat, Mapro Food Park visit and other cultural & entertainment activities like Lezim, magic shows. Balasaheb Bhilare, chairman of All India Strawberry Growers Association, said that over 250 farmers from different villages participated in the festival by opening their farms for tourists.

“This season we witnessed the highest ever production of strawberry – over 15,000 tonnes as compared to 9,000 tonnes in previous seasons. Good climatic conditions, usage of new technologies and more farmers planting strawberries were some of the reasons that contributed towards this record production. Nearly, 1,000 farmers planted strawberries this season on over 1,500 acres of land,” Bhilare said in a statement.

Mapro Food Park

With growing demand for fruit-based products – Mapro Foods has decided to augment their fruit processing capacity at Mapro Food Park, Panchgani. According to a company official, the food park has a capacity to process over 60,000 litres of SCS (squash crush and sharbat) range and process over 2 lakh litres ready-to-serve beverages everyday.

“The food park is capable of processing over 30 tonnes jams and pack over 30,000 jam bottles of 200gm, 500gm and 1kg per day. Currently, we aim to process strawberry, papaya, orange, sweet lime, kiwi, mango, pineapple and raspberry,” Anis Siddiqui, manager – factory, Mapro Foods told F&BNews.

To achieve food safety and quality assurance at all level, Mapro has created three departments – microbiological analysis, R&D analysis and physical & chemical analysis. “After executing these three departments properly we registered drastic decrease in consumer complaints. The Haccp-certified food park is likely to get ISO 22000 certificate soon which will help us meet international standards,” Siddiqui added.
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