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Lactalis hikes milk procurement price, more than 50,000 dairy farmers to benefit
Monday, 15 February, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Global dairy major Lactalis that operates in the name of Sunfresh Agro Industries (owns brand Prabhat) in Maharashtra has hiked its milk procurement prices by a minimum of Re 1 per litre for the dairy farmers. The company will now pay in excess of Rs 30 per litre for the quality of 3.5/8.5 SNF (Solid-non-Fat). The price hike comes with immediate effect.
 
The average milk procurement price in Maharashtra is below Rs 30 per litre for most major operators Cooperatives included. With this move, the company now becomes the forerunner in procurement price in the state. This will benefit over 50,000 dairy farmers supplying to the company in the Ahmednagar, Pune and Nashik regions of the State. The price hike has come as a relief to dairy farmers who were reeling under pressure from the falling milk procurement prices during good part of Covid hit 2020 and were expecting a fair increase.
 
This price appreciation will help the dairy farmers associated with the company to take care of their cattle in the coming summer and cope with any exigencies. As the business is returning to normal after the Covid crisis, the company feels the farmers should get maximum benefits since they had suffered severely during the lockdown.
 
Commenting on the development, Rajiv Mitra, CEO, Sunfresh Agro - Lactalis Group, said, “At Sunfresh and everywhere in Lactalis, we always have the milk producer farmer on top of our agenda. Unfortunately, last year dairy farmers suffered due to much reduced demand for dairy products and ingredients, induced by the severe lockdown. Now as Covid recedes and the markets open up, the first thing we want to do is pass on the benefit to the farmers. Hence the move. I expect the markets to further respond favourably and all other operators are able to follow us and most offer reasonable price to their farmers.”
 
With various business segments such as restaurants, airlines and institutional buyers resuming operations post unlocking, there has been increasing demand for milk ingredients and derivatives. Maharashtra being a major supplier of milk ingredients and derivatives to the country, the requirements and thus price of bulk milk powders, cheese have increased. The hike in milk procurement price by the company not likely to impact the consumers for now.
 
Being a leading dairy company in the region, it is known for its transparent milk procurement methods and standards, timely payments, subsidies on animal feed and mineral mixture, veterinary services and trainings, assistance in securing soft loans, Diwali bonuses many more such benefits.
 
The Prime Minister in his recent speech in the Parliament spoke about how well the dairy industry stood the test of time, building a robust supply chain, taking care of all stakeholders and contributing to the GDP of the country. Now with companies upholding the farmers’ interest and serving the entire value chain from the farmer to the consumer, happy days of the industry seem to be back.
 
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