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Welsh delegation identifies India as top-priority market at Mumbai meet
Friday, 23 September, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Harcha Bhaskar, Mumbai
A trade delegation from Wales, which is looking at expanding its footprint in India, identified the latter as a top-priority market at a meeting in Mumbai recently.

It comprised such companies as Bionema, Pero Foods, Markes International, Compact Orbital Gears, Manai Science Park, Daioni Organic, Dairy Partners, FSG Tool & Die and Manutech Europe.

Colin Wells, deputy head of mission, British Deputy High Commission, Mumbai, delivered the welcome speech.

He invited Mahadev Jankar, Maharashtra’s minister for animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries, on stage to inaugurate the event by lighting a lamp.

Jankar delivered the keynote address, stating that the government of the western state would be lending its support to accomplish the goal.

Helen Blackburn, India export manager, Daioni Organic, said, “We have already entered Indian stores with one-litre skimmed milk, whole milk, organic milk and strawberry-flavoured organic milk.”

“Although the products are currently available in local supermarkets in Mumbai, we will soon be finalising a deal with Foodhall, HyperCity and Big Basket,” she added.

Blackburn stated that although the product approval regulations had been relaxed, the custom duty levied on imported goods was high.

“For example, if the product has condensed milk with five per cent sugar in it, we have to incur a cost of up to 60 per cent when we import to India,” she added.

Pointing out the prospects from the product in the Indian market, Blackburn said, “We already have our product in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and the Middle East.”

“Now our focus is on India, as this market has very few organic milk products. We see consumer demand for organic milk,” she added.

Cheryl Brett, business development manager, Dairy Partners Limited, said, “We are located in the south of Wales. We produce mozzarella cheese and pizza cheese.”

“Through this trip, we would be discovering how the market works, though it looks complex,” she added.

“We have several meetings lined up with various companies and distributors. In India, our focus would be the food service and hotel, restaurant and cafe (HORECA) market,” Brett said.

“Though retail would also be interesting, we have cheese of a minimum weight of 1kg. So this seems the biggest challenge for us. Though we are exporting to a number of other countries, the only barrier to enter India is the local market,” she added.
Bionema Limited, a biochemical business from Wales, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Ahmednagar.

Dr K D Kokate, director, Extension Education, said, “Our institute has tied up with Bionema to render services like product testing and development for biopesticides, commercialisation of novel biopesticides to benefit growers/farmers, knowledge transfer and training in the application of biopesticides in agriculture.”

“Bionema is looking to help India boost food production naturally, by maximising food crop yields across the country using natural pest protection,” said Dr Minshad Ansari, the company’s managing director.

“It will render its support to Indian farmers in order to boost agriculture, hence preventing suicides,” he added.
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