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NDDB calls meet of heads of cooperative dairy federations to sort out row over cross-border milk sale

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) will convene a meeting of Chairmen and Managing Directors of cooperative dairy federations in the country this month to sort out the sensitive issue of cross-border marketing of milk.

The meeting was called by NDDB Chairman Meenesh C. Shah, in response to serious objections raised by K.S. Mani, Chairman, Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF) over the issue at the meeting of National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) held in Varanasi recently.

Earlier, KCMMF, known by the brand Milma, had voiced serious concern over Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) foraying into parts of Kerala to sell its Nandini brand of liquid milk.

Multifaceted issue

Making a strong pitch at the NCDFI meet, Mr. Mani said, “This is a complex and multifaceted issue as co-operative dairies have different priorities and interests”. He further pointed out that by working together, co-operative dairies could find solutions that benefit all stakeholders and ensure the delivery of high-quality milk to consumers.

Mr. Mani emphasised that the co-operative dairies should approach this issue collaboratively and diplomatically, which will uphold the values of the co-operative movement.

A pressnote issued by Milma said the NDDB Chairman had responded to Mr. Mani’s strong position on the matter by promising to convene a meeting of Chairmen and MDs of all co-operative dairy federations this month to discuss the issue and explore possible solutions to ensure that interests of all co-operatives were protected.

While raising concern over cross-border marketing, Milma had earlier pointed out that the input cost in Kerala is much higher compared to most other States. Also, in Karnataka, the government provides subsidy to the KMF, which is the prime reason for the cost difference between Nandini and Milma milk. Instead of passing on this benefit to its dairy farmers, KMF is utilising this advantage to sell its Nandini brand of milk at a lower price.

Source: The Hindu, May 12, 2023

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