These days, Amul has become synonymous with two things, dairy products (now, who can forget Real Milk. Real Ice Cream) and controversy. However, if all goes to plan they should be associated with something else in the future -fruits and vegetables!No, you’re not hallucinating, and yes, I got my facts right. Along with your daily quota of milk and dairy products, Amul will now procure and sell fruits and vegetables at their outlets.
The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets dairy products under brand Amul is seriously exploring the possibility of buying fresh vegetables and fruits directly from farmers in the villages from where it procures milk on daily basis.
For this, GCMMF has roped in the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to carry out the technical evaluation of the project.
To begin with, Amul is looking to start selling vegetables and fruits in Ahmedabad where it runs over 200 parlors.
“On January 26, we had signed a MoU with Gujarat government to help farmers get a better price for their agri produce,” said R S Sodhi, managing director of GCMMF.
Amul may replicate the Delhi model of Safal that is engaged in retailing of fresh fruits and vegetables along with value-added products, he said. Safal, the fruit, and vegetable arm of Mother Dairy, a subsidiary of NDDB was the first company to organize the fruits and vegetable business in the country.
The proposal came up for discussion during the recent board meeting of GCMMF in which chairman of all the 17 district dairy unions of Gujarat who are member unions of the federation had participated at Palanpur.
“We are studying the procedure on how to start procurement and marketing of different vegetables including tomatoes, cauliflowers, brinjals, onions among others,” GCMMF’s chairman Jetha Patel told TOI.
“If we succeed in our study, the vegetables will be marketed under brand Amul and will be procured by our member unions,” he said, adding that the federation officials have been asked to carry out enterprise study and give their report.
“This will not only benefit the vegetable producers but also benefit consumers as the role played by middlemen will get eliminated. Producers dealing in horticulture will get a better price while consumers will get the agri produce at an affordable price with trusted brand name of Amul,” he said.