Punjab dairy farmers to come up with 'Pure' milk

After facing the worst crisis in dairy business last year, commercial dairy farmers in Punjab have now decided to roll out their own milk brand Pure to sustain dairy business venture which will entail an investment of about Rs 45 crore.

Getting into procurement, processing and marketing of milk for the first time, about 2,000 dairy farmers have come together and floated a separate company Progressive Dairy Federation Public Ltd to launch dairy venture in an organised way.

“We have decided to sell our own quality milk under the brand ‘Pure’ this month and this project will see an investment to the tune of Rs 40-45 crore in next three years. Initially, we propose to launch our dairy venture with an investment of Rs 7-8 crore,” progressive dairy farmers’ association president (PDFA) Daljeet Singh said.

Farmers’s venture has initially proposed to procure 20,000 litres of milk and plans to increase the procurement to over one lakh litres in next one year, he said.
Dairy farmers’ federation will roll out three variants of milk, including cow milk in premium segment.

“We have plans to launch our milk on June 22 from Ludhiana and thereafter, other potential markets like Chandigarh and Mohali will be covered,” he said.

However, he refused to divulge about retail rates of milk. “Since farmers will be directly involved in the venture, our overall expenses will be lower, milk quality will be superior,” he asserted.

PDFA has about 6,000 members. The federation, in the first phase, will get the milk processing job done from a private plant.

“We have plans to set up our own processing plant next year,” said Singh.

Singh said it has already set up a full fledged marketing team including General Manager and other staff at Ludhiana which will be entrusted with task of selling the milk.

Besides retailing milk, Progressive Dairy Federation Public Ltd will also launch agribusiness services whereby it will provide dairy inputs like silage to farmers for producing quality milk. Asked whether farmers will continue supplying milk to Punjab milk cooperative Milkfed, he said, “We will not stop milk supply to Verka (brand of Milkfed).

“PDFA at present is supplying 3 lakh litres of milk per day to Milkfed.

Last year, slump in country’s dairy business, considerable increase in input cost and lending rate threatened the viability of running a dairy farm as PDFA claimed that they were not adequately supported by Milkfed and other private milk processing companies, forcing small farmers to shut down their businesses.

“Then we thought to establish ourselves in dairy business and come out with our own dairy venture which will also support small dairy farmers who are working with us,” he said.

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