Amul-makers raise pitch against FDI in retail,say move may hurt dairy farmers

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation,which markets its dairy products under the brand Amul,today opposed foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail saying that Indian dairy farmers would suffer if such a move is allowed.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:January 6, 2012 6:20 am

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF),which markets its dairy products under the brand Amul,today opposed foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail saying that Indian dairy farmers would suffer if such a move is allowed.

“If FDI in multi-brand retail is introduced in India,then Indian dairy farmers may end up suffering the same fate as their western counterparts,” GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi said at the inauguration of the 15th International Conference on Management (NICOM-2012) at the Nirma University here.

In the US,dairy farmers share in consumer’s dollar has declined from 52% in 1996 to 38% in 2009. Similarly,in the UK,the share of dairy farmers declined from 56% in 1996 to 38% in 2009,he said,referring to the impact of growth of organised retail on farmers. “Organised retail tends to be monopolistic and access to market often comes at a heavy price to both farmers as well as processors.”

“Our cooperatives ensure that Indian farmers get the maximum share — almost 70 to 80% of consumer’s rupee,unlike in the western world. More so because in Indian cooperatives farmers control cent percent of production,processing and most importantly marketing,” he said,adding that in western country,farmers may participate in production and procurement,but for marketing they have to hand it over to MNCs.

“Integration with global retail chains,which operate across the world,will directly expose Indian consumers as well as Indian farmers to any future global turbulence,” he said.

According to GCMMF,dairy cooperatives generate employment for 15 million households in rural India across 1.4 lakh villages.

By effectively linking rural producers to large urban markets,the cooperatives have ensured a safe future for the dairy farmers of India,Sodhi said.

“Dairy sector can play a pivotal role in our national strategy to combat global economic turmoil and accelerate growth of Indian economy,” he said.

GCMMF has created a supply chain linking 3.1 million farmers in 15,700 villages across 15 districts of Gujarat to its 40 dairy plants and 47 stock points,5,000 distributors and seven million retail stores spread across India and other parts of the world.

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