August 19, 2012 3:12:00 am
Mehsana Milk Cooperative chairman Vipul Chaudhary was on Saturday unanimously elected as the new chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF),which markets the famous Amul brand.
Chaudhary replaces Parthi Bhatol,the outgoing chairman who opted out of race at the last moment after serving two terms of three years each.
The chairmans post had fallen vacant on June 26 this year,when Bhatols term ended. In mid-July,the Gujarat High Court had directed the district collector of Anand,where the federation is headquartered,to complete the election of GCMMF chairman within 30 days.
The election was conducted by the district collector today in the presence of 16 members of the companys board who happen to be the chairmen of different district-level milk cooperatives in the state.
Sources said Bhatol pulled out from the fray since he could not garner support from BJP members of the board who were unhappy with his performance over the last six years. Of the 16-member board,at least 12 members have BJP affiliation.
Chaudhary has been serving as the chairman of Mehsana Milk Cooperative,also known as Dudhsagar Dairy, since 2005. He had contested 2007 Assembly elections on a BJP ticket but lost.
Chaudhary is also said to be close to GCMMF founder Verghese Kurien.
Speaking to The Indian Express,Chaudhary said his first priority will be to make Gujarat the top state in milk production. In milk-production,Gujarat is ranked fifth. I will meet Chief Minister Narendra Modi and National Dairy Development Board chairman and will together chalk out an action plan to increase milk production in the state so it could become number one state, he said.
After his election,Chaudhary called on NDDB chairperson Amrita Patel with whom he is reportedly not on good terms.
The new chief set a new target for GCMMF of marketing around 200 lakh litres of milk per day by 2020.
In another significant signal,Chaudhary said he wanted to project different brands under GCMMF to make them as popular as Amul. Amul remains an umbrella brand but I believe in multiple brands,which will cater to various market segments, he said.
GCMMF,Indias biggest company in milk products,recorded an annual turnover of around Rs 11,600 crore during the financial year of 2011-12.
It markets milk and milk products under brands Amul and Sagar. The member unions of GCMMF procure an average of 110 lakh litres of milk everyday from 32 lakh milk producers in 16,000 villages of the state.
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