Updated: July 28, 2021 11:04:21 am
In May 2019, a new milk brand made its appearance in Pune and Mumbai, promising to deliver dairy products that were not only healthy but also ethical.
Mr Milk comes from the Mittal Happy Cows Dairy Farms, spread over 85 acres near Lonavala, where bovines play around open paddocks, sleep on soft bedding, eat a customised diet of high-quality feed and wind down with special spa treatment at the end of the day. The enterprise is a part of Mittal Group, which is primarily involved in real estate.
“We are working on how to save the breed of desi cows and encourage farmers to eventually start opting for this breed. Our aim is to create a model farm where farmers can learn about desi cows and adopt similar infrastructure and facilities as ours,” says Neeraj Mittal, director of the company.
As the pandemic raised national awareness on the role of food in building immunity, Mr Milk saw sales double from Rs 1.8 crore in 2019-20. “We are an A2 milk brand, which is as good as mother’s milk and beneficial for human health. During the pandemic, there was much interest because people were looking out for healthier, single-source milk. As we were a new brand, people started doing research and many of them found us suitable,” says Mittal. Now, the company is increasing its network and distribution centres in Pune and Mumbai.
There are as many as 400 cows on the farm at present and eventually it will hold 1,000 animals. Because the business is based on sourcing milk only from its own cows, it generates 1,500-1,800 litres a day, though Mittal says that the second and third generation of desi cows will have a higher yield. “Desi cow milk is quite rare as a single cow produces only six to seven litres of milk per day, whereas other breeds, which a lot of farmers are rearing, can give 25-30 litres,” he says.
The company has invested heavily in infrastructure, including a fully-automated process so that the milk is untouched from the milking to the packaging stages. It uses eco-friendly paper cartons for milk packaging. The company undertakes delivery through its own network, managing all the stages till the last mile.
In an effort to build community and generate awareness, Mittal Happy Cows Dairy Farms is encouraging visits by members of the public. Tours can be customised for families, student groups or potential entrepreneurs. “We want people to experience our fascinating world. You’ll know where your milk is coming from and it will change the way you drink your milk,” says Mittal.
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