Amul, a brand owned by Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union is all set to invest in Bengal. The Gujarat-based company will set up its seventh ‘Centralised Milk Processing Plant’ at Sankrail Food Park in Howrah.
“Before the ball rolls at Bengal Global Business Summit in January, we managed to secure this investment to the tune of Rs 200 crore, from a Gujarat based Amul dairy. We will allot them around 17 acre in the food park to set up its seventh centralised milk producing plant,” said a source at West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).
Work on the plant would start in 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2018-end. The proposed plant will manufacture UHT milk, yoghurt and ghee besides normal milk.
“Ultra-High temperature processing (UHT) sterilises food by heating it above 135 degree Celsius (275 degree Fahrenheit) – the temperature required to kill spores in milk – for 1 to 2 seconds. UHT is most commonly used in milk production, but the process is also used for fruit juices, cream, soy milk, yogurt, wine, soups, honey, and stews.
“Sophisticated machineries will be used in the Amul dairy plant,” a state food processing and horticulture department officer said.
However, Amul dairy has emerged as the market leader in milk sales in Kolkata and suburbs. The present demand – 7.5 lakh litre of milk per day will touch 20 lakh litre per day by 2020, the company expects.
With the three third-party operators including India Dairy, Amul was sending spray dried milk from Gujarat and also by procuring from local farmers. With an annual turnover of Rs 4,825 crore in 2015-16, it is projected to be around Rs 5,700 crore in the current fiscal.
The Kandua Food Park, at Howrah’s Sankrail, has been developed by WBIDC to cater to the needs of manufacturers and producers of food and agro products, in which dairy is an important inclusion.
The Park, built on an industrial cluster concept, is an attempt to bring different agro processing units and their support facilities to a specific location where all users can benefit from shared infrastructure.
The park has 25 plots with all facilities and fire station. The plots vary in size from 0.5 acres to 4.45 acres.
According to Food Agriculture Integrated Development Action (FAIDA) report of McKinsey, Bengal is one of the three leading states in India in the food and agro-processing sector.
“Key advantages in Bengal are vast agro raw material resources, six agro-climate zones in the state, abundant supply of water, fertile alluvial soil, low cost skilled labour, large domestic market and easy access to markets of Asia Pacific. We are expecting many such big brands like Amul to come for investment,” the officer added.