Fresh Controversy Erupts as Amul's Expansion into Tamil Nadu Sparks Concerns
Tamil Nadu, May 26, 2023 - Top dairy brand Amul has become embroiled in a fresh controversy, this time in the state of Tamil Nadu, following its recent involvement in a milk procurement dispute in neighboring Karnataka regarding Nandini milk. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Stalin, has called upon Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and immediately halt Amul's milk procurement activities in the state.
Concerns have arisen in Tamil Nadu that the entry of Amul, often referred to as the "milkman of the state," will undermine the monopoly held by Aavin, the state's primary milk procurement agency. Stalin addressed various issues related to milk procurement by Amul in the Tamil Nadu milk shed area in a letter to Shah, as reported by PTI.
Stalin specifically mentioned that Amul has utilized its multi-state cooperative license to establish chilling centers and a processing plant in Krishnagiri district. In addition, Amul has set up a plant in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, and is redirecting milk procured from Vellore to this facility. The company has also announced plans to establish milk collection centers in several districts of Tamil Nadu through Self Help Groups (SHGs) and cooperatives, as outlined in an IANS report. Furthermore, Amul intends to procure milk through Farmers' Producer Organizations (FPOs) and SHGs in various districts, including Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupathur, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur.
Stalin highlighted the alleged infringements by Amul, stating that cross-procurement of milk contradicts the cooperative spirit of "Operation White Flood" and exacerbates the prevailing milk shortage in the country. He argued that Amul's actions encroach upon Aavin's milk shed area, which has been nurtured over the years in true cooperative spirit. Additionally, Amul's plans to establish another milk plant in Sri City, located near the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border, would result in increased milk procurement from Erode, Tiruvannamalai, and Salem districts, which were previously supplying milk to Aavin, according to the IANS report.
Stalin expressed concerns about the potential adverse impact of Amul's activities on the cooperative dairy sector, emphasizing the vital role played by regional cooperatives in the development of the dairy business. He urged urgent intervention from the Home Minister to direct Amul to refrain from milk procurement within Aavin's milk shed area in Tamil Nadu.
It should be noted that Amul had been selling its products in Tamil Nadu exclusively through their outlets. Stalin emphasized the effectiveness of Tamil Nadu's three-tier dairy cooperative system, which has been in operation since 1981, benefiting both rural milk producers and consumers. He highlighted Aavin as the apex cooperative marketing federation, overseeing 9,673 Milk Producers Co-operative Societies that procure 35 LLPD of milk from approximately 4.5 lakh pouring members. This arrangement ensures remunerative and consistent prices for milk producers throughout the year.
Aavin also plays a significant role in supporting and sustaining milk production in Tamil Nadu by providing various inputs such as cattle feed, fodder, mineral mixture, and animal healthcare and breeding services. Moreover, it ensures the supply of quality milk and milk products to consumers at affordable prices, contributing to the livelihood improvement of rural milk producers and meeting the nutritional needs of consumers, added the Chief Minister.