New Delhi: A little more than a month after Gujarat-based dairy corporation Amul was seen at loggerheads with Karnataka-based Nandini, Amul has now been accused of getting in the way of Aavin, run by the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation.
In a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah, Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin has said that Shah should instruct Amul to stop milk procurement activities in Tamil Nadu immediately. The state government, Stalin said, has learnt recently that Amul has been using its multi-state cooperative license to establish chilling centres and a processing plant in Krishnagiri district.
Amul’s move, Stalin said, “will create unhealthy competition between cooperatives engaged in procuring and marketing milk and milk products”. The cross-procurement goes against ‘Operation Flood’, which had made India self-sufficient in milk through cooperative dairies.
“It has been a norm in India to let cooperatives thrive without infringing on each other’s milk-shed area. Such cross-procurement goes against the spirit of ‘Operation White Flood’ and will exacerbate problems for the consumers given the prevailing milk shortage scenario in the country. This act of Amul infringes on Aavin’s milk shed area which has been nurtured in true cooperative spirit over decades,” Stalin’s letter reads.
“Regional cooperatives have been the cornerstone of dairy development in the states and they are better equipped to interact with and support producers, as well as to protect consumers from arbitrary price increases,” it continues.
Before this, Stalin said, Amul had only sold products through outlets in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu’s milk procurement system, through Aavin, is working well, Stalin argued. “Aavin, our apex cooperative marketing federation, oversees 9,673 Milk Producers Co-operative Societies in rural areas. They procure 35 LLPD of milk from about 450,000 members. This arrangement guarantees milk producers uniform and profitable prices throughout the year.”
On April 5, Amul had courted controversy when it announced that it would start selling milk and curd in Bengaluru. This was seen as a threat to Nandini, Karnataka’s dairy cooperative.