Global dairy giant Lactalis that does its functions in the name of Sunfresh Agro Industries (owns brand Prabhat) in Maharashtra has increased its milk procurement prices by at least of Re 1 per litre for the dairy farmers. The firm will now pay in excess of Rs 30 per litre for the quality of 3.5/8.5 SNF (Solid-non-Fat). The price increment comes with immediate effect.

The average milk procurement price in Maharashtra is less than Rs 30 per litre for most major operators Cooperatives included. With this step, the company now becomes the leader in procurement price in the state. This will be advantageous to 50,000+ dairy farmers serving to the company in the Ahmednagar, Nashik and Pune regions of the State. The price hike has come as a relaxation to dairy farmers who were staggering under pressure from the falling milk procurement prices during the COVID-19 hit part of year 2020 and were waiting for a fair increment.

This price appreciation will assist the dairy farmers linked with the company to look after their cattle in the coming summer and cope up with any demand. As the business is trying to normalize post the difficulties caused by COVID-19, the company thinks the farmers should receive more and more benefits since they had been affected severely during the lockdown phase.

Talking about the development, Rajiv Mitra, CEO of Sunfresh Agro – Lactalis Group stated- “At Sunfresh and everywhere in Lactalis, we always keep the milk producer farmer on top of our priorities list. Unluckily, dairy farmers suffered a lost in the previous year due to much lowered demand for dairy products and ingredients, caused by the stringent lockdown restrictions. Now as COVID retreats and the markets open up, the first thing we strive to do is pass on the advantages to the farmers. I anticipate the markets to further respond positively and that all other operators are able to follow us and most pay fair prices to their farmers.”

With various business segments such as restaurants, airlines and institutional buyers restarting their operations after unlocking, there has been rising call for milk ingredients and derivatives. Maharashtra being a major distributor of milk ingredients and derivatives to the nation, the necessity and hence cost of bulk milk powders, cheese have surged up. The hike in milk procurement price by the firm is unlikely to affect the consumers as of now.

Being a forefront dairy company in the region, it is acclaimed for its lucid milk procurement approach and standards, on-time payments, subsidies on animal feed and mineral mixture, veterinary services and trainings, assistance in securing soft loans, Diwali bonuses and many more such advantages.

PM Narendra Modi, in his recent speech in the Parliament, talked about how ably the dairy industry stood the test of time, setting up a firm supply chain, taking care of all stakeholders and adding to the GDP of the nation. Now with companies ameliorating the farmers’ interest and serving to the whole value chain from the farmer to the consumer, propitious days of the industry appear to be coming back.

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