Sterling Agro Industries Ltd. is a New Delhi based company that has been engaged in the manufacture and supply of a diverse range of nutritional and premium dairy products for the Dairy Industry under the brand names Nova and A-One. Having started its operations 3 decades ago, the company continues to engage in new product innovations even today. Being a brand that caters to a niche audience, serving both institutional and retail segments, it continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of its consumers even today. Nova Dairy had also in the recent past undertaken the process of boosting its production capacity to meet the growing demand for milk as well as other value added dairy products by consumers. Currently, the brand owns and operates 3 State of the Art manufacturing plants in Kundli (Haryana), Malanpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Kasganj (Uttar Pradesh).

Claus from Food Infotech had a chat with Kanwal Nain Soni, Sr. Vice President – Corporate, Sterling Agro Industries Ltd., who spoke on the latest trends that are driving innovation in the Dairy Sector, the recent technology introduced by the company in its facilities to rid milk of bacterial spores and improve its microbiological quality and a few more.

Edited Excerpts Below:

Q. Nova Dairy had recently increased the capacity utilization of its existing plants in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Please tell us a bit about the same.

Actually, the increase in capacity utilization has been on account of milk flush season or during the period when milk production has been high. Such an increase in capacity handling has merely been on account of growing intake of milk by consumers during the period between September to March.

Q. Any recent technologies introduced in your manufacturing facilities? Please share some details on the same with us, if any.

With an intent to improve the microbiological quality, we have introduced Bactofugation as an efficient means of ridding milk of bacterial spores. Since these spores have a significantly higher density than milk and are also resistant to heat treatment, bactofugation makes a useful complement to thermization, pasteurization and sterilization, as the removal step is applied to raw milk, prior to any kill step.

Q. Can you tell us some of the main trends driving innovation in the Dairy Sector?

The COVID-19 pandemic caused several hiccups and setbacks for a lot of industries: the economic crisis, trade disputes, disrupted supply chains and so on. The Dairy Industry was also impacted and came closer to a point of stagnation. Anticipations are that the Dairy Industry will grow at a slower pace in the coming years. However, despite the slow growth, the Dairy Industry is predicted to witness a rise in certain product segments, such as Plant-based Milk, Dairy-based Snacks, Sugar-reduced Dairy, Functional Foods, etc., mainly because consumer preferences are shifting towards this direction.

Sterling Agro Industries premises

Stagnation happens when innovation comes to a standstill. Hence, amidst all this chaos and shifting consumer preferences, the only edge one can own is innovation – toward building a niche and loyal customer base that aligns well with customer preferences. Innovation, being second to choosing the right niche, the right trend. Prioritize new markets on the horizon and where to put the money.

Q. How important is sustainability for the Indian Dairy Industry today?

Sustainable Dairy Farming is a new concept that prophesies the proper and efficient usage of resources without being overly exploitative. It is important for us to understand that good management of a farming system constitutes the basis of the system’s economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Nova Dairy lab facility

Dairy Farming has been an age-old business in India, passed down from generation to generation. However, during the late 20th century, this tradition saw a decline. In spite of efficient management of a small dairy holding at his house, creating sustainable dairy farming is considered a need of the hour.

In association with Nestle and Unilever, we are contributing our efforts to nurture sustainability and attain some maturity towards the same.

Author

An editor by day & dreamer at night; passionately involved with both print and digital media; Pet lover; Solo traveller.

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