Milk co-ops shouldn’t be monopolistic, need to adhere to founding ideals: Milma Chairman

Dairy federations in India should rededicate themselves to the founding ideals of the cooperative dairy movement which envisions each state striving to build a strong and conflict-free dairy sector, while abstaining from inter-state competition, said KS Mani, Chairman of the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (MCM) KCMMF), better known by the brand Melma.

In an article on World Milk Day, celebrated on June 1, Mani said that milk cooperatives in India were prepared in the 1970s by taking into account the conditions prevailing in each state on the basis of cooperative and federal principles.

This was a pioneering initiative, supported by goals such as increased milk production and stronger job creation. The bottom line, he said, is the eradication of malnutrition.

India is now the largest producer of milk in the world and milk cooperatives have contributed greatly to this. They thrived by adhering to cooperative and federal principles while preserving the interests of consumers and the welfare of the dairy farmers in their home states.

Dent for the cooperation movement

Unfortunately, recently, however, there have been attempts by some milk federations to push the limits set by these founding ideals by marketing liquid milk beyond their borders. At the end of the day, this will have dire consequences for the dairy cooperative movement in the country as a whole, Mani said.

“Some co-operatives are behaving like monopolistic corporations in capitalist economies. Such activities are a threat to India’s ethos of cooperative federalism. This serious issue will be discussed at an imminent meeting of the National Dairy Development Board. Co-operatives, including Milma, are looking forward to the meeting with great hope. We paint strategy to counter this threat by upholding the spirit of cooperatives,” Mani said.

Dairy farmers in Kerala have deep concerns about the recent influx of milk from other states. In addition to their concerns, special interests began to spread rumors that the price of milk sold by other countries was lower compared to Melma’s.

Dairy farmers have always been Milma’s main priority, Mane said, as evidenced by a recent price revision that ensured the bulk of the benefits go to the farms.

Noting that Kerala is on the verge of achieving self-sufficiency in milk production, he said Milma is working on an ambitious project to increase the export of its products, keeping in mind the nostalgia felt by the expatriates for Milma.

The theme for World Milk Day 2023 is “Sustainable Dairy: Good for the Planet, Good for You”, which emphasizes the adoption of sustainable practices by the dairy sector to reduce environmental costs when the planet is faced with the ill effects of climate change. .