Kurien’s Kiwi dream gets real
When India gained Independence, it largely relied on New Zealand to meet its milk requirement in cities like Mumbai. Milk powder was imported from New Zealand and converted into liquid as the then Bombay Milk Scheme did not have adequate milk. Six decades on, the dream long cherished by India’s milkman Dr Verghese Kurien to see that India one day exports dairy products to New Zealand, is coming true. Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets Amul brand of products, is all set to export dairy products to New Zealand, the global dairy capital and home to Fonterra, world’s largest dairy firm which controls almost one-third of international dairy trade. Though Amul’s first consignment to New Zealand is only of 20 tonnes, the symbolism is causing excitement in the Indian dairy sector. Dr Kurien, who underwent training at New Zealand on a senior fellowship, in his memoirs ‘I Too Had A Dream’ has stated: “New Zealand did not want India to produce milk powder as India was a major market for them. Now, India produces 1,65,000 tonnes of milk powder more than what New Zealand produces.” The federation already exports packaged milk to markets like Singapore, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait and Philippines among other countries. With annual exports in excess of NZ $6.3 billion, the dairy industry in New Zealand is still the biggest export earner for that country. Amul is now among top 25 milk brands of the world. The International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN), a global dairy research network has ranked Amul 21st in the list of top dairy companies. Officials of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets Amul brand claim the IFCN has released the analysis based on 2007 data. If it takes into account the rise of procurement Amul’s milk collection which stood at 3.1million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2008, the ranking can well go up. With 2.7 MMT worth milk procurement, Amul enjoys 0.4% market share in the world.