BHOPAL : We want to build our reputation as a producer of quality products. We want to create a market for our products in other states of the country. And of course, we also want to increase the income of the dairy farmers.
This was how Jitendra Singh Raje, CEO of Bhopal Cooperative Milk Federation summed up the objectives of the organisation, in an interview with Free Press.
An IAS officer of 2007 batch, Raje was originally allotted Sikkim cadre. He served as SDM of Gangtok, CEO of Gangtok district and also as collector of the capital of the north-eastern state.
Has a wide range of products; sales network spread over 14 districts
Milk sales up by 20% in 5 years
FP: What are your plans for strengthening the Bhopal unit of MP Dughdha Sangh?
Raje: When I had taken over, things were not in a good shape. Since then, we have made many improvements. We plan to completely automate our plant. The project will be sent to the Government of India for funding.
FP: What are your key products?
Raje. Along with other products, our Pedas, milk cake, ghee and butter have drawn great response. They are known for their purity, taste and value for money
FP: How many people are associated with the Federation?
Raje: The Federation has created huge job opportunities. Around 1.5 lakh persons are associated with us. They include those in our supply chain and the around 1.2 lakh members of the 3000 primary milk cooperatives which supply milk to us.
FP: You are selling your products in how many districts?
Raje: We are selling in 14 districts including Bhopal, Sehore, Rajgarh, Vidisha, Raisen, Hoshangabad, Betul, Harda, Shajapur, Guna, Ashoknagar, Sagar, Chhattarpur and Damoh.
FP: What is quantity of milk collected and sold by you?
Raje: We collect around 4.12 lakh litres per day. The bulk of the supplies come from Sehore district, followed by Rajgarh, Betul and others.
The average daily sales are around 3.55 lakh litres. In last five years the quantity has increased by 90,000 litres per day. In the year 2011-12 the figure was 2.67 lakh litres.
FP: What is your product line?
Raje: The Federation is selling milk under two brand names – Gold which has 6 per cent fat and 9 per cent SNF and Standard with 4.5 percent fat and 8.5 percent SNF.
Besides, we are selling ghee, butter, butter milk, curd and flavoured milk. We also sell peda, milk cake, rasogulla and chhena kheer.
FP: Any special scheme for drawing new customers?
Raje: We have a lucky draw for our card holders. The draw is taken out on the 20th of every month. The first prize winner gets five Sanchi Gold packets per day free of cost for one month or any other product of equal value. The second prize winner gets four packets and third, three packets per day. The fourth gets two packets and fifth one packet every day for one month. They can also exchange their prizes for other products of equal value.
FP: What is probiotic curd?
Raje: Probiotec is a dietary supplement containing beneficial bacteria or yeasts. The lactic acid bacteria are the most common type of microbes used. This help lowering the pH preventing gastrointestinal infections. It improves immunity, improves digestion, prevents gut infection and controls diarrhoea.
FP: What is Federation’s policy on quality, food safety and environment?
Raje: We are committed to producing quality products, which reach the customers in time at competitive prices. We are also committed to continual improvement to ensure safe and healthy working environment in the plant.
We are also committed to pollution prevention, emission reduction, waste minimisation and efficient utilisation of resources by adoption of suitable control systems and to implement and maintain compliance to all applicable national codes standards and statutory rules and regulations pertaining to plant operation and environment.