Mahindra ShubhLabh signs JV with Belgium's Univeg to market fruits

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 15 2014, 02:47am hrs
HandMahindra will invest Rs 30 crore in the JV in building up supply chain. Thinkstock
Auto major M&M's agri business unit Mahindra ShubhLabh Services today formed a 60:40 joint venture with Belgium-based fresh produce firm Univeg, to offer high quality fruits in the domestic as well as global markets.

The JV aims at increasing productivity, improving price realisation and setting up high quality supply chain for fresh produce, *Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director and President, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

"We consider this association has the right mix of market presence and farmer connect. Mahindra's reach, together with our proven technical expertise across six continents and 32 distribution centres in Europe will be beneficial for all stakeholders," Univeg group Chairman and major shareholder Hein Deprez said.

The JV is eyeing Rs 50-75 crore revenue within 3-5 years and targeting 1 lakh tonne of fruits supply, Mahindra's agri & allied businesses chief executive Ashok Sharma said.

"The JV will enable both companies to leverage each other's strengths thereby providing a win-win for farmers and end consumers alike," Goenka said.

Going forward, the two partners plan to strengthen the new business by further improving the fresh produce supply chain through various interventions and investments across the country, he said.

Goenka said the domestic fruits market currently stands at USD 30 billion of which organised players accounts for only around 5 per cent or USD 1.5 billion.

There is no branded fruit sold in the country as of now and Saboro - the fresh fruit brand launched by Mahindra group last November - is the first branded fruits vendor. The JV will sell fruits under the Saboro brand.

Mahindra will invest Rs 30 crore in the JV in building up supply chain, Goenka said.

The JV will focus on developing fresh fruits supply chain to provide high quality fruits that meet the needs of both the domestic and international markets and it will focus on select key fruits, Goenka said.