‘Indian dairy industry should adopt new tech’

Updated: Jan 22 2002, 05:30am hrs
The latest packaging technology can help retain the nutritive value of packaged products and extend their shelf-lives by reducing the role of procured milk as a key family nutrient. This was stated by Mr Rajan Chhibba, principal and deputy managing director of KSA Technopak India Pvt Ltd at the National Milk Seminar on Strategic Marketing, hosted by the Rs 200-crore Tetra Pak India Pvt Ltd from January 17-19 this year.

While inaugurating the seminar, Mr Igor Akimov, managing director of Tetra Pak India Pvt Ltd said: “Since food safety is paramount, the current system of procurement and sustenance of perishable food and milk should be improved on a continuous basis to reduce existing wastage. Worldwide, aseptic technology, with its immense advantages, has been recognised as a viable option as it offers increased benefits — product range, better shelf-life, convenience and freshness.”

The objective of the seminar was to recognise the importance of aseptic technology for milk preservation with ultra high treatment (UHT) wherein milk is heated to a high temperature (135 to 150 degrees centigrade) in a closed system which is then force-cooled to room temperature.

The seminar primarily stressed the need for the Indian dairy industry to adopt new technologies to compete with imported dairy products and reduce the cost of production, processing and marketing, by recognising the importance of aseptic technology for milk preservation.

Focussing on the beverage carton, Ms Jacquelyn Paul, global manager, Centre of Expertise, Nutritional Tetra Pack Inc USA, said: “The changing marketing trends will eventually see a gradual shift from generic products to the packaged quasi, regular and premium brands. One of the packaging innovations dating from this century is the beverage carton. From the outset it was designed to meet the changing needs of society. The result was a package which provides optimal protection for the contents, the consumer and environment.”

Mr Panigrahi, an official from the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, observed that milk and milk products in India have gone through a sea change — from an import-dependent industry to a self-reliant indigenous industry. Hence, the key elements of marketing strategy for the new millennium would be focus on strong brands with value-added differentiation and product-mix expansion to include UHT (ultra high temperature) milk, cheese, ice creams and spreads which enable the producer to charge a premium for the perceived value addition, explained Mr Panigrahi.

In his written message, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries (independent Charge), Prof Chamanlal Gupta, said: “Government policies required to make the Indian dairy industry competitive. While the government is committed to providing all possible assistance to establish a vibrant dairy industry, there is urgent need for wholehearted co-operation from the private sector to meet global challenges.”

Added Mr Gupta: “The outcome of this seminar hosted by Tetra Pak India would definitely be given due consideration at an appropriate level with a view to securing an integrated and sustained development of the Indian dairy industry which is poised for growth on a global level.”

Tetra Pak India Pvt Ltd is a wholly-owned, Indian subsidiary of the Tetra Laval Group. Tetra Pak India commenced packaging material production in early 1997 from its plant at Takwe, near Pune.

According to Mr Akimov, the company’s vision in India is to identify and partner progressive players to make available to the Indian consumers pure, fresh, hygienically packaged food products in cost-efficient packages for total consumer satisfaction. Together with its partners, Tetra Pak India aims to drive business and growth, offering innovative products, high-end technology solutions and relevant marketing initiatives.

— The travel for this story was organised

by Tetra Pak