Tata Chemicals to invest Rs 600 cr for fruits, vegetables distribution

Mumbai, May 30 | Updated: May 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
Tata Chemicals, along with its joint venture partner Total Produce plc of Ireland, have chalked out plans to invest over Rs 600 crore in setting up around 40 distribution centres over the next five years, which will distribute fresh fruits and vegetables in India.

Starting with two centres, one at Ludhiana in Punjab and the other at Kolkata in West Bengal, the company plans to scale it up over the next three to five years. The first two distribution centres that will come up towards the end of this year will entail an investment of Rs 30 crore.

Speaking to FE, Homi Khusrokhan, managing director, Tata Chemicals Ltd, said, We would be leveraging the 590-strong Tata Kissan Sansar (TKS) we have in North and East India and build on the existing relationship we have with the farmers. We will initially identify 10 vegetables and 10 fruits, select farmers and help them with modern techniques of farming, provide them with the seeds and finally collect, sort and pack the goods to be sold to the wholesale market and to large retail chains.

Targeting a range of wholesalers and retailers across the country, the JVs services would cater to anybody who is a large buyer of fruits and vegetables and this includes modern trade entrants such as the hypermarket venture of the Tata Group, as well as Reliance Retail.