Vermicelli may get GI status

Written by BV Mahalakshmi | Hyderabad | Updated: Sep 30 2009, 08:42am hrs
Bambino Agro Industries, which claims to be the largest producer of vermicelli in Asia, has applied for the geographical indication (GI) status for its Bambino brand. The company has approached the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks for the GI status under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act. Bambino is the exclusive manufacturer of pasta with Durum wheat semolina in the country.

P Easwara Das, executive director, marketing, said, We have submitted the application for the GI tag and hope to get it next year, he said. The company produces 4,000 tonne of vermicelli, pasta and macaroni every month across three plants in Bibinagar (AP), Gurgaon and Nagpur. The company is looking to develop new products with wheat derivatives, he added.

While most often used on food products, geographical indications can be used to identify any product (for example, Czech crystal, Swiss watches, Indian carpets) that may be associated with a specific geographic place.

Bambino Agro Industries has a porfolio of 74 productsincluding pasta, instant foods, soup powders, spice powders, ready-to-eat sweets and ready-to-eat snacks.

We propose to diversify into functional foods, which would be mostly derivatives of wheat, and the first product is expected to be launched next year, he added. It is also bullish about exporting these functional foods to the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Europe and parts of UAE.

It has integrated backward to procure quality wheat after mandatory grain testing from the farmers directly. After separation, grading and milling are done at the company-owned flour mills to produce semolina.

The company has registered a 100% growth in sales in the last three years. It posted a turnover of Rs 220 crore for the 18 months period ended March 2008 and expects a turnover of Rs 270 crore in the current year. It hopes to double its turnover to Rs 500 crore in the next five years.