The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has called for a meeting of Chairmen and Managing Directors of various co-operative dairy federations across the country this month to sort out the sensitive issue of cross-border marketing of liquid milk.

The meeting has been called by NDDB Chairman Meenesh C Shah, in response to objections raised by KS Mani, Chairman of Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (KCMMF), over the cross-border marketing issue at the meeting of the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) held in Varanasi. It will likely be held by the end of this month.

Earlier, KCMMF, known by the brand Milma, voiced serious concern over the Karnataka Milk Federation foraying into parts of Kerala to sell its Nandini brand of liquid milk.

Working jointly

Making a strong pitch at the NCDFI meeting, Mani said, “This is a complex and multifaceted issue, as co-operative dairies have different priorities and interests”.

He said by working together cooperative dairies could find solutions that benefit all stakeholders and ensure the delivery of high-quality milk to consumers.

Mani emphasised that the co-operative dairies should approach this issue collaboratively and diplomatically, which will uphold the values of the co-operative movement.

Responding to Mani’s views on the issue, the NDDB Chairman said a meeting of Chairmen and MDs of all cooperative dairy federations will be called this month to take up the issue and explore possible solutions to ensure that the interests of all member-cooperatives are protected.

Raising concern over cross-border marketing, Milma said the input cost in Kerala is higher than in most other States.

Also, in Karnataka, the government provides subsidies to the KMF, which is the prime reason for the cost difference between Nandini and Milma milk. Instead of passing on this benefit to farmers, KMF is using this advantage to sell its Nandini milk brand at a lower price.