Agri Business

Coconut oil merchants body up in arms against Centre’s move to issue more blending licences

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on September 12, 2018

BL20-COCONUT_OIL

Cites widespread adulteration, negative impact on farmers

 

Raising concerns over the Centre’s move to issue more blending licences in coconut oil, the Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA) has said it may lead to more adulteration and affect the purity of coconut oil.

The Association cited the recent Kerala High Court order, directing the Food Safety Commissioner to take necessary action wherever adulteration in coconut oil is found and to seize and destroy such products before they reach consumers.

No action taken

The court ruling comes on a petition filed by COMA complaining that the authorities have not taken any action to seize the adulterated oil or to blacklist the companies found to have been indulging in adulteration or banning the products that were found to be adulterated.

Thalath Mahmood, Director, COMA, told BusinessLine that there are about 8-9 companies in the country with a licence to blend coconut oil and they market products by blending 20 per cent of coconut oil with 80 per cent of other edible oils such as sunflower.

Impact on livelihoods

Since there is rampant adulteration prevailing in the sector, he pointed out that the move to issue more such licences would affect the livelihood of coconut farmers in the four growing states in the South.

The market is already flooded with adulterated edible oils and this would go up once the government issued more licenses, he added.

He also suggested setting up state-of-the-art labs and mobile labs at border check posts to prevent the arrival of adulterated coconut oil into the State.

Meanwhile, the coconut oil market remained steady in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with prices hovering at ₹15,800/qunital and ₹14,500/quintal respectively. Copra prices are ruling at ₹11,00/qunital and ₹9,850/quintal, respectively.

Published on September 12, 2018

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