Maharashtra’s Gokul dairy sees sharp fall in sales

March 31, 2020

Parthasarathi Biswas | IE

PUNE — The Kolhapur District Cooperative Milk Producers Union – the dairy that retails dairy products under the brand Gokul – has reported a sharp drop in sales of liquid milk, owing to the ongoing lockdown. Ravindra Apte, chairman of the Union told The Indian Express that sales have dipped by 3-3.15 lakh litres per day post the curfew-like situation.

With a daily milk procurement of around 12 lakh liters per day, Gokul’s procurement is across the districts of Kolhapur, Sangli and some parts of Karnataka. The union also has strong retail presence in the cities of Kolhapur, Pune, Mumbai Sangli among other areas.

Apte said the closure of tea stalls, hotels and sweetmarts were where sales have largely dipped. “In Kolhapur district, many small distributors and sellers have decided to stop selling as they are worried about the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.

In rural Kolhapur, villagers have resorted to blocking the entry and exit point of villages which has also hindered the distribution of milk. Procurement, Apte said, was going on as usual but the dip in sales have put challenges before the union. “We have started converting around 3-3.15 lakh liters of milk into skimmed milk powder (SMP) daily,” he said. Other than Gokul, dairies like Chitale in Sangli and the Rajarambapu Cooperative Milk Producer Union of Islampur are also using machinery at Gokul’s processing plant to convert their excess milk into SMP.

Apte said Gokul has not reduced the procurement price of milk for their producers. “We are still paying the dairy farmers at the rate of Rs 27 per litre for milk with 3.5 per cent fat and 8.5 per cent Solid Not Fat (SNF),” he said. A decision, however, could be taken by the board after the lockdown is lifted.

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