‘Did not violate any law’
Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Milma) will remove the imprint “fresh and pure” from its milk sachets by October 31, Milma has assured the Kerala High Court.
Milma took the decision to remove the imprint from its packets following a High Court directive.
In an additional affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court, Milma said dairies under it were keeping sufficient quantity of low density polyethylene film (LDPE) for packaging milk.
In fact, it kept the film stock for two to three months with all statutory printing. The present stock of the film would be exhausted only by the end of October. Besides, a new design would have to be developed and new packing material was to be sourced.
Therefore, introduction of new packets after removing the phrase “fresh and pure” would be possible only by October 31. Milma, therefore, sought time till October 31 to keep the stock of the film and change over to the new packets.
Milma contended that it had not violated provisions of any law while using the words “fresh and pure’ on its sachets. The affidavit added that even if milk was procured from farmers, the SNF (solid non fat) contents would not attain the required standard prescribed by the Food Safety Standards Act and Rules as its average SNF content was lower than the standards prescribed by the Act.
‘Used by many’
Therefore, it was mandatory that milk procured even from the farmers should be standardised by adding SNF; either in the form of skimmed milk powder or skimmed milk. Most of the other milk producers in the State were also using the same process for preparing pasteurised milk.
The court issued the directive on an appeal filed by Martin Paiva of Kochi against a single judge’s verdict allowing Milma to hike the prices of milk. It was brought to the notice of the court that Milma was announcing on its packets that its milk was fresh and pure despite the fact that it was adding skimmed milk powder.
Meanwhile, the petitioner in reply to the affidavit said Milma could very well cover the words “fresh and pure” by pasting blank label over it.
When Milma hiked the prices of its milk, it would soon print revised price over the old prices on the sachets. This practice could be adopted for removing the “fresh and pure” imprint from its packets.