With many milk-supplying farmers happy doing business with private dairies and overnight operators that are paying more, Aavin’s milk procurement has been significantly affected. The milk major currently procures around 30 lakh litres of milk a day, which has led it to walk a tightrope and keep a strict tab on sales.
“In every village there are two or three new outlets that are stationed quite close to Aavin’s collection point, and they pay ₹6- ₹10 more per litre, which is attracting farmers, who are paying through their nose for animal feed and other expenses. Milk production has been hit due to various factors, including the lumpy skin disease last year, when the mortality was quite a bit,” said M.G. Rajendran, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association.
The association has been demanding that Aavin, the official brand of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited, increase the procurement price of milk to prevent the migration of milk-supplying farmers to private dairies.
S.A. Ponnusamy, Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers’ and Employees’ Welfare Association, said milk supplies had been affected in the city and elsewhere due to a dip in procurement. “Aavin management seems to be managing with what little they have and is also getting butter and skimmed milk powder from other States to tide over the shortage. But ultimately, supplies to wholesalers and dealers are being delayed or reduced,” he said. A wholesaler in the city said they were getting just about enough milk to maintain supplies.
In their response, official sources at Aavin said supplies had not been affected and that its dairies were only judiciously managing with the available raw milk, butter and milk powder on hand. “Farmers selling to Aavin are continuing to do so. They have been demanding for an increase in procurement price and their request is with the State government for its consideration.”
Since the flush season in north India had failed this year, many States are scouting for milk. “Many farmers are selling milk to unlicensed operators just to get additional payment. The Food Safety Department and the Collectors are taking cognisance of this and initiating action against such persons,” a source added.