`Exporters compromising on quality of coir products'

Staff Reporter

Bid to lower prices, say small-scale manufacturers

`Exporters encouraging quotation system'Small-scale manufacturers to hold protest rally

ALAPPUZHA. Exporters and middlemen in the coir industry are encouraging small-scale manufacturers of coir mats and mattings to flout the quality norms prescribed by the Coir Board with the aim of lowering its price, alleged representatives of SSI units.

Addressing a press conference here, M.P. Pavithran, president of Kerala State Small-Scale Coir Manufactures Federation, and M.V. Soman, president of Small-Scale Coir Factory Association, said exporters who outsourced coir mats from small manufacturers were encouraging quotation system, whereby they could buy produce from those who quoted the lowest price.

The fall in quality was evident in the first and second quality mats produced in the state, said Mr. Pavithran.

Such trends would damage the prospects of the industry in the long run, they said.

The SSI representatives said the Coir Board was turning a blind eye to developments in the sector.

The present trend would adversely affect the efforts of the State Government to sell coir products under a single brand, said Mr. Pavithran.

He accused coir exporters of not honouring an agreement signed with small-scale manufactures and coir workers in 2005 following a strike in the industry.

Though they had promised to do away with intermediaries, such persons continued to thrive in the industry, he said.

Mr. Pavithran said associations of small-scale manufacturers of coir products and cooperative societies would take out a march to the office of Coir Exporters Association here demanding implementation of the provisions of the agreement, fair price for coir products and steps to maintain quality.