CAMPCO to sell chocolate unit?

Factory has incurred losses, says ex-official of cooperative

Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The chocolate factory of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Limited (CAMPCO) at Puttur in Dakshina Kannada may be leased out on contract basis or the Board of Directors of CAMPCO may decide to dispose of the factory as it has incurred losses, according to G.R. Krishnadas, former CAMPCO Managing Director.

Last Friday, the President of the CAMPCO, L.N. Kudoor, relieved Mr. Krishnadas, who had been appointed by the Karnataka Government, after the cooperative returned the share capital provided by the Government. As per the amended bylaws, a CAMPCO official was appointed Managing Director. Mr. Krishnadas was Additional Registrar of Cooperative Societies before the Government deputed him as Managing Director of CAMPCO.

CAMPCO's chocolate factory is one of the largest of its kind in the cooperative sector. In a letter to the President and directors of the board, dated August 27, 2005, Mr. Krishnadas said CAMPCO was not working as a business institution with a profit motive. The situation could not continue and the management must change its mindset to make CAMPCO profitable. It should induct professionals, as was done in other multi-State cooperative societies such as Amul, he said.

The letter said K. Rama Bhat, former CAMPCO President, had moved a proposal at a general body meeting on September 30, 2004 that the chocolate factory and cooperative's copper sulphate factory at Sagar should be leased out or disposed of. The capacity utilisation of the factory was very low, it said.

The letter said sales over the past few years had remained stagnant and the proceeds had not crossed Rs. 12 crores. However, the administrative and marketing expenses were increasing. It might not be possible to run the factory as a viable unit in the near future, the letter said.

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