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April 7, 2008

INDIA: Reliance Industries eyes dairy growth

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has lined up over US$1bn to invest in India’s booming dairy industry.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has lined up over US$1bn to invest in India’s booming dairy industry.

RIL has kicked off its foray into the sector by selling full cream milk at the company’s Reliance Fresh outlets at prices that undercut competitors.

Manu Kapoor, RIL’s head of corporate communications, told just-food that the company has already drawn up a blueprint for expanding its dairy operations. This includes milk procurement centres in 70,000 villages.  RIL currently operates 1,000 procurement centres in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

Distribution is currently in progress throughout the Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

“The dairy business is a very logical addition to the business of fresh fruit and vegetable, as our backward integration is already in place,” Kapoor said.

The total Indian dairy products market is valued at around $75bn. The organised retail market accounts for just one third of this amount. Over half of the milk consumed in India is purchased at rural markets or sold at the source.

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