Last fortnight the big news was about Unilever acquiring Horlicks at an impressive value of slightly less than USD 5 Billion. Patanjali also hinted for launching their IPO . Keventer's looked confident for gaining a high market share in Long shelf life market of Eastern region through their aseptic range of market milk in Tetrapak.
Maharashtra government once again put pressure on both plastic manufacturers and milk packers to make necessary arrangements for taking product stewardship to save environment. First a ban was notified but later in the wake of incapabilities of the eco system to manage such a huge load of plastic and later to make arrangements for its recycling , the order was postponed for a future date.
I just tried to visualize this menace of plastic being used by milk industry for milk pouching alone. I took some realistic numbers to see how much film is being used for packing milk in India.
Total volume : 5 crore litres in say half liters per day
Number of pouches : 10 crores per day
Size of a pouch film in 500 ml : 32 cm by 15 cm
Total surface area of 10 crore pouches per day : 4.8 sq km
Total surface area covered in an year : 1752 sq km which is slightly more than total area of Del;hi and Kolkatta put together
Daily quantity of plastic being used for 10 crore pouches considering 400 pouches per kg of film : 250 MT per day
Total Carbon foot print of 1 kg of manufacturing plastic : 6 kg of Co2
Total carbon foot print in an year for plastic being used for packing milk in India : Around half million MT of Co2 emission
I think these numbers could give a great opportunity for start ups to think out of the box and either develop systems to collect and recycle this plastic into a meaningful output or to develop valuable eco friendly packaging for a daily use commodity like milk.
Another area which needs immediate attention by one and all in this industry is how to produce milk products for world market which are free from aflatoxin, antibiotic and Pesticidal residue. The world market is showing some recovery and Indian manufacturers have a great opportunity to work upon by making products of global standards.
It might require a lot of capacity building at farmers level and our cooperatives are doing a very good job. Couple of leading players like Amul are now going one step further by looking at mycotoxins also. We need to think together, work together and act together by sharing the best practices at primary production level so as to ensure the safety in milk.
Enforcement may not be the right trigger for such initiative. I think post operation flood , India is facing the crisis of abundance and now we again require someone to lead the nation like Dr Kurien for producing safe milk. In Indian culture also one avatar was not sufficient , as far as I know Vishnuji had to come 10 times to set the things right from multiple perspectives.
I seek suggestions and guidance from all the stakeholders on how to mobilize farmers to produce safe milk and make India the milk bowl of the world.
Happy e reading
with best regards
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)