Chairmans Speech

37th Annual General Body Meeting held on 21st June, 2011

Madam and Gentlemen,

At the beginning of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi had stated "The soul of India lives in its villages";. 100 years later, as our national GDP surges ahead at the rate of 8.6% towards the US$ 2 Trillion mark, this statement still stands true. With 70% of our citizens still residing in rural India, agriculture remains the backbone of Indian economy, providing livelihood to almost two thirds of the workforce in our country. The importance of agriculture to our nation is best summed up by this statement: "If agriculture survives, India survives";. While agricultural sector is critical to our national food security, it is also intrinsically linked to our rural society and culture and therefore progress in this sector directly benefits rural society, environment and quality of life.

Contributing 22% to the agricultural GDP of India, milk is the largest agricultural produce of our country, valued at Rs. 2 lakh crores (US$ 44 Billion) per annum. Dairying has become an important secondary source of income for more than 13 million rural families and has assumed an important role in providing employment and income generating opportunity for the most vulnerable sections of our population. For millions of small and marginal farmers as well as landless labourers, milk production provides ready cash in hand for fulfilling their daily household requirements. Income from dairying gives our rural women, some measures of economic independence. Apart from being a critical part of Indian agricultural economy, milk and milk products are also an essential part of the diet of majority of Indians, providing an important source of proteins, given the prevalence of vegetarianism. Dairy farming also complements other traditional forms of agricultural activity. While crop residue from the farms is used as feed for our milch animals, part of the fertiliser manure used in crop cultivation, comes from the cattle.

You will recall that at the time of independence, India was a milk deficit country, dependent on import of dairy commodities to fulfil the nutritional requirements of our citizens. Milk was a rationed product and consumers had to stand in long queues for their daily quota of milk, without any assurance of quality or hygiene. With milk production at a level of only 17 MMTs per annum in 1950s, per capita availability of milk was only 132g per day, well below WHO recommended level for minimum nutrition. Undoubtedly, that situation would have continued even today, had it not been for the initiative and wisdom of our farmers who organised themselves into dairy co-operatives, created the three-tier 'Amul' cooperative model and ultimately inspired 'Operation Flood', unleashing white revolution in this country. Operation Flood helped in replicating the successful Amul pattern co-operative model across 176 districts in 22 states of India, catapulting our nation towards the status of the highest milk producing country in the world. In stark contrast, some of our South-East Asian neighbouring countries are still heavily dependent on import of dairy products to fulfil their domestic demand. Over the last six decades, the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work of our farmers has enabled India acquire self-sufficiency in dairy sector and also acquire the ability to provide minimum nutritional level to its citizens, in terms of milk consumption. Since our nation is largely independent from dairy imports, Indian consumers have been protected from the unpredictability of international dairy commodity markets.

Production of mikl as marketable surplus is an economic enterprise for our farmers. Milk production has to compete in economic terms for allocation of resources of production with other competing options such as crop cultivation. Due to ever increasing pressure of human population, arable land is mainly used for food and cash crops and there is little chance of having good quality arable land available for fodder production, unless milk production is remunerative to farmers as compared to other crops. Same is true for other factors of production, as well. Like all entrepreneurs, our farmers also consider opportunity cost of resources allocated to dairying and in case they identify more viable options for utilising these resources, they may move away from milk production. Since the proportion of urban population in Gujarat has increased from 28% in 1971 to 43% in 2011, this trend indicates that lesser proportion of our population is now engaged in agriculture, dairying and allied activities, although the total number of people engaged in agriculture does not decrease.

In recent years, Indian dairy farmers have been facing soaring input costs which has adversely impacted viability of milk production as an economic activity. With declining return on investment, there is a possibility that farmers may simply lose interests in milk business and turn to other activities. Analysis of the cost of milk production reveals that the most critical cost component is cost of feed and fodder, comprising nearly 70% of the total cost. Cost of labour is also an important cost component. Our farmers are facing severe fodder shortage, forcing them to use lower quality feed. This shortfall is fuelling consistent rise in price of fodder. With fodder prices jumping two-fold due to lower production of cereals, milk production has become a costly business. There is tremendous pressure of livestock on available feed and fodder since land available for fodder cultivation is decreasing. With competing claims on bio-mass for energy, cost of dry fodder for feed is rising and will continue to rise. Dry fodder constitutes major portion of a milch animal's ration. Farmers are also reeling under the impact of steep rise in all major ingredients of cattle feed. Price of de-oiled rice bran which constitutes 25% - 35% of cattle feed, has increased from Rs. 3483 per MTs in 2005-06 to Rs. 6618 per MTs in 2011. Price of molasses, which constitute 10% to 12% of total cattle feed has also surged from Rs. 3400 per MTs to Rs. 4300 per MTs, within last one month.

Some reports even suggest that in certain regions of India, farmers are finding it more profitable to sell their cattle to meat & leather industry, rather than continue in milk business. These very same reports also suggest that this phenomenon has already led to closure of some milk co-operatives in small pockets of India. If true, this indeed indicates an extremely disturbing trend, which if allowed to continue unchecked can severely undermine sixty years of hard work, which went into achieving self-sufficiency in Indian dairy sector.

We do understand and appreciate the concern amongst urban consumers, regarding recent hikes in prices of branded milk and dairy products. After all, milk and milk products form a major component of our food basket. Food inflation is a global phenomenon, especially in the developing world and is spread across a wide variety of food items. However, recent price increases in milk in India, have been triggered by sharp escalation in input costs, as farmers found viability squeezed out of the dairy business. Due to declining returns from dairying, farmers will find it difficult to invest further in increasing the quantity and quality of milk production, as well as enhancing productivity of their cows and buffaloes. If farmers do not actively invest in increasing herd size, providing superior quality of feed, arranging for adequate quantity of green & dry fodder, arranging for proper veterinary care, cross-breeding, artificial insemination and other productivity enhancement measures, we may not be able to achieve the desired rate of growth in milk production in India.

On the other hand, we are witnessing a visible and rapid growth in demand for milk and dairy products, due to rising purchasing power of both urban and rural consumers in India. Rising income levels have led to shift from consumption of cereals to superior foods such as milk, vegetables and meat. In a nation of 1.21 billion citizens, every growing child in the age group of 10 - 15 years needs 750 ml of milk per day, while every adult needs at least 250 ml per day for minimum nutrition. In the last 10 years alone, our population had grown by 181 million. Rising income and aspiration levels have been further accelerated by impact of sixth pay commission in urban India and policy initiatives such as NREGA in rural India.

Key to long term price stability in milk and dairy products, lies in removing supply-demand imbalance by enhancing rate of growth in milk production to match the rate of growth in demand. As a nation, we need to target 6% to 8% growth in milk production per annum, for the next few years, to achieve this critical goal of controlling inflation in milk on a sustainable long-term basis. The only way that we can achieve this target is by incentivizing and motivating our farmers to invest in enhancing quantum of milk production as well as productivity per animal. We must ensure remunerative price of milk to our farmers, even if this implies further increase in prices of milk and dairy products to our consumers, in the short term. While urban consumer may have to bear the burden of short-term inflation in milk and milk products, they will benefit immensely through long term price stability in this sector due to accelerated growth in milk production.

Indian dairy co-operative movement became a shining example of success due to wisdom and toil of our farmers, visionary leadership of Dr. Verghese Kurien and tremendous encouragement and support extended by successive governments at Union and State level. We are confident that our policy makers will continue to support all possible initiatives aimed at maintaining our self-sufficiency in dairy sector. Our lack of dependence on dairy imports is one of the most significant strengths of our country. Imports over medium or long term, to tackle dairy inflation may prove to be heavily counter-productive since this may turn our farmers away from milk production, entrapping us in a vicious cycle of increasing import-dependence. We can take lessons from our experience in oilseeds sector, wherein we have sunk into a permanent state of import-dependence. Any move to surrender our self-sufficiency in dairy sector will turn the clock back to pre-Operation Flood era, exposing Indian consumers to the volatility of international dairy markets, shortages and long-term price instability in dairy sector. Temptation of addressing dairy inflation through medium or long-term imports has the potential to undo six decades of hard work done by our dairy farmers. If millions of rural milk producers are deprived of their daily income due to increasing un-viability of dairy business, this may have unpredictable consequences for other sectors of our economy, as well. Any move towards dairy imports can effectively cripple one of the most vibrant sectors of our economy and both milk producers as well as consumers will lose in the process.

The only way forward is to ensure remunerative prices of milk to our farmers, thereby incentivizing them to increase milk production. If farmers perceive higher returns from milk, enhanced investment in cattle, fodder, feed, veterinary care and other inputs will automatically follow. This will not only keep prices stable in the longterm for our urban consumers, but also ensure long-term viability of one of the most important pillars of our rural economy. Price to pay for all these long-term benefits is the current inflation in milk and milk products, which is a short-term sacrifice that our urban consumers will have to make.
I now present to you, our Federation's Annual Report and the Audited Accounts for the year 2010-11.

Review of Operations

Total milk procurement by our Member Unions during the year 2010-11 averaged 94.57 lakh kilograms
(9.45 million kg) per day, representing growth of 1.88 per cent over 92.82 lakh kilograms (9.28 million kg) per day achieved during 2009-10. The highest procurement as usual, was recorded during January 2011 at 124 lakh kilograms (12.40 million kg) per day. We have also successfully demonstrated our ability to process more than 12 million litres of milk per day. Rising cost of inputs and declining viability of dairy business had prevented our farmers from further enhancing investment in increasing milk production. We are trying to rectify this trend by ensuring high remunerative prices to farmers which will definitely motivate them to increase milk production. We have also taken several measures to ensure increase in productivity per animal. These efforts will definitely help to boost our milk procurement in coming years, to match growth in demand.

During the year, sales of our Federation registered a quantum growth of 22.1 per cent to reach Rs. 9,774.27 crores (Rs. 97.74 billion). Last year, our turnover was Rs. 8005.36 crores (Rs. 80.05 billion). This is an extremely impressive growth, when viewed from the perspective of 19.3 per cent growth that we had achieved in 2009-10, 27.7 per cent growth achieved in 2008-09 and 22.9
per cent growth that we had achieved in 2007-08.

I am also pleased to note that our Federation has done remarkably well in most of the value-added consumer packs. Amul Butter has also shown an impressive value growth of 26%. Sales of Amul Milk in pouches have grown by 34% in value terms. Our sales in Amul Processed Cheese have shown consistent and very impressive growth of 29%. Amul beverage range including Flavoured milk, Buttermilk and Lassee has shown an impressive growth of 28 per cent in value terms over the last year. Sales of Amul Masti Dahi grew by 39%. With enhanced focus on fresh and fermented products, we launched Amul Probiotic Lassee in ready to drink cups, Amul Probiotic Buttermilk in PET bottles and flavoured yoghurt under the brand name Amul Flaavyo. In the Infant Milk Food category, our brand Amulspray registered a value growth of 20% and achieved the unique distinction of becoming a Rs. 1000 crore mega-brand. In the dairy whitener segment, Amulya recorded a growth of 21%. In our milk-based dessert range, we relaunched Amul Gulab Jamuns with new round shape, registering quantum growth of 53%. We managed to achieve 13.7 per cent value growth in Amul Ice cream, despite intense competition in this category. We remain No. 1 Ice-cream brand in India, leaving a wide gap with the nearest competitor.

Retailing continues to be an important strategic thrust area for our Federation. During the year 2010-11, 1000 new Amul Parlours have been added, taking the total strength to 6000, thus reinforcing the wide popularity of the concept. Business generated from Retailing Operations has also been growing at a brisk pace. Our Amul parlours generated business of Rs. 406 Crores in 2010-11, growth of 37% from previous year's figure of Rs. 298 Crores. Thus the contribution of Retailing Operations in GCMMF's business reached 4 per cent. The average throughput per parlour has also increased by 17%. At Amul parlours, consumers feel reassured that they will get the entire range of Amul products under one roof.

Apart from the conventional locations such as residential and commercial areas, Amul parlours are also coming up at Educational Institutions, Railway Stations, Bus stands and other high traffic locations. We have already created 160 parlours at railway stations and 177 parlours are operating at various Centre of Excellence. Our Amul Ice cream scooping parlours continue to be popular among individuals and families for relishing value-added Ice cream in attractive ambience. More than 150 Amul Ice cream Scooping parlours were added during 2010-11, taking their total tally to 375.

We have also tried our hands at Quick Service Restaurant concept. Amul Cafe, spread over an area of 1000 sq.ft and serving recipes like Amul Butter Pavbhaji, Amul Pizzas, Amul Cheese Burgers, Sandwiches, Ice cream Scoops, Sundaes & Milk Shakes has been started in Ahmedabad on pilot basis. The Cafe Amul concept will now be extended to Metro markets & Tier I towns in a phased manner. Our success in Retailing can be attributed to the strong equity of Amul brand and also to our committed team of field sales personnel, wholesale distributors and franchisees. We are targeting a milestone of 10,000 Amul parlours by the end of March 2012.

I am pleased to inform you that during the year 2010-11, our exports has achieved turnover of Rs. 98 Crores. This had been achieved in spite of ban by Govt. of India on exports of milk powder since February 2011. We have been able to achieve continuous growth in export of consumer products by leveraging on strong brand equity of Amul in global market.

Over the years, we have created an unique combination of four distribution highways for our ambient, chilled, frozen and fresh products. This rare capability has kept us ahead of competition. Macro-economic factors are continuing to influence shifts in consumer preferences, consumption occasions and are also instrumental in creating business opportunities, particularly in small towns and rural areas. This warrants periodical review of our Route to Market strategy. Roll out of super distributor model of distribution by us during the year to enhance the reach of our ambient, chilled and frozen products to rural India, overcoming the challenges of inadequate cold chain is a fact- based approach to realign our distribution channel as per the need of the hour. The outcome, so far, has been quite encouraging. We have already started 30 super distributors across 8 states, covering 520 smaller towns. In the year 2011-12, we plan to increase the number of super distributors to 150 and cover as many as 3000 small towns.

To integrate distributors in our strategic planning process and also to develop self-leadership amongst each distributor so that they have the capability of managing their own business, our 'Self Leadership Development Programme' (SLDP) continued during the year.

Distributors and Amul Parlour franchisees from across India continued to visit Anand as part of our Amul Yatra Programme. Through this initiative, our channel partners get exposed to our cooperative institutions and are able to understand their role as true partners in our endeavour towards the socio economic development of rural India.

Our Federation has supported the milk producers of Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh and Kachchh districts to organise their own cooperative milk unions and co-operative societies at village level. Milk producers have organised 1790 village dairy co-operative societies and their district milk unions have become nominal members of GCMMF. GCMMF family has now been extended to 24 districts out of 26 districts in Gujarat. The milk producers of Saurashtra and Kachchh are now getting all technical and marketing support from GCMMF and this has helped these milk unions in organising more farmers and increase milk procurement. Milk procurement in the region has increased by 27 % compared to previous year.

During the last eleven years, our member unions have been implementing Internal Consultant Development (ICD) intervention for developing self-leadership among member producers and thereby enabling them to manage their dairy business efficiently leading to their overall development.

During the year, member unions continued to implement the module on Vision Mission Strategy (VMS) for primary milk producer members and village dairy co-operatives. Facilitated by specially trained consultants, 597 village dairy co-operative societies (VDCS) have conducted their Vision Mission Strategy Workshops, prepared their mission statements and business plans for next five years. Till date, 7107 VDCS have prepared their mission statement and business plan under the initiative. During the year, 5709 VDCS have also reviewed their business plan under annual revisit of VMS and have prepared action plan for next year to propel the momentum gained through VMS.

In order to strengthen knowledge and skill base of young girls and women of the villages about milk production management, our Federation with technical collaboration and resources of Anand Agriculture University, has initiated "Mahila Pashupalan Talim Karyakram"; for women resource persons of the Member Unions and during the year, 418 women resource persons have been trained under this programme.

Clean Milk Production
Under our quality assurance programme for consumers, Federation has supported the member unions for strengthening Infrastructure for quality and clean milk production by implementing various Government of India, Government of Gujarat and NCDC programmes. Our Member Unions have identified 4000 potential VDCS for installation of Bulk Milk Coolers (BMC) and till date, 2477 BMC have already been installed and CMP training programme has also been implemented in these villages.

Continuing the cleanliness drive at village level, till March 2011, member unions have implemented cleanliness module at 9507 VDCS. To enhance the level of cleanliness, this year 7316 VDCS celebrated Red Tag Day on "Gandhi Jayanti"; - 2nd October and the unions also gave awards to the best performing VDCS.

Fertility Improvement Programme
As per our long term vision to reduce number of infertile animals in our milkshed; our Board decided to implement Fertility Improvement Programme (FIP) from the year 2007-08. The concept of FIP is an integrated one, addressing the aspects of animal nutrition, breeding and health in holistic manner and thereby converting a non-productive animal into productive asset.

To implement FIP, milk unions have deployed 56 FIP teams of veterinary consultants and during the year they have worked in 1030 villages. During the last four years, they have implemented FIP in 3887 VDCS and registered 2.85 lakhs non-productive milch calves and buffaloes under FIP and out of these, 1.85 lakhs milch animals have been made productive. FIP is being monitored through a dedicated system on Member unions have got very fruitful results after implementing FIP and inspired by this success, to support the productivity enhancement initiatives, they have envisaged Productivity Enhancement Programme (PEP) and implemented the same in 702 villages and covered 3.38 lakhs milch animals with objective to improve their overall productivity. Our Board has identified gaps which are hindering efforts in improving milk productivity and therefore, to increase genetically superior animals with high milk productivity, to create good replacement stock and to include scientific calf rearing practices among farmers, they have envisaged to implement Calf Rearing programme.

To provide nutritionally balanced animal feed to farmers at their doorstep and to reduce cost of feeding and increase performance of animals, for better health and milk productivity, our Board has also envisioned to implement scientifically prepared Total Mixed Ration programme.

Sustainable ecological development
Over the years, due to intensive agriculture and deforestation, various natural resources have been depleted in Gujarat. We therefore, gave serious thought to this issue and discovered a novel idea for repaying our debt to nature. The idea was tree plantation by milk producer members of dairy cooperatives, on every independence day. The idea was put in to practice for the first time in the year 2007. The milk producers planted saplings on their own at pre-identified locations like their farm, near their home, on farm bunds, etc. and thus in Gujarat, they planted 18.9 lakh trees across 19 districts of Gujarat on our 60th Independence Day, 15th August 2007. On 15th August, 2008, a more ambitious target was planned and we planted around 52.74 lakhs tree saplings on "One member, three tree"; basis across 21 districts of Gujarat. In 2009 and 2010, the third and fourth year of the programme, we successfully planted around 84.04 lakhs and 79.75 lakhs tree saplings on "One member five tree"; basis in respective years across Gujarat. For this activity, we have received four consecutive Good Green Governance award from Srishti during 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It is heartening to note that the International Dairy Federation (IDF) has recognised this initiative as major Innovation of the year and has awarded this initiative with the "Environment Award"; under IDF's Dairy Innovation Awards.

With globally extended and complex supply chains, it's critical for our Federation to enable actionable insight that supports continuous improvement with an end-to-end view of performance and root-cause analysis. Aligning supply chain strategy with corporate objectives across key lines of business in a timely and cost-effective manner and to achieve superior supply chain performance, Federation along with four Member Unions, has successfully implemented 1st phase of SAP ERP application across major parts of GCMMF Enterprise.

Your Federation is now planning a rollout of the application in the remaining member unions, which will help it map, manage and monitor supply chain strategy, having consistent definition and common data sources for metrics across the organisation. The implementation of the ERP application will help your Federation and Member Unions empower its supply chain strategy and tactical decision making through fast and real-time access to critical information and metrics.

Your Federation has also set up a centralised state of the art Data Centre for its entire IT operations at Anand. GCMMF has further enhanced its MPLS based Virtual Private Network(VPN) by connecting all its sales offices, member unions, milk plants, milk chilling centres and warehouses on a common communication backbone to strengthen and automate the supply chain operations.

The Amul dairy co-operative movement which started in 1946 with only two village level milk cooperative societies, collecting just 247 litres of milk per day, has today transformed into a US$ 2 Billion organisation, handling almost 12 million litres of milk on a peak operating day. While our journey through the last sixty five years has been fruitful as well as eventful, we foresee and anticipate, a series of exciting challenges on the road ahead. Apart from being the world's largest milk producing nation, India is also the largest consumer of milk and milk products in the world, since milk has always been an integral part of our tradition and culture. Although we have a commanding 25% share of the organised dairy sector in India, the organised sector itself accounts for less than 20% of total dairy consumption within our country. This implies tremendous potential for growth at the expense of the unorganised sector. One of the key challenges ahead is to enhance the share of the organised sector by further enhancing and streamlining our supply-chain network, effective deployment of technology including information technology and safeguarding interests of our farmers. Focus on improving productivity of our milch animals is essential for further enhancing quality and quantity of milk produced. We can even encourage farmers who are economically better off to create commercial dairy farms in their village, rather than invest their money elsewhere.

We plan to focus on expanding category penetration and enlarging consumer base of most of the product categories that we operate in. This will enable us to tap the huge un-touched potential for branded, packaged, value-added dairy products in urban, semi-urban and rural India. In terms of product innovations, we will sharpen our focus on value-added derivatives, moving further up the value chain. We will continue to enhance our range of fresh and fermented products. We have to work simultaneously on the supply side as well as the demand side so that the demand-supply equation can be effectively managed and the dairy cooperative movement can continue to flourish and grow. We will also ensure that our farmers continue to receive remunerative price for their milk and that maximum percentage of consumer's rupee flows back to the farmers.

We will continue to play our leadership role in Indian dairy industry and also lead the Indian dairy cooperative sector to a position of eminence in our national economy. We have already finalised and documented our roadmap for the next ten years. As per our plan, the group turnover of all dairy cooperatives of Gujarat will reach Rs. 30,000 crores (US$ 6.7 Billion assuming current prices and exchange rate) by the year 2020. We will also take all possible steps to help other dairy cooperatives outside Gujarat to flourish and grow. We are already buying milk from dairy cooperatives in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and other states.

We acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous faith and trust that Indian consumers have placed in us, over the last six decades. We are conscious of our time-bound responsibility to increase milk production and we will make every effort to ensure that supply of milk and dairy products matches the growth in demand, leading to price stability in the long term. This will help to provide our consumers with much deserved relief from frequent price hikes. Under no circumstances should we allow any inefficiency in our internal systems to be passed on to consumers, in form of price increase. On behalf of all dairy farmers of Gujarat, we would like to reassure all our consumers that we take every possible step to safeguard their interests and that we are committed to providing highest quality dairy products at most reasonable, value for money prices. We are confident that we will succeed in our endeavour with positive and continued encouragement and support from all quarters, including our policy makers.

Before closing, I would like to thank all those who have helped to make our Federation's operations successful.

We are grateful to the Government of India for immense support received from various departments and specifically from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development. We convey our special thanks to NCDC for providing valuable support to our village cooperative dairy societies. We are also thankful to the Government of Gujarat for all the help and cooperation, extended to our organisation.

National Co-operative Dairy Federation of India had been providing us with invaluable support in coordination with other agencies and organisations. National Dairy Development Board had played a role in our growth and development. I am very grateful to them.

Institute of Rural Management, Anand, as always, has contributed to the perspective building and professionalization of the management of cooperative sector. We express deep gratitude for its support.

We are indebted to Vidya Dairy for having organised training programmes on dairy technology for our employees. We are also grateful to SMC College of Dairy Science, Anand, for strengthening the dairy cooperative sector, by providing technically skilled manpower. We express our sincere thanks to the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Anand.

Our advertising agencies, bankers, insurers, management consultants, suppliers and transport contractors have been of great help to us in managing our growth and are our partners in success. We acknowledge their contributions and commit ourselves to continue and strengthen this fruitful alliance in all times to come.

The Indian Railways has played a crucial role in the growth of our dairy cooperatives since inception. We thank them for their continuous support.

We depend on the efficiency of our WC&F agents, distributors, retailers and most important of all, the patronage of our consumers, who have come to regard our brands as synonymous with quality and value. While thanking them for their support, we assure them that we shall strive endlessly to delight them.

Our Member Unions are our strength. We thank them for their guidance, support and cooperation without which we would not exist.

Lastly, we thank the officers and staff of our Federation for their continued perseverance, loyalty and unflinching efforts devoted to our cause.

Thank you.
For and on behalf of the Board of Directors

P G Bhatol