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Kerala’s milk cooperative has expressed concerns about the neighboring state’s Nandini brand venturing into retail. The Karnataka Milk Federation, which recently opened outlets in Kerala, plans to allow franchise outlets across the state. This has led the management of the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which operates the popular Milma brand, to write to Nandini expressing strong reservations about its Kerala plans.

The Kerala cooperative, with 15 lakh dairy farmer members and 3,000 cooperatives, has raised objections to other state milk marketing federations, such as Nandini, marketing staple products outside their domain. Milma chairman K S Mani stated that this violates federal principles and the cooperative spirit on which the country’s dairy cooperative movement is built. He emphasized that every federation has its own domain, and Milma is concerned about the cross-border sale of Nandini’s liquid milk brand. Mani also highlighted the resistance in Karnataka against Amul’s move to sell its products in the state, questioning the justification for the Karnataka Federation’s entry into Kerala.

Mani pointed out that Milma is a major client of the Karnataka Federation, purchasing a significant amount of milk from Nandini when there is a shortage in Kerala. He expressed concern that Nandini’s retail sales in Kerala would harm their interests and be mutually destructive. Despite the higher input cost in Kerala’s dairy sector compared to other states, Milma passes on 83% of its turnover to dairy farmers and provides surplus as additional incentives and subsidies.

The Milma chairman urged dairy cooperative federations to refrain from opening sales outlets or making franchise arrangements to sell liquid milk and staple products outside their respective states, emphasizing the importance of cooperation among states.

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