Milk quality and the quality consciousness of the Indian consumer is our biggest challenge.

Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Pvt Ltd (SDDPL) inaugurated a ₹250-crore infant nutrition ingredient plant at Baramati on Thursday.

SDDPL, in which the US-based global dairy giant Schreiber Foods holds a majority stake, has invested over $100 million in the past decade in expanding its operations with facilities at Baramati, Fazilka and Kuppam. The company, which contract manufactures value-added products such as cheese, yogurt, juices and powders for customers such as Abbott, Britannia, Coca-Cola and Danone, among others, has an annual turnover of over $250 million.

Mike Haddad, President & CEO, Schreiber Foods, who inaugurated the new plant and dryer facility at Baramati, told Business Line in an e-mail interaction that improving milk quality and awareness of the consumer is the company’s biggest challenge in India. Excerpts:

How do you assess the Indian market? Any plans to further expand your procurement mechanism to other States?

The processed food market and organised dairy is at a nascent stage and looking at the demographics in India this is a growing market waiting to explode. We have set up a dairy in the South in Kuppam and are now setting up a procurement base. This will help us in expanding in the South.

Do you have any plans to use India as a sourcing base for the overseas market?

Our aim is to cater to the Indian markets.

As and when the opportunity arises, we will export to other countries. We have a strong customer base outside India.

Any plans to launch your own brands in the Indian market?

We are positioned as a customer brand company and will continue to do that.

Currently, we have no plans to pursue our brands in the market.

How do you see the global demand-supply scenario in the dairy segment? Where are prices headed?

We are seeing some uptick in prices, which may continue for some time.

What are the challenges you see in the Indian market?

Milk quality and the quality consciousness of the Indian consumer is our biggest challenge. We need all the dairy players to improve quality and work towards improving milk quality.

What are your investment plans for the Indian market?

We invest in plants based on customer requirements. Cost effectiveness and quality products are our strength.

We will continue to respond to customer requirements whenever they arise.

Any plans to increase your stake in SDDPL?

Currently, there are no such plans.

How is your non-dairy business (juice and beverage) scaling up in India?

We are growing 10-15% in this business and we expect this growth to continue for the next few years.

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