A Press Conference was held at Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd. today addressed by Managing Director of the Union Shri Kapil Meena, IAS.

During the press conference the Managing Director of the Sikkim Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd informed that the Milk Union is functioning efficiently & is all set to post healthy profits with a significant rise in the annual turnover of the organisation as continued from past few years. For the current financial year 2015-16 the annual turnover is expected to cross the milestone of 50 crore rupees mark.

While informing about the significant achievement in the current financial year he said that there has been the tremendous increase in the procurement of milk from more than 300 milk collection societies located in the east, south & west district of Sikkim. With this the marketing/sales of milk & all milk products has also shown higher increase than previous years & a healthy position is being maintained between the total procurement & the marketing. As compared to the annual procurement of 59.84 lakh kgs of milk in 2014-15 the procurement figures for 2015-16 till January this year has already crossed level of 79 lakh kgs showing an increase of 45% within first 10 months of this year. In the last 2 months there has been increased focus on opening new milk collection societies with all the required facilities resulting in more than 15 new societies being started & the daily procurement of milk has reached levels of 32000 kgs per day during these 2 months. Similarly, there has been increase in total sales to the levels of 34000 kgs & the total amounting to 80 lakh kgs already till January 2016.

He highlighted on the Gangtok dairy plant which has been ISO certified already under ISO 2000:2005 since December 2014 & now the future plans are to get the Jorethang plant too ISO certified within a limited time frame. Recently a visit was also made by the Hon’ble Minister of State, Agriculture Government of India to the head office during the Sikkim Organic festival who applauded the efforts made by the Union in the dairy sector & assured of extending all possible assistance to the nion. All necessary activities are being carried out in Gangtok dairy plant to qualify for continuous audits under ISO certification. It is proposed that on lines of the ISO certification of Gangtok dairy plant, similar initiative to be taken for ISO certification of the Jorethang dairy plant too in the coming financial year leading to a complete certification of the organisation. New packaging films are being introduced for most of the products as per the ISO Specifications, new launches of 500 ml HCM packaging, 500 gm Paneer & 500 gm Butter to be launched very soon. New product launches like Flavoured milk, Lassi etc. are in the pipeline, he added.
Shri Meena further said that there is also a focussed plan by the management to improve the efficiency of operations in the organisation so that the cost of production is reduced & there is an optimum utilization of the existing resources. Concerted efforts are being made to consolidate the progress achieved in past few years so as to sustainably maintain the growth achieved & to make further innovations to take the organisation to new heights. Some of the new initiatives taken & planned in near future are better procurement mechanism is being developed in the way of monitoring, ensuring accountability of equipments provided to the milk collection societies & developing a professional mechanism of society working. Regular trainings are being provided to the societies staff & members, Cattle loans under DEDS programme of Government of India is being implemented by the Milk Union & SISCO successfully wherein lot of enthusiasm has been shown by the local farmers. Already loans to the tune of 1.57 crore rupees have been disbursed & a number of applications are in process of approval. Unit price being received by the dairy farmers has shown increase from an average of Rs. 28.23 per kg in previous year to approximately Rs. 31.70 per kg. in the current year.

Sikkim Milk Union
  Sikkim Milk Union

New rounds of training has been proposed & finalized for farmers wherein 30 batches will be sent for training at NDDB regional centre, Matigara, Siliguri in next month. It has been decided to come up with a unique Brand name for the milk & milk products of the Union on lines of other successful dairy federation of the country. This will help in future to attain a unique identity & status in domestic as well as international markets especially in light of the State Organic Mission for which a contest is being organised for inviting suitable names for our brand using their creativity. Best names proposed will be given
cash prize & certificate by the Union.

For the better identification & consumer awareness recently uniform & standard sale outlet boards have been made & distributed to all the selling agents of our milk & milk products which will lead to easy identification of selling points by the general public. First time two suggestions cum complaint boxes have been installed at Tadong head office with one for employees & other for general public to receive suggestions/grievances from all stakeholders. Besides designation of marketing number as the customer care; website, email etc. are already available for any suggestions/feedback from consumers. A facebook page by name of Sikkim Milk Union Gangtok has been developed wherein all updates can be seen & feedback can be provided. Army supplies to 11 different Army units spread over Sikkim & north Bengal area is being continuously ensured upto the satisfaction of army standards.
Additionally, new sale outlets are being started in the Army market areas to sell milk as well as products with an outlet started at Sukna Army Core office premises since 1st February 2016.

A lot of steps have been initiated to cut down on costs in the plant, disaster management plan as well as plan for introducing a dress code/uniform for the workers on lines of professional production organisations. It is planned to strengthen the security of the campuses by erecting proper fencing around the head office complex & also replacing the damaged CCTV cameras. It is proposed to have enough CCTV coverage in both the plants to prevent any pilferage & wrong activities.

An exercise of exact cost calculations for all the various products manufactured is being initiated in the organisation so as to take all decisions of revision of procurement prices, selling prices, agents margin etc. on scientific basis. Better coordination with all the related Government Departments, Government and Non-Government Agencies for the betterment of dairy farming is being ensured, cowsheds being constructed on mass scale under MGNREGA etc. There hasn’t been any scientific manpower management policy till now in the organisation & this issue has been identified to be taken up on priority in the days to come. Planning is also being made to develop a fully computerised tracking/monitoring system with all digitized records, GPS Tracking systems in all vehicles, to carry out CSR activities, Bio gas plants installation, improving energy efficiency etc. he added.

Efforts are being made to move towards the goal of certification of Organic milk in near future & its effective branding as per direction of Hon’ble Chief Minister and to explore & open new marketing opportunities for our products in the open markets outside the State & in various other organisations under the guidance of National Cooperative Federation of India.

Attendance, punctuality, transparency and accountability of all inputs to farmers etc. as per the directions of Hon’ble Chief Minister in recent meeting are being strictly followed, the Managing Director informed.