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Mother Dairy to get new avatar, and a new mission

Source : timesofindia

The Mamata Banerjee government is renaming Mother Dairy as Bengal Dairy and turning it into a government-run entity in the hope that Bengal’s name and famed work culture will help it challenge giants like Amul.

The government hasn’t set itself any deadlines yet but it is determined to take the Bengal brand across the country, especially Delhi. “If we are to take Mother Dairy outside Bengal, we must change the name because ‘Mother Dairy’ would be confused with the Delhi-based brand.

Mother Dairy-Calcutta, which has a facility at Dankuni, was set up as part of Operation Flood launched by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in the 1970s. These units came up in four metros and all of them were named ‘Mother Dairy’,” said an official. NDDB eventually moved out and most state governments launched their own brands.

But not West Bengal. On March 21, 1982, then chief minister Jyoti Basu dedicated Mother Dairy-Calcutta to rural milk producers and urban milk consumers of Bengal.

In November 1996, West Bengal Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation took over management and the PSU began slipping into the red from 2007. After a restructuring in 2008, the milk producer just about managed to negate its losses in 2010 before it was back to red square one in April 2011.

The next booster dose came from Mamata Banerjee. After came to power, the CM stuck to her populist policy and refused to increase prices. The CM refused to subsidize the PSU, either. What she did instead was to launch a premium milk brand, “Ma Shakti”, at a Trinamool higher price in 2012. A 500ml packet of Ma Shakti costs Rs 15 against Rs 12 for cow milk, the usual brand.