Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCBPL), one of India’s leading beverage manufacturing companies and the largest bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company in India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra state government and Jain Irrigation to help local orange farmers and set up a juice manufacturing plant.
The company said in a statement that the MoU and the subsequent implementation of the partnership project will provide a boost to the orange farmers in the state, ensuring high quality produce, state-of-the-art pulping and processing of oranges for packaged beverages and capability building of farmers for them to adopt sustainable and high yield agricultural practices.
Under the tripartite agreement the juice manufacturing facility will be built in the state’s Vidarbha region, the company said.
Local farmers will also be supported in their efforts to cultivate Indian orange mandarins with the adoption of Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technique to boost yield. UHDP is a scientific process that ensures higher yield of agri produce per acre of land and within a time span, which is significantly lesser than fruit grown using traditional methods of farming.
The partners will also establish a modern hi-tech nursery and develop knowledge sharing processes for the benefit of the farmers including using classroom training and field demonstrations for UHDP, the statement said.
The announcement follows the successful partnership between HCCBPL and Jain Irrigation for a similar project for mango farmers that allowed them to grow and process high quality mango produce for use in Maaza and Minute Maid range of juice products. The two have recently signed a deal under which HCCBPL will procure mango pulp worth Rs. 750 crore (approximately $115 million) over three years from Jain Irrigation out of produce sourced from local mango farmers, the statement said.
“Our prior experience of working on a similar project with mango farmers in Maharashtra gives us the confidence to say that we are now ready to make a substantial difference to the lives of orange growers in Vidarbha and other parts of Maharashtra. As the largest buyers of mango pulp in India, we are happy to be able to positively impact the lives of 400,000 farmers in India,” said T Krishnakumar, Chairman, HCCBPL