On 2nd February 2013, students of United World School of Business were taken for an industrial visit to Mother Dairy (Dankuni Factory). This factory in particular manufactures dahi, yoghurt, paneer, Ghee, Drinking Water, milk of various standards. There are factories too spanning various parts of the state and country.
Mother Dairy is one of the leading dairy products leader in the country and ranks third in ice-cream manufacturing. In early 1987, Mother Dairy, which was already procuring milk through associations in and around Delhi, was asked to do a pilot project on similar lines for fruit and vegetables. This was to minimize exploitation of farmers by middlemen and help consumers get fresh supplies of fruit and vegetables at a fair price from neighbouring retail outlets. Thus was born Safal, India’s oldest food and vegetable retail chain.. At present, with an annual turnover of Rs 300 crore, Mother Dairy stands third in terms of market share. Today, Mother Dairy today is a market leader in the branded milk segment in Delhi where it sells close to 3 million litres a day. Besides dairy products, it sells frozen foods and juices under the brand name ‘Safal’ and ‘Dhara’ brand edible oil.
It was the first industry visit to a manufacturing firm where students could see real, live operations taking place. The scenario for the production and distribution of milk products in West Bengal was explained by the Factory Manager in great detail. As reported by the Factory Manager, Mother Dairy Calcutta was set up in December 1978 under an initiative of The Government of West Bengal known as Operation Flood of The National Dairy Development Board. The initiative was an endeavour to cater to the milk demands of the Kolkata urban agglomeration spread over the Kolkata Metropolitan area. Gradually the supply started spreading to the other districts as well. In November 1996, the management of Mother Dairy Calcutta was taken over by West Bengal Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd. In the state of West Bengal, they operate through a three tier cooperative society system- 1.Primary milk producers in the villages 2. Primary milk societies at the village level and District Cooperative milk producers’ union. These societies in the village level collect milk from its producer members and make periodic payment against the milk so collected. In addition, in collaboration with the district milk union, they provide various services like veterinary cover, artificial insemination, fodder etc. to its producer members. The data provided sheds ample light on the fact that milk production has been significantly going down in its plant from an initial demand of 600000 litres per day to 3.5 lakh litres per day presently .
A walk through the factory gave the students useful insights of the processes involved in manufacturing various dairy products. The manufacturing of various products are organized as separate subunits within the factory utilising the concept of plant within plants like paneer division, yogurt division.. The total amount of milk procured from the rural areas is first weighed at the weighing plant before they enter the factory for processing. Each large size equipment within the plant has its own control panel. The labours work on a three shift basis. The comprehensive process of milk manufacturing right from clarification, fortification, pasteurization to packaging of the milk into standardized packets was explained and shown in detail. Most of the processes like milk processing, paneer and yogurt manufacturing are automated. An efficient supply chain management which consists of milk booths, retail outlets and mobile units, ensures the distribution of finished products to various parts of the state. This feature lends competitive advantage to the company.