During the state’s election campaign, a milk-related controversy has emerged. Amul, India’s largest milk cooperative, experienced a fierce response in Karnataka when they announced their entry in Bengaluru.
The state’s opposition feared that Amul’s entry, backed by the BJP, would jeopardise the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ‘Nandini,’ which is profoundly tied with Kannadiga identity.
What is Amul vs Nandini Controvery?
The Amul vs. Nandini controversy started when Amul, the largest milk cooperative in the country, announced that they will deliver milk and curd online in Bengaluru. But the announcement did not go as planned, and people from Karnataka and the Congress party in the state heavily criticised the decision.
Also, a few days ago, Home Minister Amit Shah said in a rally that Amul and Nandini would come together to fulfil the demand for milk and dairy in the state. Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clarified that the statement was not about the merger of these two cooperatives.
Amul is an Indian state government-owned dairy-based cooperative society, and it is under the ownership of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited. Amul sells its products in various states across the country.
Whereas Nandini is the brand name under which KMF (Karnataka Milk Federation) sells its products in the state and in a few other cities. Nandini is the largest milk cooperative in the state of Karnataka and the second-largest in India.
Why is Amul is Facing Backlash in Karnataka?
Nandini has an advantage over Amul in Karnataka because it is a domestic brand with low pricing. According to various suppliers, Nandini Dairy’s milk costs remain among the lowest in the city, at Rs 39 per litre. Meanwhile, people who are buying Amul Milk in other states are paying Rs 54 per litre for Amul-toning milk and Rs 52 per litre in Gujarat.
Amul is an expensive option as compared to Nandini, and Amul is a bigger brand. According to protestors, Amul will disrupt the market, and the prices of dairy products will increase in the state.
Support for Nandini
Now various leaders are coming forward in support of Nandini. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah said, “All Kannadigas should pledge not to buy Amul products”. “All Kannadigas have to unanimously resist the usurpation of the KMF, which has been built for the welfare of the farmers of the country. All Kannadigas should pledge not to buy Amul products.”
Siddaramaiah also tagged Prime Minister Modi and asked, “Is the purpose of his visit to the state to give or to loot?” In the tweet, Siddaramaiah referred to the merger of Vijaya Bank and Bank of Baroda, as well as the ports and airports being handed over to Gujarat’s Adani.
In reply to Siddaramaiah, Amit Malviya, who is the IT department head for the BJP, said that Amul is not entering Karnataka. Both Amul and KMF sell their products across quick-commerce platforms, and he also claimed that the turnover of KMF (the Karnataka Milk Federation) has increased in past years.
Amul’s reaction on the controversy
Amid the boycott trend, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Managing Director Jayen Mehta said the company’s entry into the state’s dairy market is not to compete but to coexist with the local Nandini brand.
Jayen said it is not Amul vs. Nandini, but Amul and Nandini. Mehta put an emphasis on coexisting with both brands, saying both were farmer-owned cooperatives with similar interests. We are not here to compete with Nandini”.
Ans. Amul is an Indian state government-owned dairy-based cooperative society, and it is under the ownership of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited.
Ans. Nandini is the brand name under which KMF (Karnataka Milk Federation) sells its products in the state and in a few other cities.
Ans. Amul stands for Anand Milk Union Limited.