Milk producers oppose government order, threaten strike

Milk producers in the State are up in arms against an order issued by the Commissioner of Milk asking them not to sell raw milk through primary cooperative societies.

They have demanded withdrawal of the order and threatened to stage protests next month.

K. Mohammed Ali, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association, said earlier they were allowed to sell 10% of the milk locally.

“In the villages, people sell it in the name of baby milk. It is sold for ₹2 more than the procurement price and the amount is used towards the administrative charges of the societies. It is not right that the government is interfering in the functioning of the societies,” he said. The Commissioner had instead suggested that packed Aavin milk be sold in villages. Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association general secretary M.G. Rajendran said in the villages, consumers buy milk in smaller quantities.

“They will buy 200-300 ml and always prefer fresh milk. They buy milk when it arrives at the society to be sent to chilling centres. Also packet milk is costlier, people just won’t buy it.”

Alarming revelation

Mr. Rajendran pointed out that a recent study by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India said that packaged milk had contaminants, including aflatoxin M1 and antibiotics. Mr. Ali said when the board of directors of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation was in office, the Commissioner could not issue such an order.

“The producers pay ₹1.25 per litre towards administration charges of the societies and they form the societies. This order is seen as an interference in the administration,” he said.

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