Parle Agro pledges to source local fruits for its beverages
To cater to the demand for its products nationally and globally, Parle Agro is working towards updating its internal infrastructure. The company is also aggressively building capabilities and capacities of its fruit processing partners across India.
26 May 2022 | By Rahul Kumar
Since 1985, Parle Agro has worked consistently with fruit farmers and processors within India with a vision to encourage their development and to give them opportunities to elevate their earnings.
According to a recent release shared by the company, Parle Agro continues on this path and has invested in its processing partners to help them extract their potentials in terms of infrastructure development and revenue increase. Subsequently, the company has taken a stand to source 100% from within India itself.
Historically, Parle Agro has always sourced fruits from India while importing from China as well, to meet its apple juice content needs. But now, the company has completely stopped sourcing apple juice imports from China and are sourcing them entirely from India alone through its network of Indian farmers.
Parle Agro’s foray into the fruit-based category in 1985 began with procuring 1,000 MT of mango fruit from its local fruit processing partners to create the company’s popular mango-based drink, Frooti.
The company has grown exponentially to currently procure around 150,000 MT of mango fruits into high quality mango pulp; increasing its consumption of mangoes by 150 times. The company’s range of fruit-based products currently utilise around 210,000 MT of fruit collectively. Over the past decade and a half, the company’s consumption of fruits has increased five-fold. Approximately one third of the fruit pulp produced in India is consumed by Parle Agro.
After its successful foray in creating robust mango processing supply chains, Parle Agro envisioned the creation of a similar network for apple juice concentrate due to the immense popularity of its apple-based drinks like Appy, Appy Fizz and B Fizz. The company’s requirement for apples has risen from 5,000 MT to around 60,000 MT of fruit. This has had a significant impact on local economies by contributing to local farmers’ incomes, as well as the growth opportunities for local apple processing partners.
Certain challenges faced by apple processors in India had led to issues with procuring of this fruit 100% for beverage manufacturers like Parle Agro. Challenges included limited availability of apples and outdated technology in processing abilities of apple processing units in India.
Nationally, apples are procured from the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, which have poor road infrastructure, low quality fruits, high transport costs, political turmoil, erratic weather and shortage of skilled labour. Therefore, the demand had to be fulfilled by some amounts of imports.
The company has worked actively towards changing the situation, leading to the complete discontinuation of all apple juice imports from China to sourcing these 100% from India. The company has supported in upgrading fruit processing facilities of four processors based in J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Parle Agro is working closely with them to build their processing capabilities, increase outputs and build efficiency leading to reduction in wastage.
Schauna Chauhan, CEO, Parle Agro, said, “Parle Agro has, and will always be India-focused in terms of sourcing raw materials and strengthening infrastructure. We aim to participate in India’s glorious growth story by contributing to building India economically and by creating opportunities for small farmers and SMEs and MSMEs across India.”
Chauhan added, “In the future, Parle Agro seeks to consistently work closely with all stakeholders like fruit growers, its partner processors and the government at all levels to minimise the shortcomings over time and to increase yields and outputs. It aims to be able to fulfil its apple requirements sufficiently by the year 2023.”