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Coca-Cola, partners to spend $1.7 billion on Indian agriculture industry

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Global beverages major The Coca-Cola Company on Monday said it will contribute, along with its parters, over $1.7 billion (Rs10,943 crore) in next five years to the Indian agriculture ecosystem.

The amount, which will be contributed by the company, its bottling partners, fruit suppliers and processors, will be for the entire supply chain from “grove to glass through a concept called ‘fruit circular economy’,” Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd said in a statement. “Close to $800 million (Rs5,150 crore) of this contribution would be towards procurement of processed fruit pulp and fruit concentrate for The Coca-Cola Company’s ever-increasing portfolio of juice and juice drinks and carbonated drinks with juice products in India,” it said.

The company further said it is also working on a transitional journey focused on creating sustainable agriculture by using a variety of Indian fruits in its beverages under the juice and aerated drinks categories. Through this initiative, the company’s bottling arm, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd, 13 other independent franchise bottlers and fruit processing companies will invest around $900 million (Rs5,793 crore) over the next 5 years. The investments would be on manufacturing lines—juice bottling infrastructure, fruit processing plants, equipment and agriculture interventions to support demand and grow a range of the company’s non-carbonated drinks portfolio, the statement added.

Coca-Cola India and south-west Asia president T. Krishnakumar said, “The investments announced today by Coca- Cola will further catalyse economic growth and create new opportunities for farmers and local suppliers.” The company, which on Monday launched a new Minute Maid Pulpy Mosambi, said it would also expand its juice product range. “We have already expanded our Minute Maid juice range from one variant in 2007 to 11 variants in 2017 and if we are to realise our portfolio ambitions of being a total beverage company, we must invest in the agri ecosystem,” he added.

Coca-Cola said an estimated 2 lakh farmers will benefit from its five-year plan of sourcing fruit pulp and fruit concentrate derived out of 2.10 million tonnes of fruit. Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and Jain Irrigation have already invested in “project orange unnati” and “project mango unnati”, working on technologies like ultra high-density plantation and micro-irrigation system for enhanced produce. Currently, the company procures and exports raw materials and ingredients worth $280 million from India to 44 countries.

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