Punjab: Khet-Se Agriproduce India Pvt. Ltd., a 50:50 joint venture of Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL) and Total Produce, Ireland launched operations in India with its first state-of-the-art procurement and distribution facility for fresh fruits and vegetables at Malerkotla, Punjab.
The centre will cater to the requirements of cities such as Ludhiana and Patiala.in Punjab.
Khet-Se is a business to business cash and carry model for fresh fruit and vegetables sourcing, packaging and distribution across India. It will supply hygienically handled, high quality produce to registered business customers and resellers such as small retailers, organised retailers and institutional segments comprising of hotels, restaurants and caterers, through its conveniently located wholesale stores.
The distribution facility will have four ripening chambers of 10 MT capacity each (to ripen fruits like banana) and 4 cold storages of 25 MT each, for orting, grading and packing of all fresh produce.
Khet-Se aims to bridge the gap between producer and end consumer which will significantly increase efficiencies, improve shelf-life and reduce product loss in the supply chain. It has already partnered with farmers to develop their skills to raise the quality of Indian farm produce through training on good agricultural practices.
According to GR Goves chief executive Khet Agriproduce India Pvt Ltd, Khet-Se plans to partner with small retailers and help them in developing competencies to manage their business more effectively. He also said that the next Khet-Se distribution centre will begin operations in Mumbai in the next six months.
''Being in the forefront of this exciting time provides us with an opportunity to innovate and create a new business model that will be a first of its kind in the country,'' said Tata Chemicals' managing director, Homi Khusrokhan, who is also the chairman Khet-Se Agriproduce India Pvt Ltd.
''There is nothing more satisfying for our business than the fact that it is contributing to the upliftment of the farmers and small retailers and enabling them to grow, not by handing out sops, but by making the basic tenets of their business self sustaining.''
Eugene Caulfield, MD, corporate development, Total Produce, said, ''Tata Chemicals has strong links with Indian farmers with its sales of fertilisers, chemicals and other grower requirements through its network of Tata Kisan Sansar distribution centres throughout India. This will help Khet-Se have a big advantage in sourcing high quality fresh produce.''
Total Produce is among Europe's leading fresh produce provider, with a turnover of 2 billion euros and operations across 90 facilities in 13 countries. A complete fresh produce provider, it grows, sources, imports, packages, distributes and markets over 200 lines of fresh fruit and vegetables to the wholesale and the retail trade.