Amrit Group to enter processed chicken market in March

February 18th, 2010 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) After emerging among India’s top players in poultry breeding, hatchery and feed business, the Rs.850-crore (Rs.8.5 billion) Amrit Group based here is set to enter the processed chicken market next month with 50 percent of the products targeted at exports.

The company’s products will be processed and marketed under the brand Fresco Pollo, or fresh chicken, with the target of achieving a turnover of Rs.1,000 crore during the current fiscal, a top official at Amrit Group said.

“We are foraying into the processed chicken market soon. It’s a huge market and there are not many players. In India, only a minuscule portion of chicken is processed,” said Amitava Sarkar, the company’s business head for food processing.

“We have a plan to keep 50 percent of our processed products for the domestic market and to export the rest,” Sarkar said, adding that exports will, however, start in another eight-nine months.

The product will be initially launched in Kolkata followed by Delhi and its neighbouring areas, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur, Siliguri, Bangalore and Darjeeling. “In 2011 we also plan to have some signature shops.”

Asked about the initial target of export, Sarkar said the company would look at Asian countries like Japan, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar at the beginning and then would spread its wings to the Middle East and Europe.

He said the consumption of chicken per capita per annum was 2.2 kg in India, which was minimal compared to global standards. “This protein intake has to go up in the country,” he said, adding only 1-2 percent of slaughtered chicken was further processed in India.

Other players who operate in this sector nationally are Arambagh in the eastern zone and Godrej Agrovet, Venkateshwara Hatcheries and Suguna.

Sarkar said Amrit will have several value-added and ready-to-cook chicken products — from entire range of chicken salami and sausages to seekh kabab, shammi kabab and roasted chicken.

The machinery for the unit has been flown in from Britain, Germany and Spain and the products will be completely hygienic and follow global food safety standards as the entire process is automated, involving minimal manual touch, he said.

The group is also constructing a modern abattoir in Durgapur at an investment of Rs.40 crore. The company has 12 feed manufacturing units in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The group also has 12 hatching units spread across West Bengal and two breeding farms along with a state-of-the-art poultry meat processing plant.

In August 2009, Amrit Group announced its entry into the dairy market with the launch of regular, toned and double-toned cow’s milk under its flagship ‘Amrit Fresh’ brand.

(Aparajita Gupta can be reached at aparajita.g@ians.in)

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