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Sabar dairy chief Jethabhai Patel is new Amul chairman

By Pray Jani | Vjmedia Works | August 02, 2014

Patel was elected unanimously to lead the federation till August 2015

Following a row surrounding the unceremonious ousting of former chairman Vipul Chaudhary in January this year, the country's leading dairy cooperative Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has unanimously elected its new chairman Jethabhai Patel, who is heading Sabar Dairy. Patel will head India's largest dairy cooperative till August 2015 when fresh elections would be held to elect the chairman for a three-year term.

Patel was elected unanimously by all the 17 members of the federation. Banas Dairy's chairman and also the former chairman of GCMMF, Parthi Bhatol proposed the name of Jethabhai Patel at the GCMMF board meeting which was supported by Kaira Union chairman (Anand Dairy) Ramsinh Parmar. All the board members supported Patel's candidature including Chaudhary, who was ousted in January 2014. BJP's spokesperson and senior state leader I K Jadeja was also present during the election.

Patel has been the chairman of Sabarkantha District Milk Producers' Union Ltd, also known as Sabar Dairy, since 2010 and this is his second term as the chairman of the dairy. He is also the chairman of Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Himmatnagar and director of Sabarkantha District Central Cooperative Bank Ltd, Himatnagar since last two decades. He has also chaired the annual general meeting of GCMMF held in May this year.

A senior GCMMF official informed that the federation elects its chiefs for a term of three years, and since the outgoing chairman has not completed his term, Patel's appointment has been made for the balance period, which is one year.

Also, Chaudhary had earlier approached the Gujarat High Court and the Supreme Court against the no-confidence motion moved against him. In a letter written in January, GCMMF managing director R S Sodhi had said that Chaudhary ceased to be the chairman of the federation with effect from January 11, after the Gujarat High Court upheld the no-confidence motion passed against him. Outcome in the Supreme Court is awaited. Sabarkantha Union is one of the largest milk unions operating in the state with annual sales turnover exceeding Rs 2,400 crores and farmer membership of 360,000 milk producers.

The union procures an average of 15 lakh litres of milk per day within Gujarat and outside. It has dairy plants in Sabarkantha District and one dairy plant at Rohtak, Haryana with processing capacity of 10 lakh litres per day.

GCMMF is India's largest food products marketing organisation with annual turnover of Rs 18, 143 crore during year 2013-14. It markets a wide range of milk and milk products under the brand name "Amul" and "Sagar". Member unions of GCMMF are procuring on an average of 132 lakh litres of milk everyday from 33 lakh milk producers from more than 17,000 villages of the state.
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