AgriNation News Network
Margao | 28 Jan 2018
To cater to the growing demand of organic seafood products globally, COOP Cooperative, one of Switzerland’s biggest retail and wholesale companies, is partnering with Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) to develop export-oriented organic aqua farming in India.
A memorandum of cooperation (MoC) was signed by A Jayathilak, Chairman, MPEDA, and Gerhard Zurlutter, Member of Management, COOP, at the ongoing India International Seafood Show 2018 in Goa on Sunday.
Under the project, MPEDA will assist in identifying entrepreneurs and providing them with technical advice on the production of high-quality organic shrimp that meet national and international certification protocols.
Later it will be extended to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal and other states.
COOP has nearly 2,200 sales outlets throughout Switzerland and wholesale/production business active across Europe, has offered to procure the processed organic shrimp at a premium of up to 15 percent and with an additional 5 percent through financing for development activities, including training.
Signing the MoC, Jayathilak said, “The reason why many farmers are hesitant to get into organic production is the increased costs involved. The premium price offered will offset the extra cost and incentivize them to explore organic farming”.
“Our cooperation with Coop covers the entire value chain and we hope that farmers and entrepreneurs would come forward and take this opportunity to be linked to consumers abroad,” Jayathilak said.
MPEDA and COOP will facilitate the certification of a shrimp hatchery for the production of organic shrimp seed and similarly certify and empanel a small scale feed mill unit to source the organic feed for the project.
Marine Zurlutter, Head of projects & overseas buying frozen products for COOP, said India would be their second leg in organic farming after Vietnam, where they have had success with similar projects and organic producers who are generating considerably higher revenues than conventional farmers.
COOP, Switzerland’s first consumer cooperative with a history of 150 years, is currently celebrating 25 years of organic certification in production.