Amul, a dairy cooperative movement, was formed in 1946 in India. It is a brand name managed by an apex cooperative organization, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd., which today is jointly owned by some 2.41 million milk producers in Gujarat, India. It is based in Anand town of Gujarat and has been a sterling example of a co-operative organization's success in the long term. Amul has inspired 'Operation Flood' and heralded the White Revolution of India. It began with two village cooperatives and 250 liters of milk per day, nothing but a trickle compared to the flood it has become today.
Today Amul collects, processes and distributes over a million liters of milk and milk products per day, during the peak, on behalf of more than a thousand village cooperatives owned by half a million farmer members. Further, as Ganga-ma carries the aspirations of generations for moksha, Amul too has become a symbol of the aspirations of millions of farmers, creating an Amul Pattern of liberation and self-reliance for every farmer to follow.
The first products with the Amul brand name were launched in 1955. Since then, they have been in use in millions of homes in all parts of India, and beyond. There is something more, though, that makes the Amul brand special and that something is the reason for the commitment to quality and value for money. Amul is the brand name of 2 million farmers, members of 10,000 village dairy cooperative societies throughout Gujarat. This is the heart of Amul, it is what gives strength to Amul, and it is what is so special about the Amul saga.
The Amul Pattern has established itself as a uniquely appropriate model for rural development. Amul has made India one of the largest milk producers in the world. It is also the world's biggest vegetarian cheese brand. Amul's product range includes milk powders, milk, butter, ghee, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, cream, shrikhand, paneer, gulab jamuns, Nutramul brand and others.
A household name in India, Amul is now all set to go worldwide. While the World Bank wants to replicate Amul model in the African countries, the United States is planning to introduce it in Afghanistan as part of its reconstruction program. India's neighbors like Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also shown keen interest in copying the Amul pattern of dairy development in their countries.
The Pentagon reportedly lists Amul among the finest models of rural development and wants to apply this in war-torn Afghanistan.
Earlier, a delegation from Pakistan had come to Anand with special instructions from General Musharaff to examine why the Amul model has been so successful for so long. Sri Lanka has already entered into an agreement with NDDB to set up a dairy plant in the island nation on the Amul pattern. Dairying in India should now rapidly progress in quality to compete in international markets.
If the World Bank project for Africa and the US move to take Amul pattern to Afghanistan succeed, the Indian dairy sector will get a big boost and makes Amul as an international brand.