Home / Politics / Policy /  Narendra Modi asks Pepsi, Coke to blend fruit juices in fizzy drinks

Bangalore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said multinational cola giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola should help augment fruit sales for Indian farmers by adding fresh juices to their fizzy drinks.

“Millions of people buy Pepsi and Coke. I have asked these companies if they can put 5% natural juice in their drinks," Modi said. He was inaugurating the India Food Park, a 110-acre food processing facility in Tumkur, near Bangalore—part of the Future Group’s Future Consumer Enterprises Ltd.

“If they can, then our farmers will make a lot of money. Our farmers will not have to throw their fruit away," he said after inaugurating the park.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also at the inauguration were Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

This is the first such integrated food park to be commissioned and has been developed in close partnership with the ministry of food processing industries, the central government and Karnataka.

With this manufacturing facility, the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has made its foray into the food processing business. “India Food Park is an ambitious project which has the potential to aid thousands of farmers, directly employ 10,000 people and quadruple the value of the food products that enter through the gates," said Biyani, group CEO of Future Group.

The food park has been built with an investment of 1,000 crore. Future Group will also set up similar food parks in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

Once fully operational, the facility will have around 50 units for food processing and dedicated plants for the manufacture of Indian savouries and snacks, frozen food products, chutneys, pasta, dry fruits and nuts, chocolates, etc.

The India Food Park has cold chain infrastructure, spiral freezers, mechanized sorting facilities, packaging and quality testing centres, grain silos, warehouses and R&D centres along with other facilities such as rain water harvesting capacity of 4.5 million tonnes and 7,500 sq. metres of micro small and medium enterprises facilities for entrepreneurs and food producers. “This integrated food park will help us reduce supply chain costs and wastage across the food value chain in India and improve quality and hygiene to create food products in India that compares favourably with the best in the world," said Biyani.

Products developed at the India Food Park will be retailed through Future Group’s retail formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Foodhall, KB’s Fairprice, Big Apple and Aadhaar as well as through general trade and other modern retailers.

Collection centres for the procurement of agri-produce are being set up in places such as Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur, Chamarajanagar, Chikmagalur and Shimoga.

This will facilitate farmers to directly sell their produce to the units that operate from the park.

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