India: Mahindra signs JV with Univeg

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India: Mahindra signs JV with Univeg

A subsidiary of Indian car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has signed a joint venture deal with Belgium-based produce company Univeg, with a focus on raising productivity in the South Asian country and improving supply chains for fruit for both domestic and international customers. shutterstock_113871085 bananas panorama

The move builds on Mahindra's existing investments in the fruit industry. This includes November's announcement of the fruit brand Saboro, which has been used for apples and is in line to be harnessed for grapes, bananas and citrus

Mahindra ShubhLabh Services Ltd (MSSL) will hold a 60% stake in the new entity, while Univeg will own 40%.

"In line with our vision of delivering Farm Tech Prosperity, Mahindra ShubhLabh was set up to help farmers increase their productivity and enable them to obtain greater value for their produce. It is a matter of pride for us that we have today signed this JV with a global leader in fresh produce," said M&M's executive director and president for the automative and farm equipment sectors, Dr. Pawan Goenka.

"This JV will enable both companies to leverage each other’s strengths thereby providing a win-win for farmers and end consumers alike. Going forward, we plan to strengthen our partnership by further improving the fresh produce supply chain through various interventions and investments across India."

In a release, Univeg said it would bring technical know-how and best practices to the table, for quality control, post-harvest handling, ripening and farm agronomy practices, while MSSL will help contract farming agreements across India while leveraging its domestic
marketing and distribution network.

"We consider this association the right mix of market presence and farmer connect. Mahindra’s reach, together with our proven technical expertise across 6 continents and 32 distribution centers in Europe will be beneficial for all stakeholders," said Univeg Group executive chairman Hein Deprez.

The partners indicated the JV's first focus would be modernizing the supply chain of locally grown fruit such as bananas in India, responding to the high quality demands of consumers while improving yields and reducing waste levels.

The second focus will be to offer trading capabilities to capitalize on rising demand for imported fruit, while the third focus will be on positioning India to have a greater role the global fresh fruit trade.


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