Global beverages major Coca-Cola India said on Monday that it will invest USD 1.7 billion along with its partners in the agri-ecosystem of the country in the upcoming five years as part of its fruit circular economy initiative.
"We are planning to invest around USD 1.7 billion, outof which USD 800 million will be for procurement of fruit-based material for use in the product and USD 900 million will be the investment on manufacturing lines, juice bottling infrastructure and fruit processing plants andequipment and agriculture interventions," Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia President T Krishnakumar told reporters at Mumbai.
He said the investment would be in three parts."We will be investing to increase the yield of the farmer as well as the yield of the fruit. We will be investingin fruit processing infrastructure and filling. This will be jointly invested by us, our bottling partners as well as our processing partners," Krishnakumar added.
The company said an estimated 2 lakh farmers would benefit from the 5-year roadmap of sourcing fruit pulp and fruit concentrate derived out of 2.10 million tonnes of fruit.
"We have started with mosambi and oranges and havestarted process on litchi and pomegranate. We source mangofrom India and have also started sourcing guava and banana. We believe that starting from last year, in about 10 years' time, we will be able to increase the amount of fruit that we use by about 10 times," Krishnakumar said.
He added that the investment behind horticulture will be in four parts -- by adding fruit juice in sparkling drinks,more fruit-based drinks, new offerings and exporting the fruit pulp and concentrates to other countries.
"For our global brand Fanta, we are adding 5 per centorange juice and in the next two months it will become 10 percent," according to Krishnakumar.
The company procures and exports raw materials and ingredients worth 280 million from India to 44 countries. Coca-Cola India launched Minute Maid Pulpy Mosambi on Monday and has sourced more than 1800 tonnes the fruit from Jalna in Maharashtra for the first phase of production.