The Indian government faced a growing diplomatic storm over comments made by two suspended political leaders; as countries in the Gulf region summoned Ambassadors and conveyed their concern about growing “extremism and hatred” the comments signified. Let us look at this scenario from the types of food products sold in the Middle east . The Middle East is one of the major consumers of Indian dairy products.
The gulf market is always flooded with Indian Ghee, Paneer, Butter, flavoured milk, retort paneer and other value added products. The Middle east is also one of the largest consumers of Indian dairy commodities like SMP, WMP and Butter. In such situations the words by responsible-persons from the government may create a lot-of-trouble for around 100-million-farmers in India.
There has been a trend of boycotting essential food products in general or specifically from a company in the Middle East and particularly in Saudi Arabia. In 2018, Almarai, the largest dairy in that region, increased the prices of milk slightly. However, Saudi Arabia’s Consumer Protection Association reacted by issuing a statement questioning the reasons Almarai has given for the increase.“The association, out of its responsibility to protect consumers from increasing prices; asserted that what Almarai had mentioned in its statement is vague, inaccurate and had no details.”
Once again, In May 2022, the price of chickens, eggs, yoghurts, cheese, and milk in Saudi Arabia almost doubled, provoking a major backlash against dairy companies.”The association believes that the consumer has a significant role in limiting the rise in prices, and represents a force that can control that when consumers come together,” it said in a statement, calling on Saudis to compare prices and search for alternatives that meet their needs, before buying.
They also tweeted a call for a one-month egg boycott, saying “let it hatch”.
Boycotting campaigns have had some success in Saudi Arabia in recent years
This new trend of Boycott by the consumer is not new but is becoming more relevant and effective in this age of social media. The campaign doesn’t require making calls or sending invitations by post. Only one tweet or a social media post is sufficient to devastate demand for even essential food or dairy products.
We have been observing a lot of negative campaigns against dairy products under the pretext of cow cruelty and Climate. Such issues are currently being handled well by the Indian dairy industry by initiating green initiatives at large scale. We are becoming more and more climate conscious and will be able to meet the MDGs by 2050 as far as the dairy sector is concerned. India doesn’t have extensive dairy farming so cow cruelty doesn’t exist to a large extent.
I believe that we represent an industry which directly or indirectly affects the livelihoods of 100-120 million persons in the country. So all of us need to be responsible and must choose the right words before speaking. That reminds me of a famous quote by Rumi which says that “Raise your words not voice. It is rain that grows flowers , not thunder.
Source : A blog by Kuldeep Sharma Chief editor Dairynews7x7.com