RCEP talks: Commerce Ministry to take views from dairy-consuming industry

The Union Commerce Ministry is set to meet members of the dairy consuming-industry to seek their views on whether or not to allow dairy as part of negotiations under Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This is part of the stakeholders’ consultation process on dairy sector.


The meeting is to be held on Wednesday in New Delhi.


It is learnt from the sources that the Department of Commerce is meeting multinational dairy product players, besides some home grown companies, as well as dairy federations to explore how RCEP can provide an export opportunity for dairy products in high-value-added segments, using imports from the RCEP partners.


The agenda

About 60 top dairy consuming-players including Ferrero, Hersheys, Nestle, Kwality, Unilever, Lotte, Pepsico, besides domestic private players such as Reliance, Havmor, Dinshaw's and some dairy federations have been invited for the meet.


The agenda of the meet clearly shows it aims to lay the ground for allowing dairy imports under RCEP talks. While it aims to discuss issues of price and product differentiation, it appears that it will primarily focus on the consumption side of the dairy industry, than the production side. The agenda is silent on safeguarding interests of milk producers and dairy farmers, said an industry source in the know of the meeting.