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Kerala’s acceptance of RTE chicken spurs growth of CP despite fat tax
Thursday, 25 August, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, the parent company of the Five Star Chicken brand, is in Kerala to capture the new opportunities arising from the high consumption of non-vegetarian foods, particularly poultry meat. The company is confident that its packaged food will penetrate this market despite the state government imposing a fat tax on junk food.

“Kerala is a major market for us because of the high acceptance of ready-to-cook and eat products as a majority of the people travel overseas. The high literacy rate helps us educate consumers on the quality and benefits of our products, which is our unique selling proposition (USP),” Sanjeev Pant, senior vice-president, CP Foods, said.

He added, “We have an experienced and committed sales team to concentrate on growing the Kerala business.”

“Fat tax on junk food is essentially on restaurants and we are selling packaged food which is healthy and nutritious. So it won’t have any impact on us. We provide high-quality products that are safe and traceable. Our chefs prepare customised recipes catering to the customer palate,” Pant said.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are tipped to be the highest chicken consumers in southern India, while Kerala is known for its fish delicacies. But CP Foods has assessed that Kerala is now increasing its chicken consumption which is probably the highest in at least some parts of the state.

The company invested $18 million early this year for an advanced production unit in Chittoor. It has a strong integrated supply chain network.

“Our farm-to-fork model is unparalleled not only in India but in many countries where we operate,” said Pant.

The Chittoor processing plant is certified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for safety and quality systems is also an ISO 22000 and audited for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

It has installed air chill technology, introduced for the first time in India. Chilled air is used to reduce the temperature of the chicken to less than four degrees Celsius, which ensures a longer shelf life and safety from contaminants.

The farm is environmentally controlled making it conducive for the fowl that are uncaged and reared in the open.

According to the company, stringent measures are taken even for feed, water and drugs administered to the birds (to ensure that they do not contain antibiotics). The poultry is raised without any artificial or added hormones. It is free from chemical preservatives, hydrogenated oils and colorants.

“We have ensured that the poultry products are served fresh and absolutely safe for the consumer, even in the long run. The facility is also Halal-certified by Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra Halal Committee, Mumbai,” said Pant.
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