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ETG Agro India commissions biggest automated almonds processing plants in India
Thursday, 14 January, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
ETG Agro India with its flagship enterprise ETC Agro Processing India Private Limited has recently commissioned the state-of-the-art Nuts – Almonds processing plant with over 100 strong women workforce at Kheda, Gujarat.

Originally a pulses processor, the company’s move to add this new product line and open a new revenue stream comes on the heels of rising demand for nuts in the Indian market. The company is all set to expand its scope with addition of new business streams. Almonds cracking lines is just the beginning.

The processing unit is focused on de-shelling and processing of almonds and is among the biggest almonds processing plants in India. The plant’s processing capacity is over 10,000 MT raw almonds per annum. The sorting line is fully operated by the skilled women workers who are deployed to provide hand-picked, assorted, superior quality almonds. Nuts will be marketed in both bulk and consumer pack formats with almonds and then expand to walnuts, pistachios, and cashews.

Parag Gadre, CEO, ETG Agro India, said, “Presently we are observing some interesting trends in consumption of staples and overall snacking at home. Consumers across demographics and age groups are exercising increasing health consciousness - including mental health - while making choice for bites at home. Preference for vegetarian protein is making way into the Indian kitchen. The Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns have brought lot of people to home cooking, baking, and experimenting with easily accessible staples, processed foods and even discretionary snacks & munchies such as Nuts. These behavioural trends are manifesting in rising consumption of Nuts, especially Almonds. However, there is a huge gap in supply of unadulterated, clean, and hygienic nuts.”

“We have observed that institutional buyers and domestic traders are longing for a reliable global partner who have reputation established in the Indian market, and this is where ETG comes in. ETG PRO Nuts plant aims to deliver pure and hygienic nuts to the consumer while being a solid partner to India’s nuts traders and institutional buyers,” added Gadre.
 
“ETG India’s intervention and entry into Nuts business portfolio is a part of larger long - term strategic business plan to diversify into growing foods, commodities, value added processed staples, plant-based protein applications and ingredients which are developing higher resonance amongst consumers. In the near future, the plant also aims to produce nuts ingredients meant for sweets, biscuits, ice-creams, and other user industries. ETG Agro India has put special emphasis on generating employment for local women and accordingly, has employed a workforce of over 100 local women after imparting requisite skill sets to operate the sorting line of the plant. In the next two years, it aims to provide direct employment to 300+ women from the local community,” said Gadre.
 
Kapil Yadav, head nuts business, said, “ETG Pro Nuts are of superior quality, there is no use of water while processing almonds, no mixing and have a year-long consistent supply. ETG Pro Nuts (Almond) plant is a state-of-the-art processing facility with a capacity of over 3.5 MT per hour. Setting up this plant and commissioning the same in November-20 has been exemplary execution, especially during the COVID time. India has a huge potential for nuts market. In developed countries consumption of nuts like almonds is around ten times more. For instance, in India per capita consumption of nuts is 60-70gm per annum, while global markets consumption is over 550g per annum.”

“While nuts have been part of discretionary food basket for Indian household with occasional consumption observed traditionally, it has started making inroad in the mainstream food option – either as additive or as direct snacking. Besides being palate rich, it also brings bouquet of essential nutrients and building blocks of protein with each fist full of nuts. Growing business potential of nuts in India and the Global category expertise has prompted ETG India to venture into this category as a new revenue stream,” added Yadav.

The company will be sourcing nuts- such as walnuts/ cashews from domestic growers, and almonds from global origins such as USA and Australia. The company has established partnership with key suppliers. For the year 2021-22, the company is estimating the sales of over 8000 MT.

Almonds are now more in demand, not only as additive but also as quick fix snacking substitute - than many other nut varieties and the key markets are North and West India, but almonds are also making rapid inroads in the East and South markets. Both online and physical distribution networks will be leveraged for end consumer reach. The company has already started supplying to online retailers along with some key brick and mortar format chains. It is focusing on major wholesalers in different cities who are placing the product within general trade.

The company stands apart due its integrated agri-infrastructure with proximity to farms and ports across India with 3000 plus channel partners and a nationwide distribution network. ISO certified pulses plants in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and West Bengal with processing capacity of over 5 lakh MT per annum makes it the largest pulses processing company.
 
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