Spain’s Borges looks at olive plantations in India

News Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Spanish food major Borges Thursday said it is aiming to set up olive plantations in India, following the setting up of its 100 percent subsidiary here and the launch of its range of healthy oils and even microwave popcorn.

The company, which has also launched its balsamic vinegar for the Indian market, is targeting a manufacturing unit in India, which will be part of the Rs.65-crore investment planned for the country over the next three years, top officials said.

‘We have been talking to the governments of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab for plantations. The feedback has been positive,’ said Rajneesh Bhasin, managing director, Borges India.

‘Plantation of olives in India will reduce the comparative cost price. It will result in a huge employment opportunity. It will contribute to the society and help us to partner with various people in the value chain,’ Bhasin told IANS.

Speaking about the plans for a manufacturing unit which the company proposes to set up by the year-end, the India head said this will help reduce the cost of products the company wished to produce. He did not disclose which product they will first target.

For the moment, the company will concentrate on its three ranges of olive oil — extra virgin, light and pure categories — targeting the markets in Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Hydrabad, Chennai and Pune. Next year, the company hopes to expand to 36 cities.

According to Borges, the size of the market for Olive oil in India is pegged at Rs.400 crore over the next three years, with some 70 brands that are mainly imported. But the company, with a 100-percent arm in India, hopes an 18-percent market share soon.

Speaking about existing products, Bhasin said their extra light olive oil was conceived primarily for the Indian consumer, since it will not interfere with the flavours and the aroma of the domestic cuisine and yet remain a healthy cooking medium.

The company’s products, which include nuts, dry fruits, table olives, vinegars and salad dressings, has a presence in over 100 countries. The group was founded in 1896 and has plantations in Spain and California, besides sourcing from other countries.

(Priyanka Sahay can be reached at priyanka.sahay@ians.in and biz@ians.in)

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