Coca‑Cola® India & ICAR KVK CENDECT inaugurate Women Entrepreneur Production cum Training Centre in Theni, Tamil Nadu
Aims at enhancing livelihoods of grape women farmers, in line with the Company’s women empowerment initiatives
Date Published: 03-08-2022
Theni: Coca‑Cola India along with ICAR Krishi Vigyan Kendra-CENDECT today inaugurated a production cum entrepreneurship training center for women farmers to assist them in enhancing and improving their livelihood. Eminent dignitaries Mrs. P Geetha Jeevan, Hon’ble Minister of Social Welfare & Women Empowerment, Government of Tamil Nadu, along with Dr. V Geethalakshmi, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, and Thiru K.V. Muralidharan IAS – District Collector, Theni, amongst others, graced the inauguration ceremony with their presence.
The women’s production cum entrepreneurship training center in Theni will work with women farmers in the district to enrich their livelihood by providing them with food, nutrition, and health security. Focused on the overall empowerment of women in the region, it will enhance their incomes via Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Farmers Producer Groups, which will aid in the preparation of value-added products of grape, such as grape juice, grape oil, grape seed powder, raisins, cookies, etc.
Coca‑Cola India’s Project ‘Unnati-Grape’, in collaboration with ICAR KVC CENDECT, aims at increasing grape productivity in India, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu. It focuses on global best practices in sustainable agriculture such as ultra-high-density plantation (UHDP), which has led to a substantial increase in quality, productivity, and profitability per unit of land in the region, in turn acting as a catalyst to help India in achieving self-sufficiency in grape production.
Commenting on the inauguration of the training center for women farmers, Mrs. P Geetha Jeevan, Hon’ble Minister of Social Welfare & Women Empowerment Govt of Tamil Nadu, said, “I am proud to have played a part in the inauguration of Coca‑Cola India and ICAR KVK CENDECT’s new training center for women in Theni. I applaud the efforts of both organizations under their joint initiative ‘Grape Unnati’, which has ramped up grape production in Tamil Nadu by a great extent. Geared towards creating a model of sustainable agriculture and uplifting the lives of women farmers, the inauguration of this center will provide entrepreneurship support and training to women farmers, in turn making them self-reliant individuals.”
Dr. P. Patchaimal, Chairman ICAR KVK CENDECT, said, “We are proud of our long-standing association with Coca‑Cola India. Our partnership is further strengthened today with the inauguration of a production cum entrepreneurship training center for women farmers in Theni. We are thankful to Coca‑Cola India for their longstanding association with us and stand tall with their continuous efforts and positive interventions in the space of sustainable agriculture. With their support, we are confident that this center will go a long way in empowering women farmers and supporting their self-reliance journeys.”
Rajesh Ayapilla, Director, CSR and Sustainability, Coca‑Cola India and Southwest Asia, said, “The upliftment and empowerment of women farmers is a key priority area for us at Coca‑Cola India. Women farmers are integral to India’s agrarian sector, and we are humbled to be playing a part in helping them enhance fruit productivity and uplift their livelihoods through ‘Project Grape Unnati’. We are grateful to Mrs. P Geetha Jeevan, Hon’ble Minister of Social Welfare & Women Empowerment, Govt of Tamil Nadu, Dr. V Geethalakshmi, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, and Thiru K.V. Muralidharan IAS – District Collector, Theni, who graced us with their presence during the inauguration of Women Entrepreneur Production cum Training Centre in Theni today. We hope that the center will prove to be an enriching platform for women farmers to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, and elevate their quality of life.”
Project Grape Unnati, launched in 2019 under the flagship sustainable agriculture program of Coca‑Cola in India - Fruit Circular Economy, aimed to aid the Indian agri-ecosystem by enhancing farming efficiency, strengthening forward linkages, and building food-processing capacity in the country, addressing challenges of low farm productivity, poor technology adoption and fruit wastage in the horticulture sector. Coca‑Cola recognizes farmers to be its true suppliers for key ingredients and values the partnership by focusing on their overall well-being. Along with partners, the company has been working with fruit farmers since 2011, under the flagship project – Unnati, which currently covers 6 fruits – Mango, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Litchi and priority commodities like sugarcane. The program has benefitted 3.5 Lakh farmers so far.
About Coca‑Cola India
Coca‑Cola in India is one of the country’s leading beverage companies, offering a range of healthy, safe, high-quality, refreshing beverage options to consumers. Since its re-entry in 1993, the company has been refreshing consumers with its beverage products – Coca‑Cola, Coca‑Cola No Sugar, Diet Coke, Thums Up, Thums Up Charged, Thums Up Charged No Sugar, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Maaza, VIO flavoured milk, Minute Maid range of juices, Minute Maid Smoothie and Minute Maid Vitingo, Georgia range of hot and cold tea and coffee options, Aquarius and Aquarius Glucocharge, Schweppes, smartwater, Kinley and Bonaqua packaged drinking water and Kinley Club Soda. The Company along with its owned bottling operation and other bottling partners, through a strong network of over 2.6 million retail outlets, touches the lives of millions of consumers, at a rate of more than 500 servings per second. Its brands are some of the most preferred and most sold beverages in the country, with Thums Up and Sprite being the top two selling sparkling beverages.
The Coca‑Cola India system provides direct employment to 25,000 people and indirect employment to more than 150,000 people. The Coca‑Cola system in India is contributing in its own small way to building sustainable communities through community initiatives under World Without Waste, Fruit Circular Economy, water stewardship, women empowerment, and many others.
For further information on the company's India operations and its products, please visit: www.coca-colaindia.com