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Company Profile: Akij Group

History of Akij Group stretches back to later part of the forties. In its infancy, the Group started in humble way with jute trading which was known as the golden fiber of the country, earning highest amount of foreign exchange. Akij Group's ceaseless efforts with dynamic management and support from our numerous clients have led our Group in diversifying its business activities. In the second phase, the Group went into manufacturing handmade cigarettes popularly known as bidis. This sector gave a real boost to the revenue earning of the Group as well as making a substantial contribution to government exchequer. With the passage of time, the Group undertook new ventures and presently there are 15 units of industries under its umbrella like cigarettes, handmade cigarettes, printing & packaging, textiles, hand board, pharmaceutical, leather processing and real-estate business are in operation, catering jobs for more that 32,000 people in various categories. The Group has plans for setting up more projects. The projects are already in pipeline. Foreign investors have shown keen interest in joining with us for joint ventures. The matter is under our active consideration and will hopefully soon mature. This will also help the nation's economy growth and will create job opportunities to various professionals.

Akij Food & Beverage Ltd.:


Akij Food & Beverage Ltd. (AFBL) a unit of Akij Group started its operation in the year 2006. AFBL manufactures a wide range of Snacks and Beverage for both National & International market alike. AFBL is a project worth $ 70 million& is funded by the parental company Akij Group.

FARM FRESH MILK: The FARM FRESH MILK is a brand of milk and milk made product
of Akij Food & Beverage Ltd. Farm fresh milk consists of UHT milk, pasteurized milk, chocolate milk, mango milk, butter, clarified butter (Ghee) and yogurt. The brand entered the market in September in 2007.

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Firm Fresh Milk Supply Chain:


Supply chain means managing upstream and downstream value-added flows of materials, final goods, and related information among supplier, the company, resellers, and final consumers. Firm Fresh the upstream and downstream value-added flows of raw materials, final goods, and related information among supplier, the company, resellers, and final consumers. The figure in bellow described the Firm Fresh supply chain stage:

Milk Collection center & Dairy Hub

Processing Plant Distributors

Agents

Suppliers of Dairy Product Packaging

Customers

Farmers

Fig: Stages of Firm Fresh Milk Supply Chain.

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Farmers:
At first, raw material (milk) is supplied by farmers to the Firm Fresh. About 7,500 dairy farmers supplied Firm Fresh in FY2008. Today there are 19,000. Most farmers live in Pabna and Sirajgong( Shahajadpur). Of the 45-50 thousand liters collected 32-35 thousand are now supplied from Pabna and another 3,000-4,000 are received from Shahajadpur (of Sirajgonj district). Historically Shahjadpur and Pabna are the highest milk producing areas and for this reason the plant of Firm Fresh is established there.

Agent:
In addition to buying directly from farmers, Firm Fresh purchases milk from agents who source from farmers. Farmers selling to agents do not receive extension services, but are subjected to similar quality standards at agent collection centers. Agents also own milk collection centers and employ people there. Between FY 2008 and FY2011, Firm Fresh doubled its number of agents to 27.

Milk Collection Centers:


Milk collection centers are at the heart of Firm Freshs dairy model and spread across Bangladesh. These simple one-room structures house 1,000 liter cooling tanks and quality control equipment. Farmers bring milk to these centers once or twice a day. After being tested for quality, the milk is stored and sent to the processing plant once a day. As Firm Freshs dairy operations have grown, so has the number of collection centersdoubling from 46 in FY 2008 to 93 in FY2011.

Dairy Hub:
In 2010, Firm Fresh introduced the dairy hub concept, which organizes activities around a group of milk collection centers by providing extension services to farmers supplying the centers. Firm Fresh organizes and supports small dairy farmers by providing dedicated services and logistics support such as veterinary care, animal husbandry, dairy shelters, and advice on feeding and breed improvement. The objective is to make dairy farming a profitable opportunity for small farmers in rural Bangladesh. Firm Fresh operates a dairy hub in northwest Pabna. It plans to build another 47 such hubs across the country by 2020. The two current hubs cover 40 milk collection centers and about 1,400 farmers.

Suppliers of Dairy Product Packaging:


Firm Fresh requires different packaging for its main products tetrapaks for UHT milk, polyfilm for pasteurized milk, and tins for ghee. While all tetrapaks are imported, 90-100 percent of the two other packaging materials are supplied by two local manufacturers.

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Processing plant:
Firm Fresh is currently producing seven different products in its processing plant of which fresh milk is number one. Includes fresh milk, chocolate milk, butter, ghee, yoghourt, mango milk drink and UHT milk packet Production of fresh milk has increased more than three times within the very short period since its initiation. Production of other products has also increased.

Distributors:
The finished product is then delivered to the distributors of Firm Fresh. Firm Fresh has in total of 148 distributors in Bangladesh .Most distributors are in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Brahmanbaria, Sylhet, Comilla, Chittagong, Faridpur, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Bogra, Khulna and Jessore. The products are delivered by using their own transport such as tracks or covered van. Sometimes they also use their own transport to deliver the goods to the retailers.

Retailer:
At this stage the products are then distributed to 700,000 retail outlets throughout Bangladesh from distribution points. To deliver the goods to the outlets the company planned 7,000 different routes so that each route is planned to deliver at 100 retail outlets. There is a sales person for each of these 7,000 routes. There are 500 zone in-charges to monitor the distribution process in the routes. So that for 14 routes there is one zone in-charge. In this stage the transport is not provided by the company. The type of transport is depended on the route and the distribution points are responsible to arrange for the transports to deliver the products to the retail outlets.

Consumer:
Finally Firm Fresh Milk reaches to the consumers for consumption. Approximately 20000 consumer purchase the product from their nearly retail outlet.

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