Mane Kancor is a global natural food ingredient manufacturer and has presence in over 75 countries.
It recently launched its largest manufacturing facility in Byadgi, Karnataka, a region home to vast chili production.
Apart from chilli – the country’s largest spice export, the facility can also be adapted to handle other botanicals and spices.
The new site will help reduce its carbon footprint by minimising transport costs, as well as enabling closer relationships with local farmers on more efficient agricultural practices.
It claims to have more than 7,000 farmers certified under its sustainability initiative, where it also provides support with direct market linkage to get better prices.
“The demand for clean, sustainable, and traceable food is going up. So, it means we must look at traceability all the way from the farmer. Traceability is an absolute going forward because people are conscious about safe foods, as well as with regulatory challenges,” said CEO Dr. Geemon Korah.
“Almost every month, we have new regulations coming up in Europe with the aim of providing cleaner food for the public. This is going to be a challenge for the industry moving forward to meet those standards. So, this is a very important aspect of the food industry we all need to adhere to.”
A flexible facility
In its official statement released, the facility is expected to increase its production capacity by fourfold and increase direct employment by 50%, and 10,000 farmers employed.
Dr. Korah elaborated the expectations of the facility: “The purpose of starting out in a very large scale of almost 50 acres is our plan to expand the facility over the next 20 years now for the requirements of the business, and make it a completely self-sufficient facility.
“Not just in terms of energy, but also in manpower, technology as in to have small modular plants with new technologies apt to be commercialised. So, we’re looking at it from a futuristic perspective.”
Dr. Korah added that the facility has a closed-loop system where the biomass generated during production is recycled into fuel and gas used in other operational aspects.
Water is reused for irrigation and cleaning, and the firm is also installing solar panels to supplement the energy requirements.
The company said the new facility was critical to meet growing global demand.
Within India, Dr. Korah highlighted that chilli demand is in part fuelled by the growth of ready-to-eat sector, and the processed food industry is expected to continue growing. He added that chillies and capsicums are the largest ingredients that go into this industry.
Globally, he said that there is also a rise in demand in the West and Asia-Pacific, with continued growth of seven to eight percentage per annum for processed food and spicy products
“I would say globally, over the next 10 to 15 years, chilli will be the single spice used most, that is why we have invested in this for the next 20 years. That’s where our investments are going. However, at the same time, the facility also gives us flexibility to handle other extracts.”
Mane Kancor’s founding headquarters is in Kochi and currently has six manufacturing facilities, including the new one, across India. Moving forward, the HQ would serve as an innovation and R&D centre for new product development.