Late Sri. Varanashi Subraya Bhat
Our Campco Story
Sri.Varanashi Subraya Bhat was born in an Agriculturists Family on 8th June, 1927 in a rural area near Adyanadka Village in Karnataka. He worked for rural development and was instrumental in providing his Village with roads, culverts and bridges. He worked for the cause of education and is the Founder Secretary of Adyanadka Education Society (Regd.) His special interest was agricultural marketing, and co-operation. He was elected to the Board of Management of South Kanara Agriculturists Co-operative Marketing Society in 1967 and was its President from 1973-1977. He has also served as the Member of the Karnataka State Agricultural Marketing Board from 1972 to 1975. His pioneer work was to establish the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Co-operative Society, popularly called THE CAMPCO.
Arecanut is an important commercial crop in the western districts of Karnataka and almost all the districts of Kerala. When there was a steep fall in the price of arecanut between 1970 and 1973, he mobilised the arecanut farmers of the two States of Karnataka and Kerala and promoted the CAMPCO. The CAMPCO under his stewardship succeeded in uplifting the arecanut market and the farmers are now getting a very good return. Sri.Bhat worked as the President of the CAMPCO from its inception in 1973, up to the end of December 1990. The CAMPCO is one of the few leading Co-operative Institutions in the Country. He was instrumental in establishing a large, modern chocolate factory at Puttur in the year 1986 to provide an assured market and remunerative price for the cocoa produced in the Country. He has served as the President of All India Arecanut and Cocoa Growers’ Association. He has also served as Chairman of Cocoa and Arecanut Development Committee (Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India) and member of Western Ghat Development Committee (Ministry of Planning, Govt. of India). The Government of Karnataka conferred on him “SAHAKARI RATNA”, the top-most award in the co-operative field in the year 2002 for his contribution in the co-operative sector. He also received the prestigious “SAHAKARITA RATNA” award for the year 2005 from IFFCO among his other recognitions.
Here is a little glimpse of the journey of our chocolate company through the years.
Story Of Campco Chocolate Company
THE BIRTH OF CAMPCO LTD.
A sudden marketing crisis in the arecanut industry in the year 1970-71 put areca growers into misery and hardship. The solution for this crisis was found in the form of CAMPCO, a multi-state co-operative – a joint venture of the states of Karnataka and Kerala to mitigate the sufferings of arecanut growers. On 11th July 1973, CAMPCO Mangalore was registered as a tower of strength to the areca growing community in the country.
THE COCOA CRISIS IN KARNATAKA
Arecanut growers were growing cocoa as an inter-crop in arecanut plantations which was then purchased by a principal purchaser of wet cocoa beans. But in 1980, they stopped buying from farmers during peak cocoa season due to a slump in international prices. As a result, the price of wet beans in the domestic market had fallen to Rs. 6 per kg (now it is up to Rs. 40 per kg).
CAMPCO ENTERS THE COCOA MARKET
Arecanut growers were in distress after private chocolate manufacturers stopped buying from them. Some farmers resorted to cutting cocoa plants. Campco entered the market at that time and began buying wet cocoa beans from farmers. To create an assured market for cocoa our Founder President Late Sri. Varanashi Subraya Bhat opened a chocolate factory in Puttur on September 1, 1986. Our then President of India, Giani Zail Singh, inaugurated the factory. The inauguration ceremony was broadcast live on Doordarshan. The plant started producing chocolates and other products of cocoa.
CAMPCO GAINS POPULARITY ACROSS INDIA
The turnover of Campco was a record high of Rs 1875.00 Crores in 2018-19. Eminent Presidents, Board of Directors, Managing Directors and Secretaries have and continue to navigate Campco’s cruiser efficiently. It has steered its way during the last 33 years in placid as well as troubled waters with a pledge to make our farmer members reach their destination safely and satisfactorily. This is also made possible with the unstinting support of our diligent and devoted employees of the organisation.