The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited or CAMPCO was found on 11 July 1973 at Mangalore. The organisation working on principles of co-operative was found to mitigate the sufferings of arecanut and cocoa growers in Indian states of Karnataka and Kerala. The CAMPCO has now extended its services to other states of India like Assam and Goa also. The CAMPCO has now become multi state co-operative under relevant Indian laws. The organisation is mainly into procurement, marketing, selling and processing of arecanut and cocoa. The company also provides guidance for farmers for growing arecanut and cocoa.The company plans to enter into natural rubber business also.
The company has set up a chocolate manufacturing plant in 1986 at Puttur of Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. The plant produces chocolates and other products of cocoa both under its own brand and also for Nestle. The company plans to increase production of choco chips by setting up of new plant.
Arecanut is an important commercial crop in India and finds a place in all religious, social and cultural functions in India. Cultivation of Arecanut is mostly confined to States of Karnataka, Kerala and Assam,but the consumption is spread all over the country. India is considered as the largest Arecanut producing country in the world. The total acreage under cultivation is 264000 hectares and the annual production estimated at 313000 metric tones,with Karnataka and Kerala accounting for nearly 72 percent of total production. Over six million people are engaged in arecanut cultivation, processing and trade.More than 85 percent of the area under cultivation is made up of small and marginal holdings.
A sudden marketing crisis in the year 1970-71, when prices registered a marked fall which caused considerable concern to the growers, was the genesis for the setting up of this Co-operative Venture (what popularly is called The CAMPCO). Growers had been thrown into panic with the prices coming down by half of what was prevailing till 1970-71 season.
Various measures were thought of for organized marketing management and leaders among growers sat together to find a way out. State Government of Karnataka, on the advice of an Expert Committee, recommended organizing a Central Agency in the Public or Co-operative sector. With the blessings and active support extended by the State Governments of Karnataka and Kerala, the CAMPCO was registered on 11 July 1973 under sec.7 of the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act read with sec.4(2)of the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act 1984. Through perseverant efforts of far sighted, dedicated and resourceful leaders,with the cooperation and assistance of equally dedicated growers under the guidance of the State Governments of Karnataka and Kerala, this institution took giant strides forward and has turned into a tower of strength to the areca growing community in the country.
The CAMPCO has been functioning effectively with the main objectives of
- Procuring Arecanut and Cocoa grown by member cultivators and if necessary, from other growers on an agency basis or on outright purchase basis
- Sale of Arecanut and Cocoa and their products to the best advantage of members and also to advance loans to members on the pledge of goods and to do all other things necessary to carry out the objective.
- To promote and develop Areca and Cocoa cultivation,marketing and processing.
The area of operation of this cooperative for procurement and processing of Arecanut and Cocoa extends to the States of Karnataka and Kerala,but for the marketing activity, the area has been extended to the whole country. Arecanut purchase operations were extended to Assam,Andaman and Goa but in recent years purchase operations in Assam had to be closed due to disturbances.
Starting with its Head office at Mangalore in coastal Karnataka, the CAMPCO began with a handful of procurement centers in Karnataka and Kerala. The Campco adopted a safe policy for purchasing and marketing the commodity and maintaining standards in quality assiduously with the dedicated cooperation of a network of diligent officers and workers. The society achieved success by leaps and bounds,stood the brunt of changing trends,market recessions and upheavals,glut in the market and even national calamities in the marketing field for more than two and half decades. Confidence has gained among the growers for areca cultivation as an economically viable and comfortable proposition.
The co-operative encouraged growers to take-up cocoa cultivation as an inter crop in the latter half of the 1970s as a supplemental crop. This grew up to become a large scale operation with good results. A sudden withdrawal by the buyers of cocoa from the procurement operations due to crash in the international market came as a shock to cultivators. Karnataka and Kerala governments enthused at this stage the CAMPCO to enter on the scene to rescue the farmers from distress. CAMPCO willingly took up the responsibility to enter the cocoa market and performed a savior's role. As a strategy for survival in the international scene CAMPCO played a major role in establishing a name for Indian cocoa, which hitherto had not been achieved. It procured cocoa pods from growers and adopting scientific processing methods to market standards, released dry cocoa beans matching in quality in the world market to that of Ghana, Brazil and other leading cocoa cultivating nations. With a view to creating a permanent demand and a steady market for the beans, Campco established a chocolate manufacturing factory at Kemminje village in Puttur Taluk in Dakshina Kannada district adopting foreign technical collaboration in chocolate making. The factory was set up in 1986 at an initial investment of [[Indian rupee|]] 116.7 million and a licensing capacity to produce 8800 metric tones. The factory also entered into technical cooperation venture with Nestle (India) Ltd, for diversifying product brands. It has been producing a variety of products - semi finished items like cocoa mass, cocoa butter, cocoa powder and finished products in moulded line, count line and chocolate drink etc. CAMPCO chocolate has gained extensive market popularity in India.
Organisation and management
The management of CAMPCO vests in the board of directors consisting of 17 directors. These directors are elected or nominated as per the provisions of by-laws.
The day to day activities are conducted by the managing director. The executive committee and the business committee devote more time to scrutinise and decide about the financial and business transactions of the Institution.