JEEVODAYA MILK PROJECT
The Bishop of Kothamangalam appointed Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kodakallil to run a milk procurement and processing unit, which was named as Jeevodaya Milk Project. A new Board of Directors was constituted with Mar George Punnakottil as the Patron, Msgr. Thomas Malekudy as President and Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kodakallil as Director. The three main objectives of the Jeevodaya Milk Project were to give a better price to the farmers (prompt tri-monthly, assured payments), to provide good quality milk to the consumers and to give employment opportunities to the rural youth. Three acres of land which was a part of Pareekanni Rubber estate owned by the Diocese was purchased at a nominal price at Pareekanni and Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kodakallil was the Founder Director of the project. He underwent extensive training at National Dairy Research Institute at Karnal, Haryana under Indian Council of Agriculture Research. He visited reputed dairy plants, chilling plants in various places both in and out of the state. His visionary thinking, studies and prayers initiated the construction of a well organized dairy plant with scope for further expansion in 1999.

Rev. Fr. Jacob Kalapurackal, who is also an engineer helped in the designing and supervised the construction of the dairy plant. The Jeevodaya Milk Project was completed with the support and contribution from the Italian Bishops’ conference held in Italy.

Rev.Fr. George Padinjareyil, who was the director of Labour Welfare Movement, initiated a dairy society at Kothamangalam which was known as Kothamangalam Dairy Society (K.D.S). The society provided facilities for the collection of milk from the farmers, giving better price for the milk. In due course, all the quantity of milk thus collected could not be sold out, particularly during the flush seasons by the collecting agencies. Rev. Fr. Sebastian Kallungal came as the succeeding Director of the Kothamangalam Dairy Society and later the activities were amalgamated with the Jeevodaya Milk Project.

The Dairy plant at parikkanni was inaugurated in 2001 by Mar George Punnakottil Bishop of Kothamangalam. Processed milk and milk products first emerged from the plant on 06 April 2001. At the beginning the milk brought to the plant after being collected from the various societies was more than 2000 litres.  The dairy plant started functioning with eighteen employees and more than fifty Jeevodaya Milk Societies. A well established working system was introduced by the founder Director. Training for manufacture of indigenous milk products was given for the empowerment of women during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kodakallil.

In 2004 Rev. Fr. Jacob Thalappillil took charge as the succeeding Director of the Jeevodaya Milk Project. Under his dynamic leadership the trajectory of the project was accelerated. The revamping of Jeevodaya Milk Project tackled many challenges and today various socio-economic programmes envisaged by him are being implemented. When the sale of milk and milk products increased there was a shortage in milk procurement in Kerala . In order to avoid dependency Jeevodaya Milk Project purchased land at Surandai near Tenkasi in Tirunelveli Dist.of Tamil Nadu. Construction of a new milk Chilling plant commenced in 2007 and was inaugurated in 2009 by Mar George Punnakottil presided over by His Excellency Mar George Alancherry Major Arch-Bishop, the then Bishop of Thakkala. Presently the Chilling plant at Tenkasi procures more than 10000 litres of milk daily after ensuring a through quality check.  The quality and quantity of milk collected from the farmers is strictly tested for hygiene and contents daily by our technical staff.

Special mention must be made of the dedicated service rendered by Dr. J. Xavier Mundackal who has contributed immensely in the planning, execution and completion of the well erected Dairy plant. Manager of the plant since its inception, he continues in the position of General Manager today, maintaining the tempo and pace even now with great energy and enthusiasm.

It is an honour to acknowledge the committed service rendered by Mr. Siby George Mralayil, Mr. Saju Thomas Athickal, Mr. Jose Mathekkal, Mr. Joshy Kuriakose Vazhayil, Mr. Prince Thuruthippillil Mr. Josebin Cherian Mamoottilarackal, Mr. Tomy Joseph Thayyil, Mr. Saju Zacharia Kandathil, Mr. Sibi Joseph Mudakkalil, Mr. Jimmy Thomas Pullikattil, Mr. Shaji Joseph Pulparambil, Mr. Joseph K.G. Koikara, Mr. Rejish Mathew Choriyammackal, Mr. Benny M. Jose Moolayil and late Mr. Eldhose Mathew Vettickal in the commencement and operation of Jeevodaya Milk Project culminating in this present competitive position.

The products of Jeevodaya Milk Project are known under the brand names, Jeeva Toned Milk, Jeeva Homogenized Toned Milk, Jeeva Thick Butter Milk (curd) and Jeeva Ghee. The Jeeva curd  made from indigenous culture is popular with consumers, especially caterers.

Jeevodaya Milk Project besides providing quality products for consumers has opened up opportunities for employment to more than 125 unemployed persons. More than 3000 families are directly or indirectly benefited by Jeevodaya Milk Project. Besides, 1500 dairy farmers in Kerala and 2500 farmers in Tamil Nadu are also benefited. There are 65 milk producing Jeeva Farmers Societies functioning under Jeevodaya Milk Project. The central organization renders guidelines in the formation of the societies, gives training on scientific rearing of cattle, hygienic milk production and social auditing. Presently, Jeevodaya Milk Project distributes about 27,000 litres of milk daily through nearly 2000 agencies spread over the five districts viz. Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alapuzha and Pathanamthitta of Kerala. There are 7 milk collection routes and 18 milk distribution routes.

The farm attached to the dairy plant has on its premises indigenous cows like Kasargod Dwarf, HF Bull, sheep, goats, fancy birds, ducks, flying ducks, pigs, Guinea pigs, emu etc. Jeevodaya Milk Project is an ISO Certified Dairy and also licensed under the Food Safety Standard Act 2005. At present the organization has an Executive Director Board, with the Bishop of Kothamangalam, Mar George Madathikandathil as its Patron. The present Executive Director is Rev Fr. Jacob Thalappillil. Dr. J. Xavier serves as the General Manager and Mr. Wilson Kottackal B Tech. - Asst. Manager, Mr. V.V. Thomas - the Financial Manager, and Mr. Johny J. Padinjath (Retd. Deputy Director, Dairy Development Dept.) – Quality Manager.