Highlighting the importance of food businesses for both import and export, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said, "We tend to lose out if our food safety regulatory environment is not benchmark with the global standards. So, therefore, I think there is no choice for us but to adopt international practices on food safety and I do hope we receive all the corporations from all the food businesses."
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the last date only by three months for obtaining licence and securing registration under Food Safety and Standards, he said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
“This 4th of February the extension was over and we had a consultation with the all food safety commissioners, there was generic view that there should not be any further extension but considering that they may still some left out businesses who have not obtained licences and the registration under the new legislation”, said Agarwal while addressing 8th Global Food Processing Summit-cum Awards 2016,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
In terms of licensing and registration of food business, only about 33 lakhs food business are so far licence or registered and there are close to 5 crore food businesses in the country. We have not even reached the 10% mark of that, said Agarwal.
“There is absolutely no way that a regulator a national or even with the help of the enforcement machinery at the state level will be able to ensure food safety with the small machinery that we would have ….”, mentioned CEO FSSAI at an ASSOCHAM event.
Agarwal said, there is absolutely no reason for regulator and food businesses to be seen in adversarial position. We are also the citizen and consumer apart from the food businesses where you will have profit motives and I am sure as responsible citizens and consumers, you will ensure the food safety in the manufacturing processes, in storages, in transportation also various elements of act are still to come into force.
I do hope that food business and associations will corporate spreading this message so that we can at least close this chapter of obtaining licences and registrations. The another issue is printing of license number on the packaged food, the last date for this after many extensions was over on December, 31 and we do hope all packaged food will now have FSSAI and licences number and there is no further extension. I think we have extended it many times and next is about display of FSSAI on the premises which again many food business are currently not doing it, added Agarwal.
All three key areas special drive taken by the regulatory authority through the state machinery and we do expect corporations from all businesses and stakeholders so that if special drives are taken up to ensure this there is less complication.
The new legislation is all about creating science based standards for food safety and we have accelerated this work over the past few months. It is expected that 80-90% of standards and regulations should be in place within the next few months as we move forward.