As part of its capacity building initiative, Confederation of Indian Industry has organised 10th National Food Safety and Quality Summit in New Delhi today.
Highlighting the regulatory provisions for food safety,Bhanu Pratap Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare emphasised that a multi-sectoral approach with involvement of all stakeholders in public-private-partnership model would result in effective implementation across the supply chain. It was important to include the entire value chain starting from agriculture, food processing, transportation and end consumption. FSSAI has been currently focussing on release of various standards and around 80 percent will be released during December 2015. However, some speciality foods will require product approval.”
Speaking on the occasion, Jagdish Prasad Meena, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industry mentioned that food processing sector is on a growth path and has an immense potential for generating employment, accelerating agriculture economy, raising farmers’ incomes and creating export earnings. He further stressed that Industry can take the responsibility of creating awareness on difference in the nutritional value of fresh and processed food. He also emphasised the importance of backward integration for better traceability of primary produce to ensure food safety.
Dr V Prakash, Chair, Scientific Panel on Nutraceuticals, Nutritionals, Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements, FSSAI, Govt. of India emphasised the three key words food, safety and quality and mentioned that while safety is a regulatory concern, quality is a consumer concern. He mentioned that nearly 72 percent of the produce gets processed minimally whereas only 2 percent is packaged. He suggested the regulation has to be dynamic in the larger interest of consumers and the food safety. He said that the product approvals should be based on the ingredient approval just like any other country. He commented that the regulation should be flexible, adaptable, affordable and one which involves innovations of healthy and nutritional food. He emphasised that the onus of implementation of Food Safety is on the Industry and the government only plays the role of monitoring.
Piruz Khambatta, Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing & Chairman & Managing Director, Rasna highlighted that how food processing can catalyse growth and the importance of food safety in the food processing sector. He highlighted the work being undertaken by CII national committee of food processing like creating a robust infrastructure, enabling regulatory framework, focussed fiscal environment, skill development and promote Made in India brand.
Ravi Mathur, Chairman, CII Expert Group on Food Safety & Quality & CEO, GS1 India emphasised the importance of traceability domestically and internationally to ensure food safety. He quoted the example of Grapenet by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) which increased exports of grapes by 25 percent.
More than 200 Food Safety & Quality professionals and more than 50 speakers of national and international repute gathered for the event supported by the industry partners to discuss the various ways through which Food Safety and Quality can be improved in the Food Chain. This 2 -day event focussed on deliberation on Food Safety Regulatory regimes, framing and implementing food safety standards and scientific approaches to risk assessment. This Summit will serve as a platform for sharing Capacity Building Initiatives and insights of other countries and sharing of views about current food safety and quality trends while providing extensive networking opportunities with industry peers and domain experts.