With India emerging as a global food basket, the need to strengthen strategies towards managing product integrity, aligned with emerging regulatory trends to achieve global excellence in food safety has become central to our policy discourse. Moreover, the trend of mindful eating, shifting trends in advertising, access to social media, are providing consumers transparency into not only the food products they purchase but also on the origins and ingredients of their food. Thus, ensuring Food Safety in the entire food value chain has become a priority for Food Businesses as well as Consumers.
In this backdrop, the Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with Food Safety Standards Authority of India organized the 14th CII Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Summit.
Mr Pawan Kumar Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), said that “Public health is achieved when public confidence is garnered and that is the aim of all the institutions that work together for a better food system”. He shared his vision for the next four years where he outlined the Vision statement with four major goals: Firstly, significantly reduce unsafe, non-standard and mis branded food, second noticeably raise hygiene levels in processing and preparation of food across the supply chain. Third, ensure that two third of the food is healthy, promote healthier and sustainable diets and develop right eating culture informed by India’s rich and diverse food culture and modern principles of science. And fourth build robust institutions and ecosystems through partnerships and networks to deliver on the above goals. He concluded by saying that “The gap between reality and perception can be eradicated when the food ecosystem becomes safer and more efficient with better hygiene, sanitation and regulations”
Mr Suresh Narayanan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries & Chairman and Managing Director Nestle India Ltd gave the opening remarks and address and said that “Food processing industry plays an important role in creating a linkage between agriculture and establishing backward linkages – to improve income of farmers and increase employment”. He said further, India has the advantage of large market, consumers are aware and responsible for smart food choices. He said that FSSAI has already worked on simplification of licencing, better lab management systems and fast-tracking import clearances. Further initiatives around malnutrition, food fortification and capacity building will help further strengthen the food safety ecosystem in India.
Mr Sudhir Sitapati, Chairperson, CII Taskforce on Food Regulatory Affairs; Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries & Executive Director Hindustan Unilever Ltd spoke about the Regulatory Framework-Driving Innovation and Food Safety Excellence. He mentioned “Reducing food waste while providing safe, nutritious and affordable food to consumers is the priority of the food processing industry”
Mr Siddhartha Mukherjee, Senior Director: Strategy, Insights and Analytics Mondelez International spoke about the Building Smart Supply Chains to Ensure Food Safety. He further shared that a quality food supply chain is as strong as weak as the weakest link in the chain. Smart systems can work if there is an ability to gather data – ability to accept what data is saying.
Mr. Sean J. Leighton, Advisory Board Member GFSI &Vice President of Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Affairs, Cargill Inc. Shared his views about Forces Shaping the Future of Food Safety. He shared that three inevitable forces influencing food safety are Big data, Public private partnerships and building new capacities and skills sets of people. He said “Moving forward digitalisation of data is the most important and data is new gold in food quality. We need to collaborate harmonise and strengthen food and safety system through public private partnerships.”
The inaugural concluded by Release of Training Package – “Smart Use of Antibiotics in the Poultry Value Chain” and the “Food Safety diagnostic toolkit for Mid-day Meal”. The training package was prepared with the objective to build capacity towards increasing awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the producers, processors and farmers. And the food safety diagnostic tool kit for mid-day meals was prepared to provide general guidance to ensure food safety for foods served to children. It has been prepared based on reports of on field assessment of 88 mid-day meal kitchen across six states in the cou8ntry.
The CII Food Safety Quality and Regulatory Summit has been conceptualized, keeping in mind not only the consumer concerns and opportunities but also the need for stronger regional collaboration, through grouping of countries to better meet their capacity development needs, learning from international best practices and exploring the relevance and applicability of tools, techniques and science based principles of other sectors to Food Safety and Quality. There were additional sessions in the summit on Next Generation Regulations: Strategizing Sustainable Risk Assessment and Management System, Technological Interventions for Food Safety and Safe Food Tools, Techniques & Analytics – Addressing Emerging Challenges.
There is a post summit master class on the next day on Advanced food safety and quality technologies, tools and techniques and another one on innovative solutions for food packaging and product formulation.
The summit had attracted a wider participation of eminent National and International speakers from Industry, Government and Food Supply Chain. Some of the speakers were Mr. Suresh Narayanan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries & Chairman and Managing Director – Nestle India, Mr. Sudhir Sitapati, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries and Chairman, CII Task Force on Food Regulatory Affairs & Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd; Mr. S Dave, Chairman, Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan; Former Chairman, Codex Alimentarius Commission & Former Chairman, FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Asia; Mr. Sean J. Leighton, Advisory Board Member, GFSI & Vice President of Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Affairs, Cargill Inc.; Mr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Senior Director: Strategy, Insights and Analytics, Mondelez International; Mr. Vincent J. Sewalt, Senior Director, Regulatory Science & Advocacy, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences and Mr. Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, Food Industry Asia (FIA) amongst others.
The event was attended by more than 250 plus Food Safety & Quality professionals.
11 December 2019