a) Shri Rakesh Kacker, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt of India, said that there is need for transitioning from an era of Regulation to self regulation by the industry. He mentioned that preliminary discussions had been held between the industry and the Ministry of Food Processing. Quality Council of India has been tasked with developing a scheme in the coming six months in consultation with regulators, consumers, and industry.
Addressing the Inaugural Session of the 7th National Food Safety and Quality Summit, organised by CII-Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence, Mr Kacker said that this scheme would ultimately need to be managed and funded by Industry. However, Ministry would support this with initial seed funding. This would be a voluntary scheme and would run in parallel to the existing statutory schemes laid by Food Safety Standards Authority of India. It is intended to go beyond the current set of standards laid by FSSA regime and would be focused on self regulation rather than regulation by any Govt. agency.
He also mentioned the role of Ministry of Food Processing in supporting the development of infrastructure, like Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain, various financial assistance schemes through which Ministry supports both Private and Public organizations.
b) Shri Kacker urged the Indian Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Retail Industry for their support to support in taking these initiatives ahead.
c) Mr Bruce Ross, Country Director, USFDA, India remarked on the changing needs emerging as a result of globalization. He also stressed that changes in regulations, infrastructure, R&D, supply change demands, have huge impact on the countries from where the food products are sourced. India and China are two major sourcing countries for the USA. With the increasing demands from the global supply chains and expanded trade boundaries there are added responsibilities to regulate supply chains. He also talked about the role which USFDA is playing in India and other countries, by developing global coalitions with regulators, private and public organizations for greater information sharing platforms.
He mentioned the new Food Law, in the US i.e. FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) which would play a bigger role in regulating the food and drug supply chains, in coming times.
d) Earlier, welcoming the Secretary and the dignitaries on dais, Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture, drew the attention of the delegates to the fact that CII has been sensitizing industry and consumers on GMP, HACCP and other International standards and have moved on to training through cluster models, supplier development initiative and institutionalizing the CII Food Safety Award towards capacity building. He stressed the need to address the challenges faced on food safety by Street food vendors. He opined that FDI in retail would also give a big boost to consumer demands by strengthening the supply chain network in Food sector.
e) Stating the importance of food safety, Mr. Arvind Mediratta, Chief Operating Officer, Bharti Walmart observed, ”Two key issues need to be addressed in Indian Food Supply Chain: Food Safety and Food Security. Food Safety plays a significant role in enhancing Public Health through mitigation of food borne diseases and food contamination. Food Security ensures affordable and adequate food for all via improved productivity and reduction of wastage during various stages of supply chain viz production, processing, storage and distribution. Modern Retail and Cash & Carry can play a significant role in improving Food Safety and Security by bringing into India global best practices and technology in food production and distribution. Bharti Walmart is committed to play a leading role in ‘providing safe and affordable food’ in line with our mission statement of ‘Saving people money so that they can live better’.
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