The 27th edition of AAHAR 2012, an international food and hospitality fair, was set opened at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, on March 12, 2012.
Anand Sharma, Union minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, and Rita Menon, chairperson and managing director of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) jointly inaugurated the event.
AAHAR 2012 had Rakesh Kacker, secretary of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), and Neeraj Kumar Gupta, the executive director of ITPO as guests of honour.
The exhibition this year has 565 participants, of which 72 are from foreign countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE and USA among others.
The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘Indian Food Basket - A Seal of Quality’. The theme display has been set up by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
AAHAR 2012 is divided into two independent shows: Food India, for the food and processed food sectors, and Hospitality India, for the hotel and restaurant, bakery and confectionery equipment and supply sectors. There will also be a special food festival on spices, jointly organised by the Spices Board of India and Culinary Art India.
The exhibition will have on display a wide range of foods and processed foods, food packaging, packaging machinery, food processing equipment, poultry and farm equipment, dairy and confectionery machinery, air-conditioning, refrigeration and cold storage units, air and water pollution control systems, hotel and kitchen equipment, tableware, laundry, interiors as well as health and fitness equipment.
Speaking at the inauguration, Sharma stated: "The food processing industry is rapidly growing. Currently, it is around USD182 million. We also need to create a proper cold chain in India, as they will also create good job opportunities."
Menon stated that AAHAR 2012 would focus on improving the quality of food, which was important, considering that India is a leading exporter of processed foods.