Hussain was speaking at the inauguration of National Food Safety and Quality Summit, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence (CII-FACE) in the national capital recently. He also informed that Punjab, Kolkata and Bangalore will get three food parks in the next six months, in addition to two already operational food parks in Patanjali and Chittoor.
Hussain highlighted the need for creating awareness about the evolution of food safety standards and regulations among people and professionals. Right now, the organized private sector is most articulate about the implications of new regulations on business development that are being brought about by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). He pointed out that it important for the public sector organization too to start obtaining approvals and complying with the food safety regulations and hence seek the cooperation of the private sector in the endeavor.
Sanjay Dave, Adviser FSSAI & Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission, in his Keynote Address pointed out that with consumers rapidly moving towards safe foods, standards and regulations have to be made effective. He informed that Horizontal Standards (such as additives, contaminants) is likely to be issued by July 2014. Harmonization of Indian standards with Codex will be a landmark achievement in the food processing sector.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has been encouraging investments in this sector, incentives for cold chain development and also grant-in-aid for setting up laboratories that are equipped for testing food products as per the new regulations. Hussain re-emphasized the need to boost skill development of professionals to be able to take advantage of the food safety standards and regulations and usher the industry on a higher trajectory that is compliant with global practices and standards. Lastly, on post-harvest losses, he pointed out that despite differences in estimates, it is important that both government and private sector come together to address the situation and contain losses.