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Good times ahead for India’s food

               processing sector

               By Arabind Das, COO, Godrej Tyson Foods Limited

               Arabind Das, COO, Godrej Tyson Foods Limited, discusses the evolution of India’s food
               processing industry and how the government’s recent initiatives bode well for the sector.

               The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture       infrastructure. However, the Government
               Organization (FAO) estimates that              of India has focused on this area since the
               around one third of the food produced          10th Five Year Plan. Collaboration
               globally every year gets lost or wasted.       between the government and industry
               This food loss and waste of around 1.3         led to a roadmap and fiscal benefits.
               billion tonnes not only means a waste of       Many companies took advantage of this
               resources, but is also responsible for         to set up large cold stores and use
               greenhouse gas emissions, which has led        refrigerated GPS-enabled vehicles.
               to climate change. Given the challenges
               faced by global agriculture — climate          Over the years, the changes in
               change, unstable food prices and a             government policies have kept pace with
               demand for more arable land — such             technological advancements adopted by
               colossal food waste and loss proves a          companies. Two moves in particular have
               grave concern.                                 been important for the food processing
                                                              industry. The first is the focus on a
               The FAO also states that 40 percent of         continuous supply of high quality power,
               losses occur at post-harvest and               which is crucial for temperature-
               processing levels in developing countries,     controlled cold chain infrastructure. This
               due to constraints in harvesting               is being met by power generation from
               techniques and storage and cooling             renewable sources of energy and the
               facilities. The organisation recommends        availability of grid power.
               strengthening the supply chain and
               expanding the food and packaging               Over the past 15 years, India has also
               industry to help reduce food loss and          been adopting Codex, the international
               waste.                                         food standards code. One law, which is
                                                              governed by the Food Safety and
               India’s cold chain infrastructure              Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has
               In India, a study by the government’s          also replaced the older lot of regulations.
               Central Institute of Post-Harvest              Initiatives with foresight
               Engineering and Technology (CIPHET)            The government has taken several steps
               showed that around 67 million tonnes of        and adopted transparent systems to
               food is wasted every year, which               ensure ease of business. Make in India,
               amounts to a loss of Rs 92,000 crore.          which was launched in 2014, was one of
               Integrated cold chain infrastructure           the first important initiatives to open up
               could be one answer to reduce post-            the food processing sector in a big way.
               harvest food loss.                             The programme encourages
               The perception is that India lacks in          multinational and domestic companies to
               temperature-controlled cold chain              manufacture their products within the
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