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            Food Processing Industry News From around the World.

            1st day of Annapoorna-- World of India, 2011, and Foodworld India marked by release of study on food processing

            The sixth edition of Annapoorna, World of Food India, 2011, a global convention for food business, organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Koelnmesse GmbH, was inaugurated here on Wednesday.The exhibition will see over 150 exhibitors displaying innovations to reach their potential consumers from November 16-18, 2011. Elated over being able to connect with right audiences leading to greater business deals, the exhibitors gave a thumbs - up to the organisers for the concept design.

            A concurrent event, Foodworld India 2011, a global convention for food business, was also organised by the FICCI, at ITC Maratha, in Andheri.

            “Food for years has been on the top of the political agenda with key issues such as security, sustainability, safety and galloping inflation on the forefront,” Rakesh Kacker, secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), said at the inaugural session.

            Kacker said that the ministry and FICCI should work together in order to create a favourable GST (Goods & Services Tax) and DTC (Direct Taxes Code) regime for the food industry adding that the Indian food processing industry was one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects and therefore considering the growth witnessed by this sector in the last decade and further improvements in the growth rates, food processing has the potential to be the driving force in India’s economic development in the years to come.

            At the inaugural ceremony, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and FICCI jointly released a study report titled India Food Processing Mission 2020.

            Peter Bleser, ministry of state for food, agriculture and consumer protection, Federal Republic of Germany; A Helio Waszyk, CMD, Nestle, and chairman, food processing committee, FICCI; Ashok Sinha, former secretary, MoFPI; and Nimisha Jain, principal, Boston Consulting; were all present at the function.

            "I am very pleased to be in India for this global convention on food organised by FICCI, which further fosters Indo-German relations and addresses the issue of food security. Also it is the easiest way of ensuring world peace and food processing which ensures quality, affordability and availability of food,” said Bleser at the function.

            The session was then followed by a press conference where the highlights of the study were explained. “The study stated that the food processing industry can reach $900 bn by 2020,” said Jain adding that the entire food processing system was needed to be reordered.

            She then said that the wastage of fruits and vegetables had become a key concern for the industry this year and the food wastage was also one of the key areas of concern.

            "This joint effort by FICCI and BCG in laying down the Mission 2020 for the sector provides the framework for strengthening the cause of the growth of Indian food processing industry," said Waszyk.

            The joint study aims to highlight the opportunity that the Indian food processing sector offers; demonstrate the importance of food processing for the Indian economy; articulate a mission for Indian food processing and layout a framework to facilitate action.

            Source: http://fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=30884&sectionid=2

            Recipe for Success: Jemima - Making processed foods accessible to Nagas

            The rising demand for processed foods and convenience foods in the market by the consumers today has paved way for young and budding entrepreneurs in the country to bring new products and work on their strategies to influence the market continuously.

            Meet Jemima Achumi, an entrepreneur who believes that there is no end to success and to achieve the goals one needs dedication, hardwork, patience and focus.

            Hailing from one of the Nagaland tribe sects, namely Sumi Tribe, she had a very clear idea about her career and chose to become an entrepreneur, though her parents wanted her to be in the administration stream.

            "I belonged to a business class family and always aspired to become an entrepreneur," Achumi said.

            But Jemima, then moved out of the state after schooling and completed her graduation in sociology from Delhi University in 2004. Her only motive was to become an entrepreneur and this gave her the courage to extend her stay in Delhi for another year.

            During her stay in Delhi, she observed that consumers were more inclined towards processed meat foods and mostly preferred non-veg. This was an impetus for her to come back to her state where she realised that it was favourable for her to start her own firm in her hometown, where 90 per cent of the Nagas were non-vegetarians.

            Therefore, Jemima spent her time researching over two years, during which time she met a lot of entrepreneurs from other states and with the encouragement of one of the entrepreneurs from Kolkata, she was able to proceed with her project.

            She then started, T J Foods, a company dedicated to processed meat products. The products by this company are sold under the brand name Jemmeez.

            "Nagas had no access to any of the processed products while about 90 per cent of the Nagas were non-veg," informs Jemima, while talking about her newest venture.

            Indeed, setting up a company was not an easy task for Jemima as it posed a lot of challenges, above all financial aspect, as the investments were very high. But, fortunately, her family provided her the financial assistance.

            "Although the Ministry of Food Processing Industries provides subsidies to different state entrepreneurs, it was taking its own time to go ahead with the same," said Achumi and hence she decided to plan for her next step - meeting companies which could provide her the technology from countries like Germany and Italy.

            "I still have a long way to go," she trailed off and felt that women entrepreneurs need to look for more innovative careers.

            Source: http://fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=30860&sectionid=2

            IIP, MoFPI, Neramac workshop on packaging of process fruits for entrepreneurs

            The Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), and NERAMAC (North Eastern Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd), had recently organised a workshop on Packaging of Processed Fruits for Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs’ at Dimapur, Nagaland.

            The background of the workshop was that though the Indian economy was based on agriculture, and grew tremendously in terms of production of food grains, fruits, vegetables and cash crop it witnessed great loss - 40% of India’s fresh fruits and vegetables were lost due to improper harvesting, lack of storage facility, mishandling, transit loss, improper and unscientific packaging.

            According to N C Saha, director, IIP, has taken the bold initiative to organise five workshops of one day duration at different places in India. The IIP has already done series of workshops viz. Guwahati, Delhi, Agartala, Tirupati, Goa, Siliguri, Vizag, Ranchi, Muzaffarpur, Aizawl, Imphal, Shillong, Chittor, Tejpur, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Indore, Itanagar, Cochin and now at Dimapur to cover this sector of industries located in different parts of the country. As these industries need special attention for their upgrade in terms of technology and technical know- how so that these industries would be able to sustain in this competitive world.

            H K Khulu, agricultural production commissioner & principal secretary (agriculture), Government of Nagaland, Kohima, was the chief guest, at the workshop. The guest of honour was Dr Akali Sema, director, Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Dimapur, Nagaland. He highlighted about the different problems faced by fruit processors especially in Dimapur.

            Sashi Pongener, chairman, Nagaland Rural Bank (NRB), Kohima, Nagaland; Inamul Hussain Saikia, zonal manager, Nagaland, NERAMAC; and Sashank Gahtraj, president, Yimsean Livelihood Development Society, Dimapur; also addressed the sessions.

            Source: http://fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=30899&sectionid=1

            Wipro’s Trace Solve – unique solution that can ensure Food Act compliance

            Wipro, the information technology major, has a unique offering for the food industry - Trace Solve - that ensures enterprise-wide continuous compliance visibility at more than one location in the food industry.

            With the Union government working to implement the Food Safety Standards Act across the country in total, the company is looking at opportunities in the industry to chip in its expertise.

            The Trace Solve solution will continuously monitor attributes of received material, compare these with operating specification. There is also an alert management system which signals when incoming attributes are out-of-specification, according to Ravi Purohit, GM and global head, food, beverages, agriculture and tobacco sectors, CPG Vertical, Wipro Limited.

            Other notable features of the solution are that it also monitors the associate downstream outcomes with upstream events which cover the product capabilities, equipment, events, processes, etc.) to find profit and quality leakages. In addition, it also manages temperature information and predicts remaining shelf life when the product arrives and provides bi-directional traceability for products which are bought from third-parties.

            Now with the FSSA insisting on food recall, the company is looking at participating in this at the national level offering solutions to the food processing industry. “We have worked in similar initiatives in the European Union and can participate in bringing our technology and consulting expertise to help this initiative,” added Purohit.

            “Now we bring in our rich background working with leading food & beverage companies in different areas of the supply chain. We work with leading product vendors to deliver solutions to the customers for traceability. Wipro has developed solution in niche areas within the scope which is not addressed by the vendors, for instance interfacing with the POS (point of sale) system to block product sales in case of a recall,” he said.

            Food recall is a relatively new concept in India but it is well defined in most of the developed countries. According to Purohit, all international brands have a stringent quality system and are applicable in India as well, as they and the local brands are monitored by the FPO, BIS and other regulatory authorities. Moreover companies have voluntarily recalled products earlier based on their quality analysis but not structured. For exports we have government organisations such as APEDA and MPEDA which monitor this.

            The challenges that most of the companies face in food recall are primarily due to lack of visibility at different stages of the supply chain. The information to track and trace is available in silos within the system. There needs to be investment into traceability system which will pull all these silos of information into one platform and provide alerts. We have constantly heard prevention is better than cure. There is a lack of or less automation and information available electronically for providing alerts to respond quickly. The major reason is maturity in technology and cheap labour cost, according to him.

            “In India, the food recall though stringent has not been implemented as intended. The international law comes down very severely on the companies forcing them to close down. But in India this has not been the case as there are a lot of legal and operational hurdles. The companies still face significant challenges on spurious products and there are still no answers this,” pointed out Purohit.

            In early November this year, Wipro was chosen by Premier Foods, the United Kingdom’s largest food producer, as a strategic technology partner. The company’s partnership with SAP, delivery innovation, outcome-based service models and competencies in cloud- based services will be leveraged for this engagement with the UK-based food major. “The company adopts the consumer packaged goods practice which is a value chain-based approach enabling it to provide customised, industry-specific solutions that complement our deep technology background,” he added, on a concluding note.


            FM okays changes to Food Security Bill; presentation before Cabinet soon

            K V Thomas, minister of state for agriculture (independent charge), consumer affairs, food & public distribution, while talking to FnB News over telephone has said that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is the head of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food, has approved key changes to the proposed National Food Security Bill and it will be presented before the Cabinet soon. He also said that the Cabinet note is ready and has been circulated for inter-ministerial comments.

            Thomas informed that Mukherjee had agreed to several key changes such as keeping an option open for supplying more than 3 kg of subsidised food grains to general households. Further, lactating women of the entire country will get cash-handout of Rs 1,000 per month for six months instead of 52 districts and in cases of general households entitlement to subsidised food grains, the word minimum will be inserted in the draft so that the government can increase the allocation if production arises, said the minister.


            FP sector will be made more transparent & attractive to investors: Sahai

            The union minister of food processing industries, Subodh Kant Sahai, has said that the Vision 2015 document on food processing industries had suggested a number of measures aimed at enhancing and stabilising the income level of the farmers.

            It also provides choice to consumers in terms of greater variety and taste including traditional ethnic food, providing greater assurance about safety and quality of food to consumers. "This enables promoting a dynamic food processing industry, enhancing the competitiveness of food processing industry in both domestic as well as international markets, making the sector transparent & attractive for both domestic and foreign investors, achieving integration of the food processing infrastructure from farm to market, having a transparent and industry friendly regulatory regime and putting in place a transparent system of standards based on science," Sahai said.

            Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha recently, he said, the Vision 2015 document also envisioned tripling the size of the processed food sector by increasing the level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20%, value addition from 20% to 35% and share in global food trade from 1.5% to 3% by 2015. As against this, it is estimated that currently, the processing levels have increased to about 11% with value addition estimated at 26%.

            Source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28864&sectionid=2

            Eastern states stagger in food processing

            While the southern states have shown encouraging progress in bringing up food processing industries, the sloth eastern states were a cause of worry for the government.

            “ The southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have shown encouraging progress in availing central government schemes to promote food processing units but slow progress in eastern states was really a cause of worry,” minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai said.

            “Unless and until we register good progress of food processing industries in states like Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal the drive to increase volume of processing of fruit & vegetables from 11 % now to 25% by 2015 would be a difficult task,” Sahai said.

            Sahai said his ministry was focusing on these laggard states by writing to the governments there to pull up their socks and also through intensified campaign.

            In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Sahai had rolled out statistics to show the projects his ministry had approved.

            “A total of 41 projects were sanctioned for Andhra Pradesh in 2009-10,” the minister said. In Karnataka, 24 projects were given a green signal while 41 projects in Tamil Nadu and 33 in Kerala also received a go-ahead during the period.

            On the other hand, there were only two projects in Bihar, six in Orissa and 10 in West Bengal in the last financial year.

            The scenario was still more gloomy in the north-eastern states. While there were only three projects approved in Arunachal Pradesh in 2009-10, it was six in Manipur, two in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland had one each, Tripura and Sikkim had none.

            Joint secretary in food processing industries, Ajit Kumar said that his ministry had undertaken intensified publicity drive in the eastern states to educate farmers about virtues of the food processing units to further their income.

            “Camps were organised at Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga in Bihar and Orissa's capital Bhubneswar recently to popularise the food processing scheme which promised hefty monetary assistance for opening a unit,” he added.

            Source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28884&sectionid=2

            Working Group suggests MSP for crops at 50% over actual production cost

            The Working Group on Agriculture Production has suggested that the Centre should fix the minimum support price (MSP) for crops at 50% more than the actual cost of cultivation. If implemented, this recommendation by the group, headed by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, would have far-reaching impact on farm incomes. The Group also includes the chief ministers of Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal. The report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Wednesday, in fact, sought a review of the CACP's (Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices) methodology for calculating cultivation costs, which it feels, does not adequately reflect 'actual' costs.

            The MSP for paddy, for instance, is currently fixed at Rs 1,000 per quintal for common varieties and Rs 1,030 for grade A (fine and superfine) crop. As against this, the CACP has estimated he all-India average 'C-2' cost for paddy at Rs 742.43 a quintal. The C-2 costs cover all paid out expenses on fertilizers, pesticides, diesel, hired labour, etc., plus imputed (opportunity cost) values on family labour, land (rental income foregone) and capital (interest foregone of owned assets such as tractors and implements). If farmers are to be paid 50% over the C-2 cost, as recommended by the CACP, they would be entitled to an MSP of around Rs 1,115 for a quintal of paddy. It would be even more if "actual" costs are to be taken into consideration.

            The Working Group has also called for farm loans to be extended at an interest not more than 4% per annum, besides providing subsidy on diesel used for irrigation on the lines of the scheme drawn by the Bihar Government. It has favoured a comprehensive policy for extending the insurance cover to all crops and livestock, for which funds must come from the Centre.

            Another recommendation relates to higher investment in the power sector to ensure easy availability of energy to farmers. The report has also called for more investment in agricultural research to develop high-yielding varieties,. In all, the Group has made more than 150 specific recommendations, which will be discussed at a meeting of the central ministers and chief ministers, chaired by the Prime Minister.

            Significant recommendations of the Working Group are summarised below (some recommendations have already been implemented during the course of the current year):

            # Bridge the horizontal and vertical gaps in yield by ascertaining these through specific studies and address them through appropriate interventions like timely sowing, balanced use of fertilizers and soil ameliorants, and improving water use efficiency.
            # Expansion of area under boro (winter) rice by increasing cropping intensity especially in the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal.
            # Assam should also be included in the extending green revolution to Eastern India programme.
            # Additional investments are required to maintain canals and to fund research on conjunctive use of brackish water with canal water.
            # Develop and upscale integrated farming systems including crops, horticulture, and livestock to generate both on-farm and off-farm employment for small and marginal farmers.
            # Promote production of hybrid seed aggressively and provide incentives to private sector.
            # State Seed Corporations should either be reformed/re-organised to make them vibrant organisations or should be closed to allow development of alternative mechanisms.
            # There is need to create appropriate pesticide/ bio-pesticide quality control set up and to provide deterrent punishment for the sale of spurious pesticides.
            # Institutional development across states is a priority area for equitable flow of credit.
            # Encourage establishment of agri-business centres by self-help groups to purchase, maintain and provide farm machinery to farmers under custom hiring and others.


            Govt bans onion export to tame prices; Pak onions to wipe off Indian tears!


            The Centre on Monday decided to suspend onion exports till January 15 to improve domestic supplies as prices went through the roof touching Rs 60-65 a kg in most parts of the country. Supplies of onion in all parts of the country have been badly hit due to unseasonal rains in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the major growers of onions. According to the department of consumer affairs, the retail prices onion in Delhi and Chennai rose to an all-time high of Rs 65 and Rs 70, respectively. In Mumbai also onions are sold at Rs 65-70 per kilo.

            After an emergency meeting of the food ministry, agriculture cooperative major Nafed, which regulates onion exports, has been asked to stop giving fresh clearance to exporters. Besides, the government has also made exports almost impossible by doubling the minimum export price to $1,200 per tonne from $525 recommended for December.
            According to a trader from Lasalgaon, the hub of the country’s onion trade located near Nashik, the average wholesale price of onion rose to Rs 4,500 per quintal on Monday from Rs 1,800 two weeks ago.

            The prices are unlikely to come down in the next one month. There might be some relief after the kharif onion crop from Rajasthan starts arriving in the market. Meanwhile traders are buying onions from Pakistan to take advantage of the soaring prices in the country. Twelve trucks loaded with onions arrived on the Attari-Wagah border on Monday. This was the first import of the commodity via the land route in 12 years. Some traders put the cost of landed onions at Rs 18-20 per kg. India had exported thousands of tonnes of onion to Pakistan earlier this year. But foreseeing a poor crop in the country and the current high prices, the traders are importing onions from Pakistan.

            source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28889&sectionid=23

            EFSA approves use of “Chromium Picolinate” in foods

            New York-based Nutrition 21 Inc; the developer and marketer of ingredients for dietary supplements, foods and beverages, and animal nutrition, has announced the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued its safety assessment supporting the use of chromium picolinate in foods intended for the general population in the European Union (EU).

            In its safety assessment, EFSA concluded that “chromium picolinate” has a large margin of safety supporting its use as a source of chromium up to the maximum level established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

            Chromium picolinate is the chemical compound that is sold as a nutritional supplement to prevent or treat chromium deficiency.

            There are claims that the picolinate form of chromium supplementation aids in reducing insulin resistance, particularly in diabetics, but a meta-analysis of chromium supplementation studies showed no association between chromium and glucose or insulin concentrations for non-diabetics, and inconclusive results for diabetics.

            EFSA’s safety review was in response to Nutrition 21’s application to market “Chromax chromium picolinate” as a source of chromium in conventional foods in Europe. The safety assessment is an initial step in obtaining formal EU approval of chromium picolinate as an acceptable form of chromium for use in foods. The company expects the formal approval will be issued in 2011.

            “The safety review was extensive and included a review of Nutrition 21’s safety data on Chromax chromium picolinate, our manufacturing and product specifications, and the long-term, high-dose, toxicity studies independently conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program,” said James Komorowski, vice president – R&D at Nutrition 21.

            source: http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=28891&sectionid=23