‘Indian Food Processing Sector Must Comply Global Standards to Tap Global Business Opportunity’
There is a need for testing food products in order to ensure that it complies with domestic standards as well as international standards for exports, a top government official said.
Speaking at an Interactive Session on Swachhata Action Plan 2018-19 held in Gurugram, Ashok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing and Industries said that there is also a need for testing of all imported food products to ensure that they are of the requisite standard and food products not permitted for manufacture domestically.
Apart from this, the level of contaminants, additives, and pesticide residues in food items is required to be monitored regularly, he added.
In order to develop food safety and quality Assurance infrastructure in the country MOFPI has been extending financial assistance in setting up and up gradation food Testing Laboratories in the countries and setting up of HACCP/ISO standards to improve the overall quality of Food Safety and hygiene in the country, said Kumar.
HACCP, ISO Standards are necessary condition for improving the overall quality of food safety & hygiene in the country and also to increase India’s share in global food trade.
The main objective of the scheme is to motivate the food processing industry for adoption of food safety and quality assurance mechanisms such as TQM including ISO 9000, ISO 22000, HACCP, GMP, GHP, highlighted Kumar.
This will enable adherence food processors to the stringent quality and hygiene norms thereby protecting the health of consumers, enhancing product acceptance by buyers, both domestic & overseas and keep Indian industry technologically abreast of international best practices, he said.
“Food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India. The country’s food processing industry ranks fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports”.
Strategic geographic location and proximity to food importing nations benefit India in terms of exporting processed foods. Hence Swacchata in food Processing Industry is a high scale consideration, noted the Joint Secretary.