Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that a Grievance Redressal Cell has been established in the Ministry to ensure that problems faced by food processors during the COVID-19 lockdown are resolved at the earliest. Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, in a tweet today, that industry members facing any problem in operations and distribution of food products could send their queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. She further said the Government is committed to ensure the continuity of agro-food business, for which a Business Immunity Platform www.investindia.gov.in/bip has been designed as a comprehensive resource to help business and investors get real-time support to ensure hassle free operations.
Earlier, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Pushpa Subrahmanyam has written letter to Chief Secretaries of all states regarding need for continued functioning of food industry and their suppliers. A list of essential food products and their inputs has been enclosed with the letter. Secretary has stated that uninterrupted manufacturing of these food products is critical for maintaining supply chain and availability of food to the population. She added that availability of raw materials, packaging materials, movement of trucks carrying them, functioning of their warehouses and cold storages and ability of workers to come and work in the factories and warehouses needs to be ensured for maintaining food supply chain for the general population.
MoFPI Secretary further asked Chief Secretaries to instruct District Collectors, Police and Transport officials to enable continued functioning of food products factories, movement of their products and inputs/raw materials and allowing workers to attend these factories. She further requested them to nominate a Nodal Officer at the State level with whom MoFPIand the industry could raise instances of supply chain disruptions for effective resolution on the field.
Suggested List of Food Products enclosed with the letter
For the purpose of understanding food, the definition of ‘Food’ as per Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, will apply
- Manufacturing, transport, distribution & retail of
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Rice, wheat flour, other cereals and pulses
- Sugar and salt, spices & masalas
- Bakery& Dairy (Milk & Milk products)
- Tea and Coffee
- Eggs, Meat and Fish
- Food Grains, Oil, Masala and Food Ingredients
- Packaged food & Beverages
- Health supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use (FSDU) and Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP)
- Infant/Baby food
- Animal Feed/Pet food
- Food delivery services & e-commerce for above mentioned products
- Cold-storage/Warehousing of Food Products
- Fuel such as Coal, Rice Husk, diesel/furnace oil and others necessary to ensure the running/manufacturing of plants/factories.
- All raw materials, Intermediaries, packaging materials needed to support the above list of products.
For Example, suggestive list of raw materials required in packaged food & beverages industry-
Packaged food & Beverages
- Preservatives; Protein concentrates; Essential amino acids; iodized salt; canola oil; edible vegetable oils and fats; milk powder; various carbohydrates such as sucrose, dextrose, dextrin, maltose dextrin, lactose, honey, corn syrup; malt, liquid glucose.
- Fruit Juice, Pulp, Concentrate, Sugar, Beverage Base Concentrate
- Food additives- Emulsifier, pH adjusting agents, potassium hydrogen carbonate, antioxidants, enzymes, leavening agents, colours, flavours, acidity regulators, dehydrated products.