Global Food Companies Decide to Form Lobby in India

 The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), based out of France, an international trade organization Consumer Goods forum has come to a decision to establish a branch in India.

This will see global food companies of the likes of Nestle, Coca-Cola, Tesco, Amazon, Metro Group and Cargill all band together to create a new lobby to work with the government of India and its regulators in a bid to ensure food safety in the nation.

 “India will be the seventh Local Group of GFSI that we are aiming to formalize early next year,” said Mike Robach, chairman of the board of directors, GFSI.

The GFSI India wing will consist of a small team of 20-25 members to begin with. This team will include representatives from the companies that form the Board of GFSI.

GFSI’s ascent into India will see them bring their global practices to the country and help re-invigorate the local food industry. GFSI will also work closely with government food regulators and other supporting authorities with regard to food safety and general practices followed, according to Robach.

The setting-up of a local branch in India is not a common practice for lobby groups. Industry specific lobby groups such as GSMA are known to have cellular operators around the world but the structuring of a formal branch in India has been unprecedented until now.

India is of prime importance to many multi-national corporations today, as it remains one of the fastest growing markets for packaged goods in the world. Fast Moving Consumer Goods firms in India recorded a cumulative revenue of $47.3 billion, which is expected to rise to $103 billion by 2020.

Mike Robach who also holds the position of vice-president at Cargil explained that GFSI consists of food safety experts in retail, manufacturing and food service as well as international organizations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry.

 “In India, we’ll have a team of 20-25 members who will be representatives from our member companies globally. Besides, we’ll leverage networks and knowledge of local industry associations,” said the GFSI chairman. GFSI has held talks with FSSAI and industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) regarding formation of GFSI’s India wing.

The GFSI has set bench-marks globally in terms of food safety schemes and enhancing food safety management systems.

GFSI’s latest project will see them attempt bring the farm-to-form food supply chain under a food safety management system.

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