The Union Minister informed that the Ministry, along with the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), is working to streamline the process for time-bound approval of food products. He further informed that this will not only clear the approval of several pending proposals for food products, but will also give the much needed push to the domestic food processing industry, while not compromising with quality and safety of the food products.
In a review meeting, the Health Minister discussed in detail with the officials to ensure food that is consumed is safe, healthy and wholesome, and see the manufacturing process adheres to standards and procedures under the mandate of the Food Safety and Standard Authority (FSSA) Act 2006. The Health Minister further stated that in order to ensure the quality and safety of food products, various issues pertaining to regulation under the FSSAI Act 2006 were discussed at the meeting, including the mechanism for ‘product approval’.
Present at the meeting were stakeholders from the food processing industries; Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion; Secretary, Department of Food Processing; Chairman & CEO, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), and officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare
The Foreign Direct Investment has been allowed to 100% in the automatic route for most food products in India, except for items reserved for micro and small enterprises. India’s food processing industry accounts for around 32% of Indian food market. The industry, which is largely dominated by the ready-to-eat segment contributed to around 90% of sales of packed foods in India and the industry is primarily export-oriented.
In 2013-14, India exported about 135 agri and processed food products, with the total volume of 194088 MT including 16322 MT organic textiles. The organic agri export realization was around $ 403 million.
Indian organic Agri and food products are majorly exported to US, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asian countries, Middle East, South Africa, among others.
Oil seeds – Soybean (70%) lead among the products exported followed by Cereals & Millets other than Basmati (6%), processed food products (5%), Basmati Rice (4%), Sugar (3%), Tea (2%), Pulses and Lentils (1%), dry fruits (1%), Spices (1%) and others.