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Officials crack down on exporters flouting international food safety standards

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Food safety, Food, World trade organization

Indian exporters have been told to pay closer attention to hygiene and phyto-sanitary regulations for the sake of the country’s reputation.

In a notice to food companies, the Ministry of Commerce warned if businesses did not observe food safety and animal and plant health rules, they could face punitive action, including fines and the cancellation of their business licenses.

The threat comes after the Ministry of Agriculture forwarded complaints to the commerce ministry of some Indian companies not complying with global standards.

Indian exports are subject to food safety and animal and plant export rules governed by the World Trade Organisation.

Under the terms of the WTO agreement, exporters must be familiar with all the importing country’s requirements, which they must strictly adhere to before sending shipments overseas.

The notice stated that "various instances of non-compliance of sanitary/phyto-sanitary measures by Indian exporters while exporting goods​” had been brought to the attention of the ministry’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

"Importing countries have been making complaints against Indian exporters, which amounts to disrepute to the image of the country and that can adversely impact the interest of other exporters as well as of the country as a whole​," it said.

Now exporters must be sure to provide official certification from designated agencies, along with documents to show that they have observed the importing country’s standards, the directorate’s trade notice added.

More from South Asia…

Roha shores up N American colours business with Canadian acquisition

Maharashtra-based Roha has made its fourth acquisition this year, with the purchase of the colours business of Canada’s Cambrian Solutions.

Colours

Cambrian has been exclusively supplying Roha with synthetic colours since 1997. Its acquisition will now strengthen the Indian company’s presence in the Canadian market, Roha said in a statement.

The deal will also allow Cambrian to refocus its efforts in other areas of the food and nutraceutical markets, it added.

Roha has been increasingly active in Canada, where it had earlier set up a fully owned subsidiary in 2016, said Rohit Tibrewala, the company’s Americas chief. 

Canada is a very dynamic market and consumer preferences are changing fast. To grow in Canada, we have to be in Canada. This is acceleration in our commitment to Canada and its dynamic food and beverage, consumer health, and personal care industries​,” Tibrewala said, adding that the company plans to make further investments in the country.

Now with offices in 24 countries and production facilities, distribution centres and formulation labs in six continents, Roha has one of the biggest networks in colour manufacturing. 

Marking a year of aggressive growth, it has recently acquired a number of food ingredients companies, most recently Delta Aromatics of Egypt, as it expands into other speciality ingredients areas.

Government hopes food hackathon will lead to lasting supply-chain solutions

Sixty-seven teams have taken part in a two-day “hackathon​” to find new ways to address key issues in India’s crumbling supply chain.

Hackathon

The event, organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries ahead of India’s biggest food event, focused on developing solutions through technology to challenges in the food processing sector, and featured students, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

It was one of a number of initiatives organised in the lead-up to World Food India, a trade show that the government hopes will “transform the food economy and double farmers’ income​”.

The hackathon set out to explore how Indian tech specialists can contribute to the food industry at a time when officials predict US$10bn will be invested in the segment with the creation of more than 1m jobs over the next three years. 

Over two days, academic and industry mentors worked with participating teams to develop robust solutions to supply chain issues such as food wastage, carbon footprint reduction and maintaining produce freshness—all areas where India has traditionally struggled.

Three winning teams will be chosen by a jury of technocrats and industry figures on November 5, at the conclusion of World Food India. 

We intend to harness young talent of the country, and it is heartening to see such an overwhelming response to the hackathon​,” said Jagdish Prasad Meena, secretory MOFPI. 

We are confident that the next three years are going to be extraordinary in bringing out the best, with such young minds at work. We look forward to seeing more talent coming into the industry, and the government will extend full support to facilitate taking some of these ideas to reality​.”

Related topics: Policy, Food safety, South Asia, Supply chain

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