New Delhi: Senior experts from leading international food regulatory bodies like FAO, CODEX Alimentarius Commission, European Commission and countries from different regions of the world are meeting in New Delhi on 10-11 April, to discuss key issues that are emerging globally and are relevant to the food sector.
They include the Chief, Food Quality and Standards Service, Food and Nutrition Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, two Vice Chairpersons of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and senior representatives from different Country regulatory authorities like Brazil, Europe, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, UK and USA.
A two-day International Food Regulatory Summit organized by CII in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations will be inaugurated by Dr Anbumani Ramdoss, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
The event is relevant and timely for it is being held against the backdrop of the recently enacted Food Safety and Standards Act, which provides an opportunity to India to revisit its current food regulatory regime to ensure that Indian consumers get high-quality and safe food and provide an innovation friendly environment.
The Indian Food industry(primary and processed), is poised for rapid growth. India has the potential to become a reliable outsourcing partner in the Food sector which is estimated to be worth over US $200 bn (Rs9,00,000 crore) and is expected to grow to US $310 bn (Rs13,95,000 crore) by 2015. The Food Retail sector is growing at a hefty 9%.
As the food business is growing beyond borders in the new WTO regime, nations are replacing their tariff barriers with more complicated non tariff barriers and quality and safety considerations have acquired centre stage with an ascending importance of the role of standards and conformity assessment.
Different perceptions of different countries on these issues creates considerable friction and often conflicts in accepting each other countries’ standards, testing methodologies and inspection results.
It is imperative to harmonize country specific food regulatory regimes with benchmarks set up by well established international bodies like CODEX and SPS and TBT agreements assured under WTO.
In order to maximise opportunities and to meet challenges of rapidly changing global food regulatory practices, both the Indian food companies as well as Food and service providers need to be conversant with globally emerging Food safety and quality initiatives influencing Food businesses and trade.
This International Summit is being organised in this context with specific objectives of building a common ground in India for food regulations by the participation of all stakeholders concerned and specifically leveraging learnings from some other regulatory regimes.