Luvata plans India cold chain expansion

Luvata plans India cold chain expansion

London: Luvata is planning an expansion in India to help meet rapid growth in the food refrigeration market, the international copper product maker said on Tuesday.

The company expects a first large production facility aimed at the domestic market to be ready next year.

“About 52% of India’s workforce is directly involved in growing food and it is the second largest producer of fruit and vegetables in the world," the company said in a statement.

“However, currently around a third of the food in India rots and becomes unusable because of the lack of a temperature-controlled supply chain network."

India, in a bid to check rising food inflation took steps in this year’s annual budget to spruce up fresh food distribution systems by building cold storage facilities and making more loans available to farmers.

Its finance minister has said cold storage chains would be given infrastructure status, providing tax benefits to drive construction of new facilities.

Ministry of food processing industries (MFPI) has assisted 10 cold chain projects over the last few years.

India’s cold chain industry is growing nearly 25% a year compared with 2-3% market growth in the rest of the world, Luvata said.

A growing global population means that it has become increasingly important to be able to store, preserve and move food, milk and medicines safely and effectively.

“India’s increasing population demands fruits and vegetables all year long," said Luvata’s chief executive John Peter Leesi. “This provides a significant market opportunity for Luvata’s cold-chain expertise and I would be very happy to see us capture 10% of this market by 2015."