Harsimrat Kaur inaugurates Himachal’s first mega food park in Una

Source: ETRetail.com, Feb 11, 2019

New Delhi: Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Sunday inaugurated Cremica Food Park, which is the first mega food park of Himachal Pradesh. “Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal today inaugurated Cremica Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd via video conference. The Park is located at Village Singhain Una District of Himachal Pradesh,” the ministry said in a statement.

The mega food park has been set up at a cost of Rs 107.34 crore.

This is the first mega food park operationalised in Himachal Pradesh. The inauguration took place in presence of Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh and Anurag Singh Thakur, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Hamirpur, according to the statement.

The Cremica Mega Food Park will benefit people of Una district and nearby districts of Kangra, Hamirpur and Bilaspur. Read the rest of this entry »

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FSSAI’s ad norms to make brand ambassadors more accountable

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Feb 07, 2019

New Delhi: The Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, which come into force from July 1, are expected to make celebrities, who endorse food products, more accountable. The rules will also establish fairness in claims made by packaged food companies.

Replying to a query on laws that make celebrities who endorse food products responsible for misleading claims, Information & Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, said the regulations are aimed at establishing fairness in claims and advertisement of food products and make food businesses accountable for such claims and advertisements so as to protect consumer interest.

“These regulations inter-alia, also provide a list of prohibited claims and clearly specify that any person, including a third party, who advertises or is a party to the publication of any misleading advertisement not complying with these regulations would be penalised, as per Section 53 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006,” he said adding that celebrity endorsements are covered under these provisions.

The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, Section 53 specifies that any person who publishes or a party to the publication of an advertisement which falsely describes any food or is likely to mislead regarding the nature, substance, quality of any food or gives false guarantee, shall be liable to a penalty of upto ₹10 lakh.

On the query whether celebrities endorsing food products can be prosecuted under any laws, he said as per Department of Consumer Affairs there is no provision in the Consumer Protection Act 1986 to prosecute celebrities endorsing food products.

“A consumer can make a complaint against unfair trade practice in a consumer forum established under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986,” Rathore added.

If, the complaint is upheld, a Consumer Forum can issue an order to the opposite party directing him to remove the defector to replace the good or to return the price of the good to complainant, he said.

French firm’s Indian unit buys Prabhat’s dairy business for Rs 1,700 crore

Source:  Business Standard, Jan 22, 2019

Global dairy major Lactalis will buy Mumbai-based Prabhat’s milk business in its third acquisition in India.
Prabhat told the stock exchanges on Monday that Lactalis’ Indian subsidiary Tirumala Milk Products was acquiring its dairy business for Rs 1,700 crore, which is 1.09 times its FY18 sales of Rs 1,554 crore. The transaction is subject to mandatory approvals. The company did not specify a timeline for completion of the deal, but analysts expect it to be done in the next six months.


At Monday’s closing price of Rs 93.05 per share, Prabhat’s market capitalisation stands at Rs 909 crore. Kotak Mahindra Capital Company was the financial advisor to Prabhat on the deal. Veritas acted as the legal advisor.  Besides the dairy business, the transaction also involves sale of 100 per cent shareholding in Sunfresh Agro Industries, a step-downsubsidiary of Prabhat, via a share purchase agreement, the company said.
Prabhat will now focus on its cattle field and animal genetics business with the sale of its dairy business.

Earlier this month, Prabhat had tied up with Denmark-based DLG Group as part of its plans to foray into the animal nutrition business. The company had been looking to offload its dairy business for some time now, said experts tracking the market, and was in talks with Tata Global Beverages last year for a possible sale at Rs 400 crore. That did not come through though.

Raviraj Vahadane, chief financial officer of Prabhat Dairy, said, the acquisition represented a meaningful opportunity for the employees of the company to be associated with one of the global leaders in the dairy products business.  The company intended to share a substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale with shareholders after meeting its tax and transaction cost obligations, he said.

For Lactalis, the acquisition of Prabhat’s dairy business is its fifth in five years. In January of 2014, the company had bought South India’s second-largest dairy company Tirumala Milk for Rs 1,750 crore. It then snapped up the dairy business of Indore-based Anik Industries for Rs 470 crore in March of 2016, indicating that it was ready for more.

The new food factories: Inside India’s organics trade

Source: LiveMint.com, Jan 14, 2019

New Delhi: In a bid to maintain good health, Manisha Bhardwaj, a software professional working in Noida, and her banker husband, Sakal Bhardwaj—both turning 40—have decided to bring some changes in their lifestyle and food habits. The couple has not only joined a gym to lose weight but has also completely switched to organic foods—ranging from organic fruits, vegetables, pluses to organic rice.

“Earlier, I was buying vegetables from a local vendor. But now, I order vegetables and fruits from websites that sell organic stuff,” said Manisha Bhardwaj. “In grocery stores too, my first preference is organic foods now,” she added.

The Bhardwaj family is not the only one undergoing this kind of transformation. Annu Gupta, a yoga and fitness trainer, also ensures that she buys all her vegetables and fruits from a local farm in Faridabad, which claims to be organic and supplies produce across Delhi-NCR. Read the rest of this entry »

Food businesses barred from using recycled plastic, newspaper for packaging

Source: Business Standard, Jan 03, 2019

Food businesses will be banned from using recycled plastics and newspapers for packaging after July 1, industry regulator FSSAI said Thursday.

The new regulations prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.

FSSAI’s norms also prohibit the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles and includes respective Indian standard for printing inks for use on food packages.

“The new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level,” said Pawan Agarwal, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI), in a statement.

He said that there would be “difficulties” in implementation of these regulations by the unorganised sector and therefore sufficient time has been given before the regulations come into force. Read the rest of this entry »

Organic food show to attract global retail chains, companies

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 17, 2018

New Delhi: Organic food will be the focus of the second edition of Indusfood — the government’s flagship international food show-cum- reverse buyer seller meet — with more than 200 global buyers already indicating their interest in sourcing from the country.

Large global retail chains, including Germany’s REWE, Australian Culinary Foods, Canada’s Global Choice Foods and Chile’s Soc. De Inversiones Granatta are interested in buying organic food at the Indusfood meet and buyer-seller meets are being organised for the purpose, said Mohit Singla, Chairman, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).

“There is a huge scope for increasing organic food exports from India, especially processed food, as only 0.5 per cent of the global demand is supplied from the country. We are upbeat on that,” said Singla speaking to BusinessLine. Total export of organic food products from India in 2017-18 was worth $515.44 million of which just $34.3 million was processed organic food. Read the rest of this entry »

Food testing labs to soon follow same standards

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 22, 2018

India’s food regulator will soon notify referral laboratories that will help develop standards for procedures and methods to be followed for testing food in India, as per new regulations published recently. These referral laboratories will also evaluate the performance of other labs.

“One set of laboratories has been created known as reference laboratories. They basically ensure that testing across laboratories is done using the same standard methods. They also do proficiency testing. Proficiency testing refers to whether the labs are doing tests correctly or not,” said Pawan Agarwal, CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. “The ecosystem will ensure consistency of results across labs.” Under the new rules, audits of laboratories will be scheduled at least once a year to check for quality.

The regulations spell out rules for notifying and recognising food laboratories, procedures for notification, obligations of food laboratories, among others.