Despite slowdown due to Covid-19, India’s food exports up 27% since March

Source: Business Standard, Jul 18, 2020

New Delhi: Despite economic turbulence due to Covid-19, India’s overall food exports since March have increased 27 per cent.

According to the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), the average growth of 27 per cent during the lockdown and the unlock period came on the back of high demand for food-based items.

“The food sector has shown 27 per cent growth. The major markets that have responded well are the US and Canada,” TPCI Chairman Mohit Singla said at the Indo-Canadian virtual “buyer-seller meet (BSM) on food & beverages.”

He said exports in June against year-ago month had declined by only 4 per cent.

“We exported almost Rs 166,000 crore merchandise. It shows the Indian market has bounced back and the international market is responding well to Indian exports,” he said.

 Recently, official data showed India emerged as a net exporter in June. The country recorded $0.79 billion trade surplus in June against $15.28 billion deficit during the same period of 2019.

On the Indo-Canadian food trade, Singla said, “Canada can be an important market for the Indian F&B industry as it has a large population (approx 2.4 million) of Indian diaspora. Outreach to the mainstream market is the biggest challenge for the Indian F&B industry.”

With the support of fellow buyers and the High Commission we would be able to perform better, he added.

India’s High Commissioner to Canada Ajay Bisaria said, “The Mission was part of a number of business conferences, but it’s the first virtual BSM during the lockdown. It’s a positive sign that we are looking beyond the pandemic to go into a recovery phase for business.”

The demand for India’s ethnic and organic products was rising, he added.

“Canada is projecting the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression of about 6.8 per cent in 2020 instead of 8 per cent or so projected by the IMF for Canada,” he said and hoped, all economies, including India and Canada, would have a ‘V’ shaped rather than ‘W’ or ‘U’ shaped recovery.”

He said the strategic India-Canada economic partnership was moving to the next level in business and political terms and often the business led the political side.

“The merchandise trade has risen 24 per cent during the pandemic. The investment from Canada to India has grown from $5 billion to $60 billion in the last 5-6 years,” he said.

Integration of Canada due to its partnership (North American Free Trade Agreement and United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) might be seen as part of the North-America market, he said. “We are working on trade agreements and having a conversation on investment protection agreement. There is a strong inflow of immigrants and students from India to Canada. India is investing in human capital in Canada and Canada is exporting financial capital to India,” Bisaria said.

FSSAI frames law to promote food donation

Source:, Aug 27, 2019

New Delhi: Food regulator FSSAI has framed a regulation to promote food donation by businesses and reduce wastage. “Food Authority has come up with the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of surplus food) Regulations, 2019, so as to provide a legitimate backup to the food donation in India,” the regulator said in a statement.

The purpose of these regulations is to establish a uniform national regulation to protect organizations and individuals when they donate food in good faith.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) seeks to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. Read the rest of this entry »

How start-ups are making the cut in India’s $30-b meat mart

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Aug 15, 2019

Do you love your meat but dislike going to the butcher and looking at all that blood or listening to the terrified cries of caged animals? Well, a few start-ups are aiming to ease your mind and your conscience as you bite into that juicy chicken breast or sink your teeth into that cholesterol-packed leg of lamb.

Customers, especially youngsters, are warming up to these start-ups, and PE and VC funds are licking their lips at the prospects of this $30-billion, largely unorganised market. Read the rest of this entry »

June-end foodgrain stocks hit new peaks, grain buffer 81% above norms

Source: Business Standard, Jul 18, 2019

India’s June-end foodgrain stocks have reached new peaks on account of high procurement and slow stock liquidation. As on July 1, 2019, grain stocks were almost 81 per cent above the buffer stock and strategic reserve norms.

The last time India had more than 70 million tonnes of wheat and rice stocks in July was in 2013, but that included unmilled paddy lying with FCI and state agencies.

April, May, and June are the main procurement months for wheat. Although such high stocks could be good security against any drought-like situation, they pose operational and financial challenges for the government.

Government likely to infuse Rs 6,500 crore equity in Food Corporation of India

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 04, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government plans to infuse Rs 6,500 crore equity in state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) to shore up its authorised capital from Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. This will help FCI to enhance its borrowing capacity and raise more money through bonds to take care of its procurement operations.

“We are sending the proposal to cabinet for its nod. With increased capital base, FCI will be able to raise money from market. Its cash credit (CC) limit will also be enhanced,” said a senior food ministry official.

The infusion of capital will be in the form of equity and would not be divided in shares as FCI is established under a special Act of Parliament and does not come under the Companies Act. Read the rest of this entry »

FSSAI calls for colour-coded labels on products with high fat, sugar content

Source:, Jun 27, 2019

Makers of chips, soups, biscuits, juices and other packaged foods will soon have to display red colour coding on the front of packets of products that have high levels of fat, sugar or salt content as per the regulator’s new draft of labelling regulations.

The food industry has expressed its concerns over the draft of the proposed changes in labelling rules drawn up by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Read the rest of this entry »

World Food India meet on Nov 1-4

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jun 17, 2019

New Delhi: The World Food India event will be held during November 1-4 in the national capital as part of the government’s effort to boost investment into this growing sector, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Monday.

This will be the second edition of World Food India, with first one held in 2017 that saw the participation of 61 countries and signing of MoUs worth $14 billion.

The World Food India 2019 will be held from November 1-4, 2019 in New Delhi and will position India as food processing destination of the World, Badal said in an official statement.

The grand event will be the biggest gathering of all global and domestic stakeholders in this sector, she said.

Food service industry to touch Rs 6 trn mark by FY23, to grow at 9%: Report

Source: Business Standard, Jun 12, 2019

Mumbai: The overall Indian food service industry is estimated to be Rs 5.99 trillion by 2022-23, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 9 percent, a National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) report said.

It noted that the market size was Rs 4.23 ltrillion in 2018-19.

“The Indian restaurant industry employed 7.3 million people in 2018-19. The organised food service sector, which is only 35 percent of the total market, contributed a whopping Rs 18,000 crore as way of taxes in 2018-19. The number is expected to more than double if the unorganised sector becomes organised,” NRAI President Rahul Singh said.

Pegging Mumbai’s organized food service market at Rs 40,480 crore, the report noted it was the highest amongst metros in the country.

The city has approximately 87,650 restaurants and employs over 4,28,000 people.

The average spend per month per household on eating out in the city is Rs 2,890, higher than national average of Rs 2,500, it said, while adding that the average frequency of consuming non-home cooked food in Mumbai is 4.2 times per month including dine-out, delivery and takeaways.

Food Corporation of India’s facelift on the anvil

Source: The Economic Times, Jun 06, 2019

NEW DELHI: The government is planning to revamp and restructure Food Corporation of India. This is on the top priority of food minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

“The government is likely to implement few of the Shanta Kumar recommendations for the face lifting of FCI. It will revamp FCI and make it trimmer, transparent and effective,” said a senior food ministry official.

The government, in 2014, had constituted a high level committee chaired by Shanta Kumar, who had given several recommendations as how to make the entire food grain management system more efficient by reorienting the role of FCI in MSP operations, procurement, storage and distribution of grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Read the rest of this entry »

‘Indian food service sector size Rs 4 lakh cr, employs 7.3 mn’

Source:, May 20, 2019

New Delhi, Riding on urbanisation, rising income levels and improved investment climate, India’s food service sector has grown at 11 per cent in the last three years and is estimated at Rs 423,865 crore in 2018-19, proving employment to some 7.3 million people, a report released on Monday said.

Growing at 9 per cent, it is projected to reach Rs 599,784 crore by 2022-23, the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) said in its India Food Services Report 2019.

“The growth is noticeable at the segment and format levels of the sector,” the report said, adding that the organised segment, which holds a 35 per cent share, grew 13 per cent in the last three years and is estimated at Rs 148,353 crore in 2018-19. It is estimated to grow at 15 per cent to Rs 257,907 crore in 2022-23.

Within the organised sector, affordable casual dining restaurants accounted for a whopping Rs 60,255 crore in 2018-19 and fine diners for Rs 2,872 crore with PBCLs (pubs, bar cafes and lounges) and cafes in between at Rs 17,979 crore and Rs 9,370 crore, respectively. Read the rest of this entry »