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Now Mofpi promises testing & certification labs for wine

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The minister of food processing industries, Subodh Kant Sahai, has said that the Indian wine sector requires a long-term commitment, as it is a very capital intensive industry.

Inaugurating the national conference on “Indian Wine Sector – Potential & Challenges,” in New Delhi, Sahai said “we should not be deterred by the lean phase through which the industry is passing, including unsold stock of wines.”

He emphasised the importance of quality in the Indian wine sector and said that all phases of the industry should be geared towards quality. “It is, therefore, important to set up international level facilities for wine and promoting Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). We would, therefore, facilitate setting up of the laboratory for wine testing and certification,” Sahai said.

The minister further said that during his recent visit to the headquarters of the Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) in the UK, he and his delegation got an insight into the role that this inter-governmental organisation of wine producing nations can play in the development of Indian wine industry.

Sahai also informed the national conference on “Indian Wine Sector – Potential & Challenges” that his ministry has processed the case for India to become a member of OIV. The conference was organised by the Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB).

Secretary of the ministry Ashok Sinha presided over the function. “We would like to see IGPB having strong foundations and in this direction I had written to the chief minister of Maharashtra to allot land to IGPB for construction of its building at Pune, which is the headquarters of the Board,” he added.

Sahai rues about Arunachal Pradesh -- 85 registered FP units, only a few operational

Food processing units in Arunachal Pradesh could be started on a missionary zeal, said minister for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai while expressing his concern over lack of proposals from investors to set up industries in Arunachal Pradesh despite its vast potential.

The minister addressed the "Investors Meet" organised by the Mofpi and Indian Chamber of Commerce at Itanagar. He rued that despite the state has over 85 registered units under the government only a few are working.

To develop state's food processing level, Sahai encouraged investors to enjoy the facilities especially formulated to benefit them and the food processing industries. "The Central government is interested in developing the industry in the North-East, especially in Arunachal Pradesh," he said.

Further, he announced any technical college in the state wanting to introduce degree and diploma courses in food processing will get 100 per cent grant for infrastructure, laboratory and other facilities.

Mofpi, jointly with the state government, has drafted the food processing policy, Sahai said, adding very soon it would give a fillip to the food processing sector here.

Sahai signs agreement with Vietnam on agri production, food processing

Sahai signs agreement with Vietnam on agri production, food processing
Friday, May 21, 2010
Our Bureau, Mumbai

Union food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahai has signed bilateral cooperation agreement with Cao Duc Phat, minister of agriculture and rural development of Vietnam on May 12 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

India and Vietnam will establish a joint committee to strengthen bilateral cooperation in agricultural production, food processing, trade and investment. Sahai, said, “We hope to advance cooperation with Vietnam in food processing and animal feed production. I also invite Vietnamese business houses to invest more in food processing technology in India.”

The Indian government will create favourable conditions for investors from Vietnam, Sahai assured.

During the period from 2003 to 2008, bilateral trade between Vietnam and India grew from $490 million to $2.48 billion. However, due to the global economic recession in 2009, the trade stood at $2.05 billion.

Source: Xinhua, China

Spices Board is panning to set up large cardamom processing units

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20 units at a total outlay of Rs 10 lakh will come up in the north-eastern States.

THE Spices Board is to implement a scheme for setting up large cardamom processing and packing units in the north-eastern States and Sikkim.

The scheme aims to promote marketability of large cardamom through scientific processing, powdering, de-capsuling and packaging, and thereby moving up the value chain, Mr S. Kannan, Director (Marketing) of the Board, told.

He said the scheme had to be implemented during the current Plan period, which will end in 2006-07. With a total outlay of Rs 10 lakh, it targets 20 units spread over these States, he said. The assistance proposed would be 50 per cent of the total cost of the project subject to a maximum of Rs 50,000 per unit.

All farmers, including NGOs/societies formed by farmers, would be eligible for assistance under the scheme. The grant to the eligible party would be reimbursed after successful establishment and trial run of the unit inspected jointly by a representative of the local industry department and a Board official, Mr Kannan said.

The total area under large cardamom in the country is estimated at 25,000 hectares; Sikkim tops with about 20,000 ha under the crop.West Bengal has about 2,500 ha and the rest of the area is spread over the North-Eastern States. Current production is estimated at 6,500 tonnes.

The price the farmers get for their commodity is quite low. As such, the Board feels that value addition at the farmers' level could fetch them better prices, Mr Kannan said.

link: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=72

Reliance may take the milky way

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VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Even as Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul milk brand, and its largest member and owner of the Dudh Sagar brand, Mehsana District Milk Producers' Union, spar, Reliance is likely to make hay. With its big league retail operations ready to roll in September, Reliance will require a huge volume of milk to stock its outets. The companys bosses are believed to have met Mehsana Union honchos and made an attractive offer of 10% higher premium on the price GCMMF is currently paying them. Sources said a contract is likely to be inked next month. Mehsana Union chairman Vipul Chaudhary confirmed he had a meeting with Reliance executives in Gujarat Bhawan in Delhi on Friday. Mr Chaudhary pointed out that if the Reliance offer was attractive and in the interest of the farmers, he would take it. Mehsana Union has a turnover of close to Rs 1,000 crore, of which a half comprises the Sagar brand marketed by GCMMF. Another Rs 500 crore comes from liquid milk which is sold to GCMMF or affiliate diaries. If Mehsana breaks away from GCMMF to tie up with Reliance, it will create a dent of Rs 1,000 crore on the federations Rs 3,700 crore topline. Reliance is likely to emerge as the biggest beneficiary of the row between Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets the Amul milk brand, and its largest member and owner of the Dudh Sagar brand, Mehsana District Milk Producers Union. Top executives of Reliance, which will roll out its retail business in September, met Mehsana Union bosses in New Delhi on Friday seeking an alliance. Reliance did not quantify the volume of liquid milk it would require to stock at its retail outets, but is believed to have made an attractive offer of 10% higher premium on the price GCMMF is currently paying to Mehsana. On August 10, ET had reported that cracks have emerged in Gujarats milk cooperative sector and that the Mehsana Union has decided to withdraw its brand from GCMMF, the apex milk marketing body for dairy co-operatives. Sources said a contract is likely to be inked next month. Mehsana Union chairman Vipul Chaudhary confirmed he had a meeting with Reliance executives in Gujarat Bhawan in New Delhi on Friday. He pointed out that if the Reliance offer was attractive in the interest of the farmers, he would take it. Mehsana Union has a turnover of close to Rs 1,000 crore, of which a half comprises the Sagar brand marketed by GCMMF. Another Rs 500 crore comes from liquid milk which is sold to GCMMF or affiliate dia-ries. If Mehsana breaks away from GCMMF to tie up with Reliance, it will create a dent of Rs 1,000 crore on the federation's Rs 3,700 crore topline. Chaudhary told SundayET: Lately we have been made to feel that GCMMF is not interested in promoting our brand. At the same time, Reliance is willing to shell out the right price for our range of dairy products. We are a farmers union and if Reliance's offer is best suited to our farmers, we don't see why we should not take it. Of the three Reliance executives who met Chaudhary in Delhi, two have been attached to the milk cooperatives closely. Harsheb Singh, chief executive of the dairy business of Reliance Industries was for-merly with NDDB, while Prasanna Shah, associate vice-president for retail food category (dairy) of Reliance was part of the GCMMF team which launched Amul icecreams. JS Prakash, associated vice president of dairy business at Reliance was the third member. One of them confirmed a meeting had been held, and that Reliance was keen on an alliance. We have approached a number of co-operatives, including GCMMF and Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Fed-eration Ltd, and also as well as private players for procurement. We also intend to launch private labels, a Reliance executive said.

link: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=334

Danisco Looking at India as a Sourcing Base Related News

Danisco, one of the world?s leading producers of ingredients for food and other consumer products is looking at India as a sourcing base for key raw materials. The company has started sourcing organic vanilla ? the world?s most popular natural flavour ? from India, for the first time.

And now, the $2.9bn Danish ingredient giant is scouting for a possibility of sourcing a range of raw materials if they meet the criteria set by its vanilla experience. On the cards, is sourcing agri-raw materials such as castor oil from north western India.

Sources say, the first batch of 1.2-tonne of sustainable organic vanilla has reached the firm?s US flavour plant from a small non-profit organisation in Bangalore. This could set the tone for future supplies.

From Danisco?s viewpoint, the move serves on several fronts: spreading sources of vanilla can help guarantee supplies and reduce risk; the ?sustainable? project ensures local farmers and workers receive all the earnings from the sales; and food firms can meet growing consumer demand for organic ingredients.

This suits the millions of farmers in India with fragmented landholdings. The non-profit organisation set up by Jai Chaitanya Dasa, a Hare Krishna monk from a temple in Bangalore promotes organic and sustainable growing methods among local farmers, managing the collection, initial processing and sale of vanilla pods.

Local farmers involved in the vanilla project receive 80% of the earnings generated and the remaining 20% goes to workers involved in processing, sorting and dispatching the vanilla.

According to sources, Danisco has audited the vanilla supply chain to ensure that the process ? from the growing of vanilla pods over processing to transportation ? follows the principles of sustainability.

And once reassured of no child labour issues ? a volatile subject for food firms ? in the chain, it placed the first order. While this may be a small order, Danisco has assured of a bigger order beginning next year. The company believes that sustainable flavour can also lead to more competitive gains.

Danisco operates in about 40 countries with a broad technology platform and product portfolio which includes, emulsifiers, enzymes, stabilisers, cultures, flavours, sugar and sweeteners such as xylitol and fructose.

courtesy: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=206

India planning to boost wheat output

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NEW DELHI: India, forced to import wheat for the first time in six years after a poor crop, is drawing up plans to boost output by about seven million tonnes in the coming season, a senior farm ministry official said on Thursday. "In the next 2-3 days we will be coming to you to roll this plan under which government proposes to give incentives to improve wheat productivity," federal farm secretary Radha Singh told a meeting of state farm officials.
The plan attempts to provide seed, fertilisers and other inputs to states and raise the area under wheat. Singh said once the plan was in place the government expected wheat output to go up by 5-7 million tonnes in the coming wheat harvesting season.
India annually grows one wheat crop which is sown in the winter months from November and harvested from April. It currently grows wheat over 26.
5 million hectares. The country produces about 70 million tonnes of wheat to feed its billion plus people.
Consumption of wheat in the country has been growing over the years with changing food habits and growth in population while production has been more or less stagnant. This year the government has so far contracted imports of 5.
5 million tonnes of wheat to augment government stocks and rein in prices. It has also allowed private trade to import wheat at zero duty.
Singh said monsoon rains this year have not been "friendly", with floods in some regions and little rain in other areas. Officials say the erratic rains in the main wheat-growing regions in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar could slice output because of less soil moisture.
Excess rains in some regions are also likely to affect the output of winter harvested oilseeds, mainly groundnut. The four-month monsoon from June is the main source of water for most farms in India.
Singh said the government would not let production of staple products like wheat, rice and oilseeds to go down below a threshold level. Any decrease in area under a particular crop would need to be compensated through better productivity, she said.

courtesy: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=361

No plans for new wheat tender

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NEW DELHI: India has no immediate plans for a further wheat import tender, a minister said on Wednesday. "Not immediately," Akhilesh Prasad Singh, junior farm minister, told media when asked if the government was planning a fresh tender.
"We may not require any more wheat for government stocks." India has so far signed contracts for the duty-free import of 5.
5 million tonnes of wheat to replenish government stocks after a poor crop. It has also permitted the private trade to import the grain at zero duty.

courtesy: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=363

Coke, Pepsi turn to non-cola beverages

NEW DELHI: The cola majors are back with their marketing blitzkrieg. The pesti-cola controversy behind them, expect some more action from Pepsi and Coke- new launches, ad campaigns, the works.
This time round, a lot of it will also involve non-cola beverages- juices, energy drinks, tea and coffee. Pepsi is learnt to be planning to launch its Tropicana Twister, a move industry sources say the company has been planning for a long time.
The company is also expected to give a further marketing push to its Slice brand. For Coca-Cola India, it is more emphasis on increasing coffee and tea brand Georgia’s presence and preparing for the launch of juice brand Minute Maid.
Sources said brands like Slice and Maaza are growing at a fast pace. Coke claims that Maaza is now the largest selling fruit drink brand, beating the likes of Frooti and Tropicana.
The focus, sources say, is on maintaining the momentum through ensuring better presence in the market. Coffee is becoming a focus area for Coke worldwide.
In India, the company is working on setting up Georgia junctions, the one-stop shops retailing all Coca-Cola brands and food items. About 100 such junctions will be rolled out this calendar year.
There are also plans to increase the presence of Georgia Gold Frosts, the cold tea and coffee vending machines. For Minute Maid, the juice brand to be launched by Coke early next year, the plans are to launch it first in hotel chains.
The flavours to be launched in India are being decided upon. Cola sales are on a decline globally.
In India, where cola sales still account for and will continue to account for a long time a large chunk of sales for the two cola majors, the last one year has seen non-cola beverages grow 3-4% higher than colas. Granted the base is smaller for non-cola drinks, the fact remains that with cola sales taking a hit following the pesti-cola episode, the need to focus more on juices, energy drinks, tea and coffee is being felt more.

courtesy: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=373

McLeod Russel to buy 72% stake in Moran Tea

KOLKATA: The Brij Mohan Khaitan group-controlled McLeod Russel India (MRIL), the largest integrated tea conglomerate in the world, on Friday announced the groups plans to buy a controlling 72.38% stake in Moran Tea Company (India).
MRIL will buy the stake from Morans UK parent for Rs 41.49 crore.
The move is part of the Khaitans plan to consolidate their bulk tea business further through MAs. Post-acquisition of Moran India, and merger with subsidiary Doom Dooma Tea Company, MRIL will jointly control some 56 tea gardens with an annual throughput of a staggering 75 million kilos of tea.
As per the term-sheet agreement between MRIL and Moran Holdings, the Khaitans have agreed to buy around 15.20 lakh equity shares of The Moran Tea Company (India), representing 72.
38% stake at Rs 273 a share. The Khaitans will also have to pay a non-compete fee of 7,50,000 (around Rs 6.
5 crore) to Moran Holdings. The deal will, however, be subject to necessary approvals.
The formal share purchase agreement between the two will be done in few days. Incidentally, the group already holds some 2.
5% stake of Moran Tea acquired from the open market sometime ago. The shares are held through the Khaitan group investment companies, United Machines and Metals Centre.
This means that the overall MRIL holding in Moran India will be 74.88% after the share purchase is completed.
Post-acquisition, MRIL will make an open offer to acquire another 20% of the fully paid-up equity share capital of Moran India in line with Sebi takeover guidelines. Sources said the open offer will be made at the deal price( Rs 273 a share) and will probably be made collectively by Khaitan tea conglomerate MRIL and Khaitan group companies Williamson Magor and Ichhamati Investments.
The acquisition will not only bring in synergy, but it will also enable MRIL to realise better prices for their tea, both in domestic and overseas markets, said MRIL managing director Aditya Khaitan said on Friday.

courtesy: http://foodindianews.com:8080/foodnews/Food_News.jsp?id=374