Food Processing Industry News From around the World.

India reveals new food processing blueprint

The Indian Government has unveiled proposals to double the size of its food processing industry within the next five years by increasing funding and improving technology and infrastructure in the sector.

The ambitious Vision 2015 plan aims to boost processing levels of perishable foods from its current level of 10 per cent to 20 per cent, and increasing value addition from 26 per cent to 35 per cent. It will also bid to see its share of global trade from 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent over the period.

The document, released yesterday by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI), outlines measures to “increase level of processing and to promote food processing industries to exploit both the domestic and international market potential for processed food products”, said a statement from the ministry.

Waste reduction

The Government identified the reduction of perishable food spoilage, enhancement of value addition and extension of shelf–life as three major goals of the plan. It said it would continue financial initiatives and promotional activities to increase the number of food processing plants and the level of food-related infrastructure.

Food processing minister Shri Subodh Kant Sahai said that over the past five years the processing level had almost doubled from 6 per cent to 10 per cent and that value addition had risen from 20 per cent to 26 per cent.

In a written answer to the lower house of the Indian Parliament, the Lok Sabha, Sahai highlighted the fruit and vegetable sector as one that highlighted the issues the plan sought to address. He stated the current processing level in this sector was estimated at just 2.2 per cent.

“The low level of fruit and vegetable processing is due to non-availability of processable varieties of raw materials at right quantity and quality, seasonable nature of industry, lack of adequate post-harvest infrastructure such as lack of cold chain facilities, and transportation, proper storage facilities,” he said.

The Indian Government has pin-pointed the food processing sector as an engine for growth for the country’s economy. It has introduced a number of initiatives and tax breaks to encourage expansion in the sector.

An integrated strategy for promotion of agribusiness Vision, Strategy and Action Plan for the Food Processing Sector has also been approved by the Government.

An integrated strategy for promotion of agribusiness Vision, Strategy and Action Plan for the Food Processing Sector has also been approved by the Government.

Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/India-reveals-new-food-pro...

India trade group urges more food processing tax breaks

High taxation is curbing the growth of Indian fruit and vegetable processing sector and must be overhauled, said the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

The business body taxation rates of over 18 per cent were responsible for the stagnation in the processing levels of fruit and vegetables at around 2 per cent. The situation “not only acts a disincentive for investment in the sector but also adversely affects its competitiveness”, said an Assocham statement.

Government tax break

The announcement came as the Government announced that profits from the “processing, preserving and packaging of fruits or vegetables” would be exempt from tax for the first five tax years. The new regulation would also apply to new plants set up in the meat, poultry, marine and dairy industries.

The tax break was introduced a week after the Government singled out the low level of fruit and processing sectors as it unveiled proposals to double the size of the food processing industry by 2015. Food processing minister Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, blamed poor infrastructure.

“The low level of fruit and vegetable processing is due to non-availability of processable varieties of raw materials at right quantity and quality, seasonable nature of industry, lack of adequate post-harvest infrastructure such as lack of cold chain facilities, and transportation, proper storage facilities,” he said.

Prohibitive rates

But the commerce trade body cited prohibitive taxation rates on processed fruit and vegetables as a cause of the problem. Dr Swati Piramal, president of the trade association, said fruit and vegetables were liable to Central Sale Tax, VAT and local levies while unbranded food products were either exempt or taxed at concessional rates of around 4 per cent.

Piramal said the tax “anomaly” was directly responsible for the low percentage of these products that are processed. The result was waste and inefficient use of fruit and vegetables reaching R500bn (€7bn) a year, according to an Assocham estimates. A developed processing industry would help to reduce these wastages and raise farm income, it said in statement.

Assocham added the inequalities in tax were even more unreasonable as “branded products carry the brand owner’s assurances on quality and hygiene”. Consumers should not be forced to pay higher prices to obtain safer products, it said.

The body also called for a flat VAT rate for all types of food and an exemption from Service Tax in a range of areas including transport of goods.

“The policy of excluding processed food products from levy of Central Excise Duty, as dealt with in previous Budgets, needs to be progressed to cover all processed food products,” said Assocham. “This will actualize the organized food processing industry’s potential to generate rural employment, ensure fair prices for farmers, reduce wastages and spread the benefits of economic growth to rural areas.”

Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/India-trade-group-urges-mo...

India trade group urges more food processing tax breaks

High taxation is curbing the growth of Indian fruit and vegetable processing sector and must be overhauled, said the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

The business body taxation rates of over 18 per cent were responsible for the stagnation in the processing levels of fruit and vegetables at around 2 per cent. The situation “not only acts a disincentive for investment in the sector but also adversely affects its competitiveness”, said an Assocham statement.

Government tax break

The announcement came as the Government announced that profits from the “processing, preserving and packaging of fruits or vegetables” would be exempt from tax for the first five tax years. The new regulation would also apply to new plants set up in the meat, poultry, marine and dairy industries.

The tax break was introduced a week after the Government singled out the low level of fruit and processing sectors as it unveiled proposals to double the size of the food processing industry by 2015. Food processing minister Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, blamed poor infrastructure.

“The low level of fruit and vegetable processing is due to non-availability of processable varieties of raw materials at right quantity and quality, seasonable nature of industry, lack of adequate post-harvest infrastructure such as lack of cold chain facilities, and transportation, proper storage facilities,” he said.

Prohibitive rates

But the commerce trade body cited prohibitive taxation rates on processed fruit and vegetables as a cause of the problem. Dr Swati Piramal, president of the trade association, said fruit and vegetables were liable to Central Sale Tax, VAT and local levies while unbranded food products were either exempt or taxed at concessional rates of around 4 per cent.

Piramal said the tax “anomaly” was directly responsible for the low percentage of these products that are processed. The result was waste and inefficient use of fruit and vegetables reaching R500bn (€7bn) a year, according to an Assocham estimates. A developed processing industry would help to reduce these wastages and raise farm income, it said in statement.

Assocham added the inequalities in tax were even more unreasonable as “branded products carry the brand owner’s assurances on quality and hygiene”. Consumers should not be forced to pay higher prices to obtain safer products, it said.

The body also called for a flat VAT rate for all types of food and an exemption from Service Tax in a range of areas including transport of goods.

“The policy of excluding processed food products from levy of Central Excise Duty, as dealt with in previous Budgets, needs to be progressed to cover all processed food products,” said Assocham. “This will actualize the organized food processing industry’s potential to generate rural employment, ensure fair prices for farmers, reduce wastages and spread the benefits of economic growth to rural areas.”

Source: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/India-trade-group-urges-mo...

Obama pledges support for Indian food processing sector

US President Barack Obama has vowed to help India boost its food processing industry as part of a strategy to promote global food security.

The promise came as the US leader and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh underlined the “deepening bilateral co-operation” between the two nations at a meeting in Washington DC this week.

In a wide-ranging joint statement, the two leaders backed proposals to work towards world-wide food security through closer collaboration in a host of sectors including food processing and food productivity – particularly in the sharing of technology and research.

Technology

Obama and Singh said they anticipated increasing India-US agricultural cooperation with the purpose of promoting agricultural research, human resources capacity building, natural resource management, agri-business and food processing, and collaborative research for increasing food productivity.

“This cooperation would contribute to joint development of technology that would improve weather forecasting, including predicting monsoons, and technology that would contribute to food productivity and food security efforts in India,” said the leaders.

The Indian Government has highlighted the food processing sector as an engine of economic growth for the country, with foreign investment seen as playing a significant role in this. In recent months, both France and the Netherlands have pledged to invest in the country’s burgeoning processing sector. Last week, India unveiled ambitious plans to double the size of the food processing sector within five years.

The endorsement of its plan by Obama is the second in the last six months from the top echelons of the US administration. In July, Hillary Clinton said the United States wanted India to expand its food processing output and what she called “value added agriculture”.

Her comments, made at the National Agricultural Science Centre in Mumbai, were once again made in the context of global food security. She pledged the US government’s support in continuing collaboration over investment in science to increase crop yields but also to bolster the country’s infrastructure to ensure food travels from farm to fork in the most efficient way possible.

Source: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/Obama-pledges-support-for-...

Tetra Pak launches aseptic unit for viscous, particulate foods

Greater US investment in the Indian food processing and agricultural sectors depends upon the government harmonizing food safety laws and introducing farm reforms and stronger intellectual property protection, according to Bob Milligan, chairman, US Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking at the event Foodpro 2009, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Milligan spelled out the conditions for more wide-ranging investment. To secure more investment, food safety laws should be harmonised with international laws, he said.

India should also reduce tariffs on processed foods to in order to allow US firms to market their products in the country.

Milligan also highlighted the need for central and state governments to unify agricultural markets across the country in order to stimulate the domestic food processing sector.

Intellectual property

Stronger intellectual property protection was needed too. Systems should be introduced which offered safeguards against the illegal transfer of technology to third parties.

Although small and medium Indian companies’ investments in the US have rocketed by more than 80 per cent in the past two years, many US companies prefer to invest elsewhere. That could be remedied if the US and India worked together on policies and technologies that encouraged stronger trade relationships, said Milligan.

Vinita Bali, managing director, Britannia Industries, told the seminar that developing the food processing would also support farmers’ incomes. But, at present, processed and packaged foods face heavy taxes while low farm incomes force some farmers to sell land rather than cultivate it, warned Bali.

India processes less than three per cent of its agricultural produce compared with 70 per cent in the US and Europe, she added.

Agricultural products
Meanwhile, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) urged the government last month to make processed foods and primary agricultural products, such as rice, atta and dal, tax free when it introduces its Goods and Service Tax (GST) next year.

Its president, Dr Swati Piramal said zero-rating such products will be essential if the government wants to achieve its aim of increasing the national level of food processing to 10 per cent from the current level of two per cent, he added.

The Foodpro 2009 seminar was held at the Chennai Trade and Convention Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/Tetra-Pak-launches-aseptic...

Government plans to launch 350 food processing units

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The government will help set up 350 new food processing units in the next 100 days as part of its efforts to create 10 million jobs in the sector by 2015.
“We will extend financial help of up to 25 percent or a maximum of Rs.50 lakh (Rs.5 million) in setting up each of these units,” Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai said here Wednesday while releasing his ministry’s 100-day action plan.

These 350 processing units will be in the fields of fruit and vegetable, meat, dairy, fish, grain and consumer food industry.

The minister explained that for every Rs.1 crore invested in the sector, 18 direct and 64 indirect jobs in the organised sector and 20 in the unorganised sector would be created.

“After the Green Revolution, we are now ushering in the evergreen revolution in the country,” Sahai said, adding: “Processing is an evergreen activity. It’s the key to the agricultural sector,” he added.

Listing out the areas of priority, the minister said: “There is an immediate need for at least one lakh (100,000) trained personnel in this sector.”

As part of the action plan, the ministry would also prepare a blueprint for training one million skilled workers and 500,000 women entrepreneurs in the sector within the next five years.

The first phase of the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (Niftem) will be inaugurated at Kundli, Haryana, in the next 100 days.

Another area of focus will be developing infrastructure for the sector.

The ministry will commission within the next 100 days two integrated cold chain projects and the first processing unit in the country’s first mega food park, the Patanjali Food and Herbal Park, near Haridwar in Uttarakhand, he said.

Ten such mega food parks are scheduled to come up in the next two years in different parts of the country.

Sahai said his ministry would seek more steps from the government like tax holiday for all food processing units and further lowering of customs, excise and value added tax (VAT) on food products, raw materials, machinery and packaging used by the industry.

“We are asking for a VAT of zero to 4 percent instead of the current 20 percent. At 20 percent, VAT is a crime against farmers,” he said.

The food processing ministry is also working towards setting up a venture capital fund for the sector in partnership with the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development, the Industrial Development Bank of India, the Small Industries Development Bank of India and other private banks.

Among other areas of focus of the action plan are setting an agenda for research and development in the sector, launching a nationwide campaign to address safety and quality issues and improving competitiveness in the unorganised sector and small and medium enterprises.

Sahai said his ministry intended to meet the targets set by the previous United Progressive Alliance government in its Vision 2015 plan.

These included increasing the level of food processing from 6 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in 2015, value addition from 20 percent in 2004 to 35 percent and India’s share in the global food trade from 1.5 percent to 3 percent.

“The level of processing has already gone up to 10 percent and value addition to 26 percent from 20 percent earlier. The entire sector’s growth rate has gone up to over 13 percent from about 7 percent before 2005,” Sahai said.

Source: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/government-plans-to-launch-...

Polish food processing industry to explore India investment options

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) A delegation from the Polish food processing industry is likely to visit India to explore investment opportunities in this country and especially in Bihar, according to a senior official of the embassy of Poland.

Participating in the International Summit on Food Processing and Agribusiness here Wednesday, Polish embassy official M.M. Gogia, speaking on behalf of Dariusz Karwowoski, commercial counsellor, embassy of Poland, said: “We are trying to arrange a visit to India by adelegation of entrepreneurs from Poland’s food processing industry to explore investment opportunities here.”

Gogia was responding to an invitation by Ashok Kumar Sinha, principal secretary (industry) in the Bihar government for Polish investments in the state’s food processing sector.

Earlier, Tuesday, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahai, while inaugurating the summit, reminded investors that food processing was now a “zero tax” sector and sought large investments across the entire farm to factory value chain.

“The food processing sector is now a tax-less sector as processing units enjoys income tax holiday for 10 years, there are no taxes on inputs such as raw materials and plant and machinery, and there are no taxes on finished products either,” Sahai said.

He also released a White Paper at the summit organised by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

Sahai said that during the debate on the union budget for 2009-10 in parliament Monday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced that the 10-year tax holiday had been extended to processing units for all perishables. Earlier this incentive was only for units processing fruits and vegetables.

The budget had also announced investment-linked incentives for cold chain and warehousing facilities, Sahai said.

He said he had also talked to Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee and she had promised to provide railway land for setting up food processing units. This would enable such units to get power from the railway’s connection even if they are being set up in areas where rural electrification had not taken place.

“The railways have also introduced special trains for carrying perishables,” Sahai said.

As a result of all these incentives and government interventions, the food processing sector has now become a very attractive destination for both domestic and foreign investors. He urged investors to invest in a big way in food processing units, cold chain corridors,warehousing facilities and primary processing units.

The White Paper titled “Food processing and agribusiness: Emerging opportunities and strategic thrust areas for the industry” has been prepared by consulting major KPMG.

Speaking on the contents of the white paper, KPMG executive director Ramesh Srinivas said that India’s food processing sector represented a huge opportunity from many points of view.

First, food is the largest consumption category in India and demand for food will only keep rising, which cannot be said of other industries. The size of the Indian food industry was $180 billion while processing industry accounted for only $67 billion.

Second, 52 percent of India’s land area was cultivable against a global average of 11 percent. Third, India has all the 15 different agro-climatic regions found on the planet and 46 different soil types making it ideal for cultivating all kinds of food crops.

As a raw producer, India was among the largest or second largest producer of many items. It was the largest producer of milk and cereals, the second largest producer offruits and vegetables and so on. Yet, its share in the global food trade was a miniscule 1.6 percent due to a very low level of food processing.

India, therefore, offers a huge potential in terms of rising domestic consumption and as a sourcing hub for the world food market, Srinivas said.

Source: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/polish-food-processing-indu...

US spells out wish list for investing in Indian food processing

Greater US investment in the Indian food processing and agricultural sectors depends upon the government harmonizing food safety laws and introducing farm reforms and stronger intellectual property protection, according to Bob Milligan, chairman, US Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking at the event Foodpro 2009, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Milligan spelled out the conditions for more wide-ranging investment. To secure more investment, food safety laws should be harmonised with international laws, he said.

India should also reduce tariffs on processed foods to in order to allow US firms to market their products in the country.

Milligan also highlighted the need for central and state governments to unify agricultural markets across the country in order to stimulate the domestic food processing sector.

Intellectual property

Stronger intellectual property protection was needed too. Systems should be introduced which offered safeguards against the illegal transfer of technology to third parties.

Although small and medium Indian companies’ investments in the US have rocketed by more than 80 per cent in the past two years, many US companies prefer to invest elsewhere. That could be remedied if the US and India worked together on policies and technologies that encouraged stronger trade relationships, said Milligan.

Vinita Bali, managing director, Britannia Industries, told the seminar that developing the food processing would also support farmers’ incomes. But, at present, processed and packaged foods face heavy taxes while low farm incomes force some farmers to sell land rather than cultivate it, warned Bali.

India processes less than three per cent of its agricultural produce compared with 70 per cent in the US and Europe, she added.

Agricultural products
Meanwhile, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) urged the government last month to make processed foods and primary agricultural products, such as rice, atta and dal, tax free when it introduces its Goods and Service Tax (GST) next year.

Its president, Dr Swati Piramal said zero-rating such products will be essential if the government wants to achieve its aim of increasing the national level of food processing to 10 per cent from the current level of two per cent, he added.

The Foodpro 2009 seminar was held at the Chennai Trade and Convention Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/US-spells-out-wish-list-fo...

Month-long US Fresh Produce Showcase in Mumbai, 3 other cities

The US Fresh Produce Showcase started on October 1 at Hypercity in Mumbai. The month-long festival is focusing on US Fresh Produce, specifically California peaches, plums and nectarines, California grapes, Northwest cherries, US apples & pears and Washington apples.

The showcase will run simultaneously in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad throughout October. In Mumbai, an interactive cooking demonstration was also conducted by Rushina Munshaw - Ghildiyal, gastronomy writer and consultant to launch the event.

Last year, the US sold over $23 million fresh fruits to India and domestic consumers are ever more interested in the quality and taste of US fruits. "The promotion will include a special in-store display of US fresh fruits, sampling and cooking demonstrations. An infomercial will run on an in-store TV giving consumers tips on varieties, usage, ripening and health benefits of US fresh fruits," the organisers statement said.

The US Fresh Produce Showcase is a wonderful opportunity for Indian consumers to taste and experience a wide range of fresh fruits from all over the United States.

Source: FnBNews Bureau

Global Food Processing Industry - India can be a Leader. R&D in food processing needs to be strengthened: PM

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday called for strengthening research and development (R&D) in the country's food processing industry with the Central Food Technology and Research Institute (CFTRI) playing a more proactive role.

'While basic agricultural research has a very strong and large institutional network in the country, there is little focus on the food processing sector,' Manmohan Singh said while inaugurating the 1st Conference of State Ministers of Food Processing Industries, organised by the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI).

'I would urge agricultural universities, premier technological institutes and the private sector to actively undertake collaborative strategic research,' he said, adding that international collaborations in this field needed to be promoted.

Calling for a new National Food Processing Policy that would promote innovation and technological development, he said the CFTRI has to play a more proactive role in this.

'The Central Food Technology and Research Institute should play a more central and proactive role in promoting the knowledge base of the industry through greater public private partnerships in technology development,' Manmohan Singh said.

Reaching international standards of food safety and quality is another critical objective for India's food processing industry, according to the prime minister.

Stating that this required a multi-pronged approach, he said: 'The authorities should initiate a sustained campaign to educate consumers and promote quality assurance in industry. World-class food testing laboratories should be established in the country in both the public and private sector.'

Stressing on the need for harmonising India's food standards with Codex Alimentarius, the collection of internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety, the prime minister said: 'There is no reason why Indian consumers should not demand and get products meeting the highest quality and safety standards in the world.'

Source: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/india-can-be-leader-of-glob...