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Book on foods & agri products registered as GI released at 33rd Aahar
Wednesday, 14 March, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
One of the highlights of the 33rd essay of Aahar, the event which is dedicated to the food and hospitality sectors and got underway at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, was the compilation, which was titled Food and Agri Products Registered as GI and launched by Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry, Government of India, who inaugurated the fair.

The book contains essential details in respect of 91 food and agri geographical indications (GIs) registered up to February 2018 to facilitate interested consumers and traders in different parts of the world to establish contact with the registered proprietors of the respective GIs, who, in turn, will be able to assist in sourcing the desired products.

The five-day event was organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), with the support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), along with other apex bodies, such as the All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA), the Association of Resource Companies for the Hospitality Industry of India (ARCHII), the Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of India (HOTREMAI), the Food and Hospitality Support Association of India (FHSAI) and the Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI) for the fair.
“There is an urgent need to explore the full potential of the processed food and hospitality sectors, as these sectors are imperatives, not only for India’s socio- economic progress, but also for enhancing exports and employment in the country. The government has geared up to launch a pro-farmer agri- policy to ensure that farmers are encouraged to imbibe value addition of their produce and connected with the export activity directly,” stated Prabhu, adding that food and hospitality can become an integral part of the retail and supply chain globally. 
“Events such as AAHAR are vital to provide an excellent platform for all the stakeholders to have meaningful interactions, collaborations and investment opportunities. The fair will be organised with enhanced participation and stature after the completion of the redevelopment of Pragati Maidan as an International Exhibition and Convention Centre (IECC) by September 2019,” he added.

Highlighting the vast export potential in marine sector products, Prabhu stated that there were 13 coastal states in India with abundant marine products. He indicated that a comprehensive roadmap was being prepared by the government to double the exports of marine products.

Referring to the participation of Japan in the fair, the minister pointed out that it was imperative that India adopted Japanese innovations and technology to provide a fillip to the marine sector through value-addition and preservation practices of marine products.   

Stressing the need to vitalise the hospitality  sector, Prabhu indicated that the fair was devoted to the food and hospitality sectors, which were an integral part of India’s ancient heritage and culture with the famous slogan Atithi Devo Bhava.

“The country registered a 17-20 per cent increase in the aviation market last year, the country has to prepare itself in providing quality services in hospitality, including conducive air travel and cargo facilities,” he added.
The dignitaries present at the inauguration were Jacek Bogucki, first deputy minister, ministry of agriculture and rural development, Republic of Poland; Nejmeddine Lakhal, ambassador, Republic of Tunisia; Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, special advisor to the prime minister of Japan; L C Goyal, chairman and managing director, ITPO, Narendra Kumar Singh, chairman and managing director, APEDA, and Deepak Kumar, executive director, ITPO.
Goyal, in his keynote address, said that the redevelopment project of Pragati Maidan as a world-class international exhibition-cum-convention centre was on the right track. He added that the next essay of Aahar would be organised on an enhanced scale at new halls, which would be available in February or March 2019. He expressed his satisfaction over ITPO’s trademark event, as well as an enhanced response of foreign exhibitors.  He acknowledged the continued support of all the associates of Aahar, pointing out that the mega event was a fine example of teamwork.

Covering a gross area of 24,000sq m, as many as 900 leading companies are taking part in the fair, out of which 78 foreign exhibitors from 18 countries are participating. These include the United States, China, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Spain, Oman, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Norway, Indonesia, Canada, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

An exclusive culinary art competition would be organised by the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) in Lounge B (near Gate 1). The other major attractions are exclusive seminars in Hall 8 (Auditorium) on Water Conservation in Food Service, and Other Sustainable Solutions for the Hotel Industry by HOTREMAI (which will take place at 2pm on March 13, 2018 and be supported by the Trust-Green The Earth) and The Role of research and development (R&D) and Food Safety in the Development of the Food Processing Sector by AIFPA (which will take place at 9am on March 14, 2018).
About 50,000 trade visitors are expected to visit the fair. These include those in the top echelons of the food processing and hospitality industry, including chief executive officers, general managers, executive chefs, executive housekeepers, purchase managers, senior representatives from the catering industry, academic institutions and hotel management professionals.
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