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EVENTS

Kerala state pavilion to make debut at 2017 edition of FoodTech Kerala
Saturday, 31 December, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
The Kerala state pavilion is set to make its debut at the seventh edition of FoodTech Kerala, the state’s comprehensive food processing and packaging exhibition, which will be organised by Cruz Expos and take place at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kadavanthra, Kochi, between January 12 and 14, 2017.

FoodTech Kerala will showcase food processing and post-harvest technology under the theme From the Farm to the Fork, representing the entire supply chain of the food industry, from the inception of food (which mainly takes place on farms) to the process to the putting of food on the consumer’s table.

The pavilion is an initiative of the state government to establish a connect between itself and the industry. However, Agri-Business Show Kerala, which was a co-located event last year, will be an independent event next year.

Exhibitors

Technology, equipment, solutions for food processing, dairy, beverage, food retailing, refrigeration and cold chain, processed foods, hygienic and healthy foods, packaging, etc. will be showcased at the exhibition, which will witness the participation of about 85 exhibitors, of which five will be from overseas.

The stalls would cover a host of categories related to the food processing and packaging industry. The exhibitor profile will range from processing and packaging equipment, post-harvest and dairy equipment and technology, cold storage and cold rooms, ingredients and flavours, quality control and certification and processed food and beverages.

Joseph Kuriacose, director, Cruz Expos, said, “This year, we will also witness the participation of national companies and the department of industry, government of Kerala, who are putting up a Kerala state pavilion.”

“It will include small-scale industry (SSI) companies from Kerala engaged in food and agro processing. About twenty exhibitors from the SSI sector will showcase their products and services,” he added.

Techno Consultancy Services, Thrissur, is participating in the event for the sixth time. It stated that the event had really helped the company reach out to its potential clients.

A spokesperson representing Unique Equipment, Goa (which has been taking part in the event since its inception in 2008), stated, “Overall, it is a good show with prospective customers attending. We have been able to establish contacts with food processors from all over Kerala.”

Visitors

More than 3,500 leading buyers representing food processors from all over Kerala and South India will visit and meet the suppliers at the event.

Kuriacose said, “The event will showcase the technology and development in food processing and packaging sectors, which will bring together technology and suppliers, entrepreneurs and support services on a single platform. This is the only platform for the food processing sector in Kerala to interact with suppliers from all over the country.”

Technical seminars

A one-day technical session will be organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Kerala on the various aspects of the food sector.

Deepak L Aswani, co chair, FICCI, Kerala State Council, will deliver the welcome speech. The session will revolve around such topics as a Presentation by the Export Inspection Council of India under the ministry of commerce and industry on the role of EIC in the overall export scenario of India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI); Food import procedures and ease of doing business initiatives will be presented by FSSAI, ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

The Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), under the ministry of commerce and industry, will share insights on Testing and evaluation of packaging materials and packages - Overall Standards of Packaging.

This will be followed by a presentation on Standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the ministry of commerce and industry.

Lastly, there will be a presentation on emergence and transformation in food processing sector in India by the Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI) – FICCI. The session will en with a question and answer session.

Food processing industry

Speaking about the food processing industry and its growth rate, Kuriacose said, “The Indian food industry is poised for huge growth, increasing its contribution to world food trade every year. In India, the food sector has emerged as a high-growth and high-profit sector due to its immense potential for value addition, particularly within the food processing industry. The food industry, which is currently valued at $39.71 billion is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent to $65.4 billion by 2018. Food and groceries account for around 31 per cent of India’s consumption basket.”

He added, “The government of India has been instrumental in the growth and development of the food processing industry. The government, through the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), is making all efforts to encourage investments in the business. It has approved proposals for joint ventures (JV), foreign collaborations, industrial licenses and 100 per cent export-oriented units. The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest, with retail contributing 70 per cent of the sales. Food has also been one of the largest segments in India’s retail sector, which was valued at $490 billion in 2013. The Indian food retail market is expected to reach Rs 61 lakh crore ($894.98 billion) by 2020.”

The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. It contributes around 14 per cent of manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), 13 per cent of India’s exports and six per cent of total industrial investment. The Indian food service industry is expected to reach $78 billion by 2018.

“The Indian gourmet food market is currently valued at $1.3 billion and is growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent. India’s organic food market is expected to increase by three times by 2020. The online food ordering business in India is in its nascent stage, but witnessing exponential growth. The organised food business in India is worth $48 billion, of which food delivery is valued at $15 billion. With online food delivery players like FoodPanda, Zomato, TinyOwl and Swiggy building scale through partnerships, the organised food business has a huge potential and a promising future,” said Kuriacose.

Challenges

While discussing about the challenges faced by the food processing industry in regards with technology and innovation, Kuriacose said, “The food processing industry is a nascent yet booming sector in India. It has experienced eight per cent growth in the last five years, and is among the largest employment creator.”

Despite its huge potential, this sector is stiff with challenges like:

It requires huge initial capital, which Indian entrepreneurs lack or cannot get easily.

It is intimately linked with agriculture and for food producing to grow, certain fundamental reforms like agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) reforms, linking of mandis, extension services, crop insurance etc need to be urgently made in our agriculture and food procurement system.

Technological backwardness, lack of cold storages, etc, non-compliance or lack of knowledge of international food safety norms are impediments in the growth of the industry.

“Foreign direct investment (FDI) is essential in driving this sector as huge initial capital is required to build infrastructure facilities like warehouses, food grain handling systems, cold storages etc. A positive influx of FDI to the tune of 20 per cent investment is noticed in the last couple of years. The government has taken several initiatives to make the sector even more lucrative for foreign companies. It has announced tax benefits for setting up ware houses, abattoirs, bee houses; removed excise duty on milk products, etc. The government has put concerted effort in this industry and made it a prime focus of Make in India and announced a centrally-sponsored National Mission on Food Processing to be implemented through the states which targets 25 per cent growth in the sector by 2025 by providing incentives for creating infrastructure and doing research. Recent impetus on contract farming will also invite FDIs in this sector.”

The event will benefit the food processing industry as being an exclusive platform to interact and understand the important aspects of the food processing sector like food safety and regulatory trends, innovation and technology as an enables to growth and other areas like branding, retail, storage, logistics, etc. The participation at the exhibition and conference will include senior officials from government and regulatory bodies, chief executive officers of food companies, start-ups, technology providers, banks, other supporting agencies, etc. Thus, companies and individuals can make use of this opportunity to witness the state’s only food and beverage exhibition.

Conclusion
Benefiting both the visitors and exhibitors, FoodTech Kerala is renowned for providing a unique and comprehensive platform for the discovery and introduction of food processing, engineering and packaging services. It aims to promote and develop sectors by disseminating information and knowledge to processors, traders, packaging units, retailers and other involve in the food chain, intricating details and the meticulous process that is required, for food products in order to make them available to the consumer. The event would showcase about the increase in small- and medium-scale enterprises and the latest innovative products they have to offer.
 
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