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Industry panel discussion on food processing at FICCI Foodworld India

FICCI along with the ministry of food processing industries, Government of India organised ‘FICCI FOODWORLD INDIA 2019’ today at Hotel The Leela, Mumbai. The conference saw panel discussions on several topics.

The first panel discussion of the day focussed on the impact of economic slowdown on the food processing segment. The panelists included Hemant Malik, chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee & CEO- Food Division, ITC; Mohit Anand, co-chair, FICCI Food Processing Committee & MD, Kellogg’s India; Dr R S Sodhi, managing director, GCMMF (AMUL); Varun Berry, managing director, Britannia Industries and Simon George, president, Cargill India.

Kickstarting the discussion, Malik said, “ecommmerce has been a fantastic change that has happened. Which was one per cent growth, now it is 3.5 per cent for us. We gave launched a few products made available for ecommerce. It is a channel which is in play, good for consumers and for us.”

Berry added, “The consumers are looking for choices. It is very important to have communication and products which are clutter breaking. Repertoire of the consumer is wide today. Clutter breaking options new to the consumers is what we are trying to do.”

Observed George, “In the food processing segment we see 100 million dollars of investment. How do we bring digitisation to the farm sector is something we are looking at. The biggest change is going to come from agriculture in the coming 10 years.”

Anand opined, “We have generally found the dialogue to be very progressive. The govt. is very much into listening more, it will only look better from now. From a global view, the trends are changing dramatically. The things are moving East. India exports Yoga. The trends are going to move from here to out. The Ease of Doing Business is getting better. There is an opportunity to simplify the GST aspect.”

Commenting on plastic usage and recycling, Sodhi informed, “You cannot do without plastic as it is the most affordable. Recycling is the key. We are appointing local recyclers to pick up milk pouches which are converted into granules to be used for other production aspects. Everybody has to do it. A lot of people are looking to be joining this cause.”

Berry said, “Its a move in the right direction. As part of our CSR, we need to take up education. It is our responsibility to be plastic positive.”

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