The food service distributors of Mumbai have come together and formed a nationwide trade association – Food Service Distributors Association of India (FSDA) with area specific chapters of distributors & wholesalers supplying to the food service industry. The association was formally formed on September 1, 2018, in Mumbai to initiate aid and assist activities towards development of the Indian food distribution sector. Speaking about the need of founding the association, Keyur Bhatia, president, FSDA, said, “The industry has been expanding at a fast pace. Need of the hour is to standardise, and benchmarking of business processes for a structured and sustainable growth environment. The government policies are not very sensitive towards our industry as it has not been very well represented and in general we are a fragmented lot. We propose firstly to speak to the FSSAI for better implementation of their objectives to take us along as partners rather than penalise the honest law-abiding distributors on the part of the food business operators (FBO) for negligence. There is also a lot of confusion regarding the claims settlement process and the resultant accounting practices followed by us as per the commercial needs of our business. This leads to a lot of unnecessary confusion and stress at the time of the assessments for which we need to represent our case.”
FSDA is lead by some of the most distinguished and experienced distribution houses in the business.
“Under their leadership and on the basis of the suggestions made by our distinguished members, we have formed various committees focused to address specific issues related to the industry in a quick and timely manner. We are building a rating platform for all the stake holders in the business as this will be of use to both members and job members. We will also bring transparency to the whole process and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy for which we will be maintaining communication among the members on an app that will also ensure accountability,” he informed about the functionality of FSDA.
Being one of its first kind of association, FSDA is paving its own roads to address the concerns of their member distributors. “We will bring out newsletters, food service industry yellow pages and create knowledge and networking conferences on regular basis. Also, we have initiated the process of informing industry groups and international and national trade bodies of the existence of our association for mutual benefits,” added Bhatia.
The road ahead for FSDA is to lead as an exemplary and benchmark national trade body for promotion of commerce facilitating in the creation of an atmosphere conducive of growth and fair trade, expressed Bhatia. “We are in discussion with many distributors across the country to form chapters of FSDA in their respective cities and take this endeavour forward. We will be the national voice of the industry representing our members interests to global and national government bodies, trade associations, embassies, etc,” he informed.