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Nestle and FSSAI mend fences two years after Maggi ban

FSSAI chief inaugurates first food safety institute set up by Nestle in India in Manesar

Arnab Dutta  |  Manesar (Haryana) 

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, with Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India at the inauguration of the first Nestle Food Safety Institute in India
Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, with Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestlé India at the inauguration of the first Nestlé Food Safety Institute in India

Nearly two years after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Nestlé’s flagship noodles brand Maggi in India, a closed-door meeting between representatives of the regulator and the multinational (MNC) has opened up possibilities for them to join hands. 

After lengthy courtroom battles and tonnes of Maggi noodles were destroyed, the FSSAI and had been looking for common ground. 

Finally the happy medium was struck on Wednesday, when FSSAI Chief Executive Officer shook hands with India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan, as the former inaugurated the first food safety institute established by in the country in Manesar.

can also help with its global expertise in areas of food science, which will help the FSSAI to take decisions while formulating regulations”
SURESH NARAYANAN,
CMD, India 
The dispute had started with allegations of laxity on the part of in maintaining food safety standards.

The Food Safety Institute (NFSI) is the third such state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) centre for training on food safety set up by the Swiss globally.

The initiative was first taken when Narayanan and Agarwal were in search of ways to “engage” on issues of food safety in India. According to sources, the idea dawned on Agarwal when Narayanan was describing the contributions its second NFSI, located in Beijing, had made towards the country’s food safety regulations. 

Acknowledging Nestlé’s efforts at providing safe food in India, Agarwal said: “Partnerships with private parties on issues of the food business and its research are an imperative for the FSSAI. Joining hands with partners like is a well-thought-out strategy. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India.”

“Joining hands with partners like is a well-thought-out strategy. This is our effort to implement a first world regulatory ecosystem in India”
PAWAN AGARWAL,
CEO, FSSAI
According to Narayanan, is interested in engaging with and helping the FSSAI on diverse matters. “can also help with its global expertise in areas of food science, which will help the FSSAI to take decisions while formulating regulations,” he said.

“Milestones are reached by at certain stages. For me, this (opening the institute with the FSSAI’s support) is a milestone, and it reflects Nestlé’s commitment,” Narayanan said.

The R&D centre, where the NFSI has been set up, has been Nestlé’s global hub for research on noodles and spices since March 2014. 

The FSSAI and the company are now looking to offer courses for food safety professionals associated with the former and state food and drug administrations.

After Maggi was banned on June 5, 2015, not only lost more than Rs 1,000-crore in sales and the erosion of its brand value, the proscription order had created a lot of premonition among consumers.

Nestle and FSSAI mend fences two years after Maggi ban

First Published: Thu, September 07 2017. 01:43 IST
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