“We have set up a task force with the prime minister’s assent to bring the industry’s issues to the table when dealing with the FSSAI. Since the agency is under a different ministry, this step was taken to ensure better coordination,” Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister for food processing Industries, said on Wednesday. “The FSSAI’s systems need to be streamlined. It is blocking innovation in the industry. A lot needs to be done with the recent roadblocks causing a fear psychosis in the industry.”
The task force will address issues related to product approval and help understand guidelines. The cell will have officials from the PMO and the ministries of health and food processing. “The government will ensure an environment in which the industry can progress. The quality of food is extremely important, but the industry’s growth and consumer safety have to work together,” Badal said.
“We are ready to implement corporate farming on a trial basis in Punjab if a model is worked out where the industry acts as a partner, bringing in technology and advanced means of cultivation for large farms, while farmers receive guaranteed incomes and remain the ultimate owners of their land with mitigated risks of losses due to weather,” the minister added.
Last week, while assuring consumers about the quality of Maggi noodles imported from India, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said, “We are continuing to monitor the situation in India and are working with our international regulatory partners.” Earlier, the UK Food Standards Agency asked for test reports from the Indian food regulator through “European Commission channels”.
Emphasizing on the greener side of the food processing industry, the minister said, “To improve the fate of farmers, we are ready to implement corporate farming on a trial basis in Punjab, if a model is worked out, where industry acts as a partner, bringing in latest technologies and advanced means of cultivation on large farms, while the farmers get guaranteed incomes and remain the ultimate owners of their lands with mitigated risks of losses due to weather.”