“Pandemic has brought Food Processing Industry back in focus”, said Manoj Joshi, additional secretary, ministry of food processing industries, the government of India at the Conference on Challenges of ‘New Normal’ for Food Processing Industry at the CII Agro & Food Tech 2020 over the virtual platform.

While laying the priorities of the ministry, Joshi emphasized that we need to focus on a far more organized approach with the involvement of industry to take India’s food processing sector to newer heights. He further highlighted the advantages of adoption of industry’s value chain approach to cater to domestic as well as global ready-to-eat market and also the need to encourage micro players to focus on right produce for enhancing food processing.

Speaking on the occasion, Mayur Maheshwari, CEO, Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development elaborated on the opportunities that Uttar Pradesh offers in the Food Processing sector. He encouraged and welcomed stakeholders to be a part of the State’s growth story.

Nikhil Sawhney, chairman CII Northern Region & vice chairman & managing director Triveni Turbines Ltd highlighted the growing attention towards hygiene, sanitation, risk assessment and sustainability across the food value chain in the wake of COVID-19.

In his address, Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India Ltd said, “New normal for food processing industry offers new opportunity and dimension in core areas of competitive advantage for India to meet its nutrition needs.” He stressed on the importance of establishing efficient backward linkages to ensure food security and increase farmers’ income which will also help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Jasmohan Singh, chairman CII FoodEx, Chairman, Regional Committee on Food Processing, Agriculture and Dairy & MD, Frick India Ltd remarked that the Food Processing industry holds the potential to reduce wastage, increase farmers’ income, contribute to global supply chain and achieve India’s vision of becoming “Atmanirbhar”.

Yogesh Bellani, co-chairman, Regional Committee on Food Processing, Agriculture and Dairy, CII Northern Region, & CEO, FieldfreshFoods Pvt Ltd opined that technology adoption in food industry will catalyse India’s global competitiveness.