The food processing industry is continuously expanding the sector. According to the estimates for the fiscal year 2015-2016, India is the second largest food producer in the world only behind China. The county’s total food market was valued at US$39.71 billion in the year 2015-2016. It is expected to grow to a high of US$65.41 billion by the end of 2018 which estimates to 4 lakh crore rupees.
A joint report by IIM-Calcutta and Academic Foundation quoted that “Food and grocery constitute a substantial part of India’s consumption accounting for around 31 percent of the consumption basket”
Not only India has attained self-sufficiency in the food production front, it finds its place among the leading global producers and exporters of fruits, vegetables, milk, cereals, and wheat.
The Food Security and Standards Authority In India
The FSSAI, under the Ministry of Family Health & Welfare, Government of India, is the primary authority that takes care of all the food processing rules and regulations, certificates and permissions, licenses and grants in the country. The FSSAI has laid down certain guidelines in terms of the quality check of the food, packaging and labeling and all that comes with it. If not complied with, the FSSAI has a right to take actions that it feels are necessary. The FSSAI grants required licenses for operating processed food or food businesses in India.
What are the licenses that are required for operating a food processing industry?
Quality and hygiene are the most important checks for a safe food consumption experience. There are a number of laws and standards that are governed by the FSSAI which are to be complied with. Some of the most popular ones are listed below :
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA): The objective of this act is to make sure that the food is not adulterated, nutritious and follows all the FSSAI guidelines.
- Vegetable Oil Product Order, 1947 lays down rules and regulations for producers of vegetable oil.
- Edible Oil Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1988: Under this order, the industries who are into the packaging of edible oil have to follow certain standards mentioned herein.
- Meat Food Products order, 1973: This order regulates the quality of poultry meat and red meat. As these products are perishable in nature, the producers have to follow certain guidelines mentioned under this act. The meat dealers must obtain a license under this act.
- Food Products Order, 1955: This order deals with processed fruits and vegetables including non-fruit and sweetened products such a flavored water, fruit drinks etc. This order also lays down standards of hygiene and sanitation of the premises where such businesses are carried out.
- The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992: Under this order, any person dealing in dairy products with production of 10,000 liters of milk per day or 500 MT of milk solids per annum needs to be registered with the registering authority regulated by Central Government.
How are the FSSAI licenses categorized?
The FSSAI licenses are categorized in the following sub-divisions:
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
This Essential Commodities Act was passed with a view of stopping any unlawful production and distribution of products. As per the said act, a company is obligated to sell the product at the market price. Any company which sells a product at other than the market price is liable for punishment for violating consumer rights under this act.
What is an “AGMARK”?
India is an agrarian country. Agricultural commodities such a pulses, vegetable oil, fruits and vegetables liable for an “Agmark” certification. This means that the product is approved by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. Without an Agmark, the sales of the products can be tampered.
Sample of the Agmark Logo.
The food processing industry in India is an ever growing industry. It goes without saying that the consumer is the king. In the past couple of decades, it has become very important to obtain certain licenses and grants to run a successful food processing industry. These licenses help in prevention of violation of consumer rights.