An interactive session with Mr. Ashish Bahuguna, Chairperson, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, and members of Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI) held on 16 January 2016, (Thursday) at Hotel Le Meridian, New Delhi.
FIFI which is an APEX body representing Food importers across India, has more than 137 importers all across the country and represents more than 1200 brands from 63 countries of the world. It also has 37 associate members who represent embassies, trade commissions, media, and hotels etc. FIFI’s core endeavour is to promote international trade of quality food products.
Though, FIFI is already working closely with FSSAI to evolve better understanding of Food Laws and create healthy trade environment for compliance, the main objective of the interactive session was to convey the various concerns being faced by the importers in the country.
Mr. Bahuguna informed that FSSAI has been planning to have a single window clearance for all imported material and the information would be available on-line. He added that information about all the cleared products along with the trader, country of origin, manufacturer would be available on the internet. He cleared many of the ambiguities of the Act and also assured for quicker action to streamline the process. He emphasized that importers should focus more on the quality rather than the quantity.
Due to lack of proper infrastructure and laboratory facilities, currently importers face a lot of problems in importing many perishable food items. Mr. Bahuguna offered that FSSAI would arrange land for FIFI to set up Cold Chain and laboratory which would help smooth running of the clearance process.
Mr. B K Dubey, Director (Imports), FSSAI, shared information about the Pre Arrival Documents Review (PADR) and also about the Draft Regulation for Food Imports.
Mr. Amit Lohani, Founder Director in his welcome speech and presentation shared about the various concerns of the new PADR system and Draft Import regulation. He requested the Chairperson, FSSAI to streamline the rules and also to send guidelines to the state level authorities.
Mr. V N Dalmia, Mr. Puneet Gupta , Mr. Yogesh Grover, Mr. Rakesh Banga, Mr. Uday Chugh, Mr. Sanjay Bajoria, and Mr. Prakash Sanghavi also shared their views and concerns in the session. FIFI members from Mumbai and other parts of the country also participated in the Session.