New Packaging Norms for Export Quality Food Items

New Packaging Norms for Export Quality Food Items

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With Indian products being rejected by some of the developed countries owing to the safety and health standards, Indian government is planning to set up rules for packaging of food items. The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has refused entry of Indian food products such as basmati rice, fisheries, spices and herbal products on several occasions. Russia had imposed a ban on Indian Rice and peanuts owing to contamination while Australia had issued an advisory about Indian products containing milk and about violating the import regulations. The rejection from foreign markets has also affected the export of vegetables from India. To bring this into effect, the ministry of commerce and industry has constituted a standing committee. This committee will formulate new packaging standards for export of over 500 products including vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee and spices.

According to an official from the ministry, these regulations will be on par with countries like US, Japan, Europe and Vietnam. He also said,”If the packaging is not done properly, there are high chances of products getting contaminated in transit. Also, the government is keen to promote export of processed and fresh food products and so these rules may help improve business of exporters.”

Furthermore, to increase awareness, the standing committee is also keen on making packaging course mandatory. A plan to research on improved and innovative materials for packaging of various products is also in the pipeline. To make sure that the process is smooth, representatives from the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and other industry associations like Tea Board and Coffee Board of India have been included in the committee.

NC Saha, director of Indian Institute of packaging and a member secretary of the standing committee said,” We have already suggested and submitted standards for packaging fresh fruits and vegetables and are now working on packaging standards for tea and spices.” The IIP is also planning to hold three events: International Summit for Packaging Industry, Pacmachine Awards and Indiapack Pacprocess exhibition to spread awareness and importance of packaging.

The higher standards of packaging will improve the quality of the products and also increase the export of vegetables from India.

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