No. PR- 051
June 7, 2021
World Food Safety Day is the remembrance that we need to strengthen Food Safety & Security
World Food Safety Day is being observed to encourage sustainable development of food security, human health, agriculture, tourism, and economic prosperity and to inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage food-borne risks. COVID-19 has made governments, distribution systems, and consumers aware of the prevention, detection, and proper management of foodborne diseases. Food security will help in human health prosperity, overall development of the nation. Food hygiene will help to ensure the safety of food mentioned Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Cabinet Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj And Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India in a webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) & Food Safety & Standards Authority (FSSAI) and North East Christian University (NECU) Nagaland, on WORLD FOOD SAFETY DAY 2021 Themed: Safe Food Now for a Healthy Tomorrow.
Talking about the current pandemic and its relation with food, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar mentioned that the pandemic has drawn our attention to issues related to food sanitation, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, and many other similar challenges. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, concrete work is being done on food security at a fast pace, along with the people of India are becoming aware of cleanliness, health, and strong immune system.
He mentioned that the Prime Minister has taken a step to launch POSHAN Abhiyaan (PM’s Comprehensive Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) to make India malnutrition-free. The government has spent a lot of financial resources on creating nutrition-related schemes/ programs to prevent malnutrition, underdevelopment in childhood. An integrated nutritional support program- Mission Poshan was announced in the Budget as well..
He shared that the Government of India is well aware of the importance of nutrition for the development and welfare of the society and plans to introduce mid-day meals in schools, provide ration to pregnant and lactating mothers through Anganwadis, and Public Distribution System to citizen below the poverty line. Due to various reforms and measures in agri-food sectors, India is witnessing high production of food grains, fruits, and vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, etc.
Mr. Tomar shared that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has implemented the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to attract investments and create a conducive environment for promoting easy business. The Ministry, in partnership with the State/UT Governments, has also launched the Centrally Sponsored Pradhan Mantri Micro Food Processing Unnayan Yojana for Micro Food Processing Enterprises to provide financial, technical, and commercial assistance for the up-gradation of micro food processing enterprises. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has also started the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund under the guidance of the Prime Minister, through which facilities will be developed till the villages and farms, along with the benefits of farmers, food security efforts will also be strengthened.
He also shared that National Nutrition Month has been started in the month of September by the government under the leadership of the Prime Minister. Last year the Ministry of Food Processing Industries also celebrated Poshan Maah, our goal was to make people aware of processed food and the nutrition in it. The ministry named the campaign ‘Har Jeevan Ho Poshan Se Roshan’. With this vision, India should contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, ensure food security, people take care of health, get nutritious material and through yoga, etc., we will be able to meet these challenges around the world.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region deliberated about the growing awareness on food and its benefits towards long-term health and wellness due to the pandemic. Eating healthy food is not only important but it’s essential to understand when, how, and in what form to eat the food. He opined that Immunity boosters, have been a major part of ancient culture and now we are getting back to them. The natural form of consumption of vitamins will have more benefits and long-term sustenance in the human body than a tablet.
While bursting various food and diet myths like reducing carbs and distribution of meals, he mentioned that when we disturb the scientific prescribed pattern of diet, we are not only depriving ourselves of the ideal levels of vitality, we are also making ourselves more vulnerable to a lot of diseases. He further elaborated that meal and diet plans should be designed taking into consideration a person’s age, metabolic rate, level of physical activity, the requirement of profession, etc.
He emphasized that the North-Eastern part of India is rich in bio-diversity which has awakened other regions of the nation to the merits of organic food and plantation which are high in nutrition and vitamins.
Mr. Amarjit Singh Bhagat mentioned that in the field of food security, the Chhattisgarh government took an unprecedented decision in the history of the state on 2nd October 2019. The Public Distribution System was launched along with the Chief Minister Nutrition campaign. He added that The Government of Chhattisgarh has arranged free food through PDS to labourers of other states trapped in Chhattisgarh which is about 98 percent of the total number.
H.E. Mr. Hugo Javier Gobbi, Ambassador of Argentine Republic to India deliberated about India- Argentina relation and the strength of Argentina towards food production and export which is the outcome of favorable natural conditions at the same time updated infrastructure, transportation, technology, the efficient framework can ensure safety and security of food. He mentioned that looking at these times of pandemic and the need to ensure food safety for the future, international corporation and knowledge sharing is crucial.
H.E. Ms. Namrata S. Kumar, Ambassador of India to the Republic of Slovenia discussed the importance of food safety especially during times of pandemic and this year’s theme is deriving towards collective responsibility of everyone at the government as well as citizen level and the nation needs to have a holistic approach towards health at the same time ensuring best food practices.
Mr. John Southwell, Counsellor, Agriculture, Australia said that he has been working towards facilitating technical market access, policy exchange, and Australia as a market for India and India as a market for Australia. He opined that Food safety is a shared responsibility from farm to fork and relies on the efforts of everyone involved in the food chain (agricultural production, processing, transport, food production, and consumption).
Mr. Tony Maseko, Senior Manager, Eswatini Standards Authority thanked the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry for providing this opportunity and stated that access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is the key to sustaining life and promoting good health. He reiterated that as Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders, good collaboration between governments, producers, and consumers would help in ensuring food safety.
Ms. Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director, FSSAI mentioned that we need to ensure the safety of food from the producers to the consumers. We need to make sure that the food is produced, packed, delivered, and consumed safely. She discussed the steps and regulations undertaken by FSSAI to ensure food safety
Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava, Head – Regulatory Policy & Intelligence, Amway India mentioned that People across the globe today have realized the importance of food security and the need for essential nutrition. Therefore, the theme for World Food Safety Day 2021, ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’ is more relevant than ever before. He also deliberated about the values and products provided by Amway India to ensure smart, safe, and nutritious healthcare which helps in providing unparalleled value to human lives.
Dr. Darlando Khathing, Vice-Chancellor, NECU mentioned that Academic institutions should get engaged with the ‘Eat Right India’ movement. We must engage with students and Faculty to promote ‘Sahi Bhojan, Behtar Jeevan’ which is also the theme of the World Food Safety Day 2021 ‘Safe Food Now For a Healthy Tomorrow’.
Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI in his presidential address deliberated the importance of World Food Safety Day which will help to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.
Talking about the importance of food for sustaining life and health, mentioned that it’s important to drive awareness about good nutrition, food production chain, from farmers and producers down to retailers and consumers. He lauded the efforts of the North East Government to ensure food safety in the State. Organic cultivation and low use of pesticides create a natural advantage for food products from the North East region which is an important step towards food safety that also motivates the country to adopt the same practice. The State governments are playing a proactive role in building awareness on food safety and food security and the opportunities available in North East states.
Mr. Pradeep Multani, Sr. Vice President, PHDCCI while delivering a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants, mentioned that the government is doing a lot of efforts towards ensuring food safety. The food industry has been under enormous pressure in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the pandemic is still top of mind, we do need to make sure we pay attention to the real food safety issues facing the food industry and food safety must remain our priority.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Bejon Kumar Misra, Chairman of the Consumer Affairs & Public Health Committee, PHDCCI, which was instrumental in organizing the event said “World food safety day brings to call attention to foodborne diseases and especially during these pandemic times, it is imperative to eat healthy foods that offer greater immunity against viruses. This issue has become much more meaningful in light of COVID-19 and I hope the theme of this year’s World Food Safety Day 2021 — ‘Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow’ will assure citizens health and safety through a robust surveillance system built by FSSAI to enable States to share credible information to the consumers to make an informed choice to stay healthy”.
“I would also like to call a special mention on the role of food workers in India and across the globe in ensuring continued endeavor to improve access to safe and healthy food for the consumers ” Misra added.
The webinar was attended by Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHDCCI along with many industry stalwarts pan-India and moderated by Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s webinar was supported by DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd; JK Tyre & industries ltd; Marble City; Paramount Cables ltd; SMC Investments and Advisors Limited; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; DCM Shriram Industries Ltd; Radico Khaitan ltd Timberworkz, Synergy Environics Ltd and Comtech Interio.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry