2nd Edition of WORLD MITHAI & NAMKEEN CONVENTION 2019- A show beyond Lexis

The day dawned for the stupendous event on sweets and namkeen on 9th January 2019 in Indore’s Brilliant Convention Centre. The opening ceremony witnessed the top affluent personalities from the sweets (mithai) and namkeen industry cutting the ribbons, lamp lighting and inaugurating the event with pompous way ever imagined. More than 3000 dignitaries from snacks and namkeen industry attended the event. With inaugural speech given by Shri. Vikas Jain (JMB Namkeen), Shri. Srinivasa Raja (Adyar Bhavan ) and Shri. Anurag Bothra (Om Namkeen), the entire ambiance of the exhibition hall was graciously filled with vibrant energy. The event witnessed throng of VVIPs and visitors from all walks of industry and country. The inaugural was covered by print and digital media with media going frenzy to interview the dignitaries present at the moment. After the inaugural the event was followed by lunch, conference and general body meetings of the FSNM associations where discussions of various problems faced by the industry like plastic packaging, GST, raw material and other topics of concern.

Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufacturers’s President Virender Jain, Madhya Pradesh Mithai and namkeen association’s Director Vikas Jain; Amit Kumat MD Pratap Snacks; Harish Ramnani Karachi Bakery, Hyderabad; Radhey Mohan Agarwal Bikanervala, Delhi; Manoharlal Agarwal, Haldiram, Delhi; Shiv Ratan Agarwal Bikaji, Bikaner and Firoz H. Naqvi Organizer, AIM events were present at the inaugural ceremony of lamp lighting. Virendrer Jain FSMN President announced demand for Indian sweets and namkeen is increasing at a fast track in India as well as other nations like UK, Europe, USA Gulf countries. In last 15 years due to packaging the S&N industry has crossed a figure of Rs.1 lakh crore and increasing its momentum by 20% yoy. Indore itself has around 1000 manufacturers and Rs.5000crs business alone is generated in Indore resulting in 18% growth.

Thereafter, at 7pm at the closing hour of the first day of the exhibition saw a scintillating gala night with cocktail party and dinner. During the entertainment, 25 Most Influential People were felicitated for their lifetime achievement and contribution to the snack industry. (Names of25MIP and Partners to be    mention ??)

On the second day of the event i.e. 10th January saw a very impressive seminar held in the convention hall of the centre. The Chief Guest speaker Dr. A.K.Tyagi , executive Director Halidram Snacks Pvt Ltd.  holding high regards to Mr.Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI spoke about the achievements in last three years which have been remarkable in the history of foods safety that has been carried out under the guidance and leadership of Agarwal. Dr.Tyagi emphasized that the Total Polar Compound (TPC) of cooking oil which goes beyond 25% where oil becomes rancid, in other words gets decolourized and emanates unpleasant odour should be disposed off in a manner that should not come into human consumption at all. The buying of used oil price has been set at Rs.40 per liter by government, FSSAI and bio-diesel manufacturers which is far enough. This price will not be a burden on the mithai and namkeen manufacturers who are hesitant to give away the used oil. This step should be followed by all the players to maintain the quality of the food products.

Second to speak was Guest of Honour,  Ms. Pallavi Govil, Commissioner, Food Safety (Bhopal, MP). Ms.Govil spoke extensively on availability of Indian food outside India. She expressed, “It is practically difficult to get vegetarian and Indian foods in foreign land. Packed foods made in India and exported to other countries like USA or Europe varies in quality which should not be so. What is sold outside should be available in India too. In wake of this distinction, all the consumers should be treated equally whether staying in India or abroad”.

Further she added, “The waste management is another major issue faced by the environmentalists throughout the world. Wrapper and packing materials should be recycled or must be of bio-degradable substances. Keeping the surrounding clean is a social service towards the country where one lives in”. Pallavi Govil is of the view that snacks and namkeen industry is escalating at a high speed, and to create awareness in small manufacturers is utmost necessary. According to small businessmen they feel that it’s a loss for them if they change oil often. But she assured that it is not the case. Both the business and health will benefit with the help of fresh cooking oil. Time and again the manufacturers should come together for a combined workshop for better knowhow. She recommended more use of mustard and olive oil.

 

Speaking on the topic of women empowerment, she was surprised seeing the crowd with no woman representing the snacks industry. Referring to the current trend of the economy, she found the participation of women labour in India overall is decreasing. Small scale industries should encourage women involvement in economy with safe and hygiene atmosphere.

Concluding her amazing dialogue she thanked and appreciated AIM Events to create a wonderful platform and the honour bestowed upon her.

Starting her speech with a note of thanks and appreciation to AIM Events & FSMN for the great gathering in the conference, the Guest of Honour Speaker Ms. Madhavi Das, Executive Director FSSAI, New Delhi spoke on Bio-diesel fuel, giving her the best of RUCO (Repurpose Use of Cooking Oil).

 

According to Ms. Das, “To start a food business or food outlets, one needs licensing and registration. Right from farm to manufacturers all needs FSSAI licenses. With the criteria of online updates for licensing and registration, very soon new system of license will be out on internet with Food Safety display board. Blue colour forms are for manufacturers and purple for Hotel industry. Colour and Code labeling is mandatory and a very simple way of educating the people”. Starting her speech with a note of thanks and appreciation to AIM Events & FSMN for the great gathering in the conference, the Chief Guest Speaker Ms. Madhavi Das, Executive Director FSSAI, New Delhi, spoke extensively on certification, licensing and registration of food businesses with FSSAI. She also spoke on Bio-diesel and trans-fat free healthy foods.

 

Addressing the attendees and media, Ms.Das said, “This platform of FSMN is a very useful tool created so that the voice of the snack industry reaches higher authorities. And we in return like to be as a helpful instrument to take up any queries where we can give our best to the food industry. FSSAI has sort of turned a new leaf in the sense that being traditional food regulator we formulate regulations; maintain food standards and enforcing them time to time is already taken care of. What we need now under new findings is that we can work and operate successfully in collaboration with the food industry and manufacturers. Enforcing law and levying fines/penalties is not the modes operandi of FSSAI. All players in these sectors need to be self-compliance, must understand their responsibilities and try to meet them accordingly. Self-compliance ought to be globally set. The essence of eco-systems of the food safety lies in waste management and recycling of it. This approach will create a responsible corporate sector working towards a common goal.

 

Food safety requirement starts from farm level whether he is the grower, transporter or manufacturers needs proper licenses and registration. Not only one should acquire these formalities but should also check the licenses and registration no. with whom he is dealing with point up and point down in the value and supply chain. It is mandatory to have all the certificate, licenses and registration nos.

 

She informed that very soon new system of licensing will be out on internet with Food Safety Display Board. Blue colour forms will be for manufacturers and purple for Hotel will be the colour code. Code labeling is necessary and simple way of educating the people.

 

FSSAI also brings an easy solution of Training & Certification through its new initiative of Food Safety Training & Certification Portal (FoSTaC) portal. Under FoSTaC, FSSAI offers 9 courses that are available lasting between 4 to 12 hours. These nine different types of courses are meant for different types of food business on different competency level. So far around 80,000 people have taken training in major sector of food industry. Each Food Business Operator needs to have at least one trained & certified person in their business premises to ensure food safety. Regulation to make it mandatory is expected soon.

 

Speaking on Hygienic Food, Ms. Das stressed that in 100s, 10 die of food contaminants and food poisoning. Thus, the areas of food preparation should have ratings by FSSAI officers to give customers an extra confidence of eating right and healthy. This step in a way adds to business profits. At this responsible place to eat, FSSAI will give recognition certificate.

FSSAI has launched Eat healthy campaign. People try to mix traditional and international food innovations. There is nothing wrong with it, but the manufacturers must decide to reduce salt & sugar contents accordingly. Like for example, UK has brought down the intake of salt in their food to quite an extent which is very healthy. We, Indian should also follow this procedure to consume less salt so that we create a healthy India. Indore has transformed itself into a picture perfect city within a span of three years and that is due to the awareness of cleanliness in people. In the same way we can change habits for the betterment of our health, let there be a gradual change rather than not changing at all. We should look into other options of healthy foods like millets and fortification food.

 

One of the current topics of debates is edible oil. The consumption of the cooking oil by namkeen and mithai industry is at the most. When the cooking oil reaches the TPC 25% it should not come into the consumption pattern and carefully disposed off. Reused oil often goes back into system where small producers and kirana shop refine and repack it for lower use. This used oil can be converted into bio-fuel saving revenue by millions. Used oil should be unacceptable and should not come into human use at all. Concluding she discouraged the use of trans-fat which is very harmful and with help of scientists FSSAI is trying to make India a trans-fat free country by 2022-23.

 

Looking at the background of this story, FSSAI India has a latent of recovering 220 crore litres of used cooking oil that can be used for the production of biodiesel by 2022 via co-ordinated action. As of now the biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is less. But looking at all the possibilities with the robust ecosystem for conversion and collection of used oil is growing rapidly and will soon reach a sizable scale. Other than this, FSSAI is also looking forward to introducing a regulation that would make sure that companies which use a large amount of cooking oil hand it to the registered collecting agencies that will transform it into a biofuel.

 

The very effective speech relayed by Ms.Das was a historic steps taken by FSSAI during “World Mithai & Namkeen Convention 2019”. Approximately 1000 sweets and namkeen manufactures took the pledge in front of Ms Madhavi Das. It has been a first time where the entire hall was pledging to do away with use oil and use fresh for cooking purpose and making India a healthy country.

Leading Manufacturers like Haldiram Delhi, Haldiram Nagpur, Bikanerwala, Bikaji, Yellow Diamond, Das Penda Wala, Balaji Namkeens, Ghanghor Sweets, Om Namkeen, Bengali Sweets, Om Sweets Delhi, Mota Chips, Ajit Sweets, Bansal  Sweets, Adyar Anand Bhawan, Bhanwarilal Sweets, Sindhi Sweets and many more people signed the pledge. It was a historic moment for the entire food processing industry in general and mithai and namkeen industry in particular, they signed for a common cause. Organisers of the event, Aim Events and Federation of Sweets & Namkeens Manufactures assured FSSAI for future cooperation on this subject.

Next to speak was a very impressive speaker, Sandeep Chaturvedi, President of Bio-Diesel Association of India (BDAI) voiced his notes by saying that the Bio-diesel Association comprises of 155 members that include Bio-diesel manufacturers, feed-stock aggregators, gathers and the oil marketing companies who do the blending of the bio-fuels. BDAI is an 8-10 years old organization mainly coordinating on various government policies and national issues related to environmental sustainability.

Bio-diesel is made by used cooking oil. Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) is an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel. Due to less awareness, people are not aware of it.  This deteriorates the quality of oil beyond use. Reusing this oil is an open invitation to health-threatening diseases like cancer, heart problem, alziemer, skin psoriasis and other stomach disorders. 23 million tons of cooking oil is being used in India annually out of this 40% is being used in restaurants and 60% is being residentially. Now India too is making bio-diesel from the used cooking oil. Speaking on GST issue, Chaturvedi expressed his views that GST should be lowered as the bio-diesel production value has reduced to 5.2 cr from 11cr. After much debate and discussion by the businessmen to pull the GST down to 5%, the government has levied 12% GST. Taxes on food items should not carry a high level of taxes as food is meant for health and it is not feasible to slap 12% GST on food items.

He has urged that FSSAI may also look at introducing regulations to ensure that companies that use large quantities of cooking oil hand it over to registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.

According to Chaturvedi, “There has to be awareness about the potential of the industry and corrective steps has to be taken for the industry to grow, because if the industry grows the country grows and for this it needs jobs and businesses from different sectors. This is the appropriate time to come up with such a grand event and gathering of people particularly in Indore as it is the hub and heart of mithai and namkeen industry”.

Chaurvedi expressed his happiness to be a part of such kind of event where a large scale of interactions and dialogues were exchanged. This platform brought together all the stakeholders, commoners and all the policy makers under one roof proving to be a great guiding force to the industry.

To conclude his notes he added that cooking oil used for frying should be discarded in a responsible manner enforced to the aggregators registered and authorized by FSSAI and Local Food Regulators. FSSAI is also working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India and the food industry to ensure effective compliance of used cooking oil regulations. It is also going to publish guidance documents, tips for consumers and posters in this regard. It is also conducting several awareness campaigns through its e-channels. FSSAI has additionally launched a micro-site to monitor the progress of the collection and conversion of used cooking oil into biodiesel.

Virender Jain President of FSMN and Director of Kadami Sweets said, “Snacks and namkeen industry is rising with full capacity. In the year 2018, we had our first WMNC in Delhi which was a one day event turned out be a super hit show. The response that we got compelled us to make this event a two day event and we chose Indore the hub of mithai and namkeen as our new venue”.

A gathering and events like WMNC will promote this industry not only on national levels but globally too. Exhibitions, shows, seminars, conference are a need to make us aware of the latest trends and innovations happening in the world. Taking part in such occasions helps leaders to exchange a meaning dialogue on higher level and to bring other colleagues into a loop to take advantage of the latest technical know-how.

Shiv Ratan Agarwal of Bikaji Foods, is of the opinion that, “There is no harm in eating healthy snacks. Snacks are meant for taste enhancement in between meals and not to fill our belly with it. Snacks prepared in yester years were very different than what is manufactured now”. Laughingly, Shiv Ratan admits that previously it was difficult getting married because getting married into the family of sweet makers was not ranked accordingly. But now Sweets and namkeen industry has grown to be powerful and many of the namkeen snacks have become a super brand. We are now respected wherever we go with people surrounding us and with full security. For any start-ups and to brand the product is the greatest challenge one faces in the business.

According to Firoz H.Naqvi, Director, FSMN said paper packaging is not a good solution for the packing sweets and namkeen as it is non-lasting option. Ban on plastic packaging proves to be a major setback for food industry. The government should rethink about plastic ban and to find a better solution to it.

The event had participants and experts from countries like Germany, France, Italy, USA, Turkey and China.

 

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