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inside... 10

editorial

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profile

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cover story

Cash crunch seriously hits farm and food sectors – Bureau Report

Shree Swami Enterprises

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WHEAT IMPORTS

An embarrassment to farm ministry

STREET FOOD

Cusines Galore at National Street Food Festival in Delhi

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EVENT REPORT SIAL Middle East

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PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGIES John Bean Technologeis (Thailand) Ltd.

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SORTEX F – the most hygienic optical sorter for the frozen fruit and vegetable industry

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EXPERT VIEW

– G Chandrashekhar

Duty-free wheat import decision Farmers’ Unions dub the move as ‘anti-farmer’

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Deals worth AED3.8 billion signed as SIAL 2016 concludes

Aids Customers who Innovate for Growth

Centre may impose non-tariff import barrier on pulses

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GASTRONOMY

– Vidya Balachander

Kebab and Korma topped by ‘Kurmura’

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FRESH PRODUCE

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NEWS China allows 14 Indian firms to export rice

PRODUCT LAUNCH

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Pristine introduces an All Natural, Organic Red Velvet Cake mix for the first time

Street food vendors need to be trained in cashless sales: Rudy

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Milk prices set to go up

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Biscuit sales down post demonetisation, says Parle

WOP Dubai

Trade Fair for Fresh Goods Sets New Standards

The Perfect Red Velvet Cake Is Here..!!

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

US Cranberries America’s Original Superfruit


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Editorial....

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t is encouraging to find that Rabi sowing has picked up after suffering a setback immediately after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on demonetization, and, based on Agriculture Ministry’s data on progressive sowing, it would be reasonable to expect a good Rabi harvest this year. In terms of area, sowing in mid-December was 6 per cent higher than the comparative period last year, and marginally more than what is considered ‘normal’ for this period.

Chief Editor S. Jafar Naqvi Consulting Editors T.V. Satyanarayanan Sub-Editor Rummana Zaidi Chief Co-ordinator M.B. Naqvi Editorial Co-ordinator Syed M K Layout & Design Faiyaz Ahmad Mohd. Iqbal Head Office New Delhi: : +91-11-29535593 / 64519106 / 65655264 abfienquiry@gmail.com

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Bangalore: 8050206265 bangalore.mtpl@gmail.com Chennai: 9941130277 mediatodaychennai@gmail.com Admn. & Marketing Office MEDIA TODAY PVT. LTD. J-73, Paryavaran Complex, Neb Sarai, IGNOU Road, New Delhi - 110068 (India) Phone : 91-11-29535593 / 64519106 / 65655264 E-mail: abfienquiry@gmail.com Web.: www.abfionline.com www.mediatoday.in Subscription India : 1 Year Rs. 1000/- by Normal Post Rs. 1300/- by Courier 2 Years Rs. 1850/- by Normal Post Rs. 2450/- by Courier Overseas : US$ 120 for 1 Year / US$ 230 for 2 Years Single Copy in India : Rs. 100/Single Copy Cost for Overseas : US$10 Printed, published and owned by M.B. Naqvi, Printed at Everest Press, E-49/8, Okhla Industrial Area Ph-II, New Delhi - 110 020 and Published from E-11/47 A, New Colony, Hauz Rani, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi - 110017 (INDIA) Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi Vol 14....... Issue 1 ...... January, 2017

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In the farm sector, in the first two weeks after government banned old 500 rupee and 1000 rupee notes, maximum pain caused by cash crunch was felt by those growing and selling perishables like vegetables. Wholesale vegetable prices were down 70-80 per cent across the country while retail prices were down by only about 30 per cent, according to survey. Immediately after the D-day, trade collapsed in Mandis, as could be seen from falling prices, unsold stocks, reduced demand, and delayed payments. In Maharashtra there were several instances of farmers growing highly perishable items like tomatoes and leafy vegetables throwing away their produce outside the markets for want of demand and right prices. In Kerala, the lot of those growing fruits like pineapple was no better – virtually no demand. Orange growers of Nagpur and Amravati regions were also affected and there were reports that some growers were throwing the produce on the streets after prices crashed, but the sales started picking up after some traders started offering cheque payments to the growers. Cash shortage hit the rural areas most, what with the supply of new currency to Regional Rural Banks dropping to a trickle. Sowing operations went behind schedule, sales of tractors and two wheelers, which indicate rural sentiment, nosedived. At a time when the farming community was feeling the pain of cash shortage, the government decision to allow the farmers to use old 500 rupee notes to buy seed and fertilizer from government outlets, did help, but what was really commendable was the gesture of some good Samaritans who went to the aid of the distressed. Mahindra and Mahindra (M &M), the company that manufactures tractors and commercial vehicles chalked out a well-thought-out plan to help alleviate the pain of its customers. The company’s sales and marketing teams went all over the country and offered all assistance to the farmers in getting seeds and inputs and, if needed, in getting their tractors and equipment repaired. Mahindra Finance was an integral part of this exercise. Convinced that demonetization would benefit farmers in the long run, the Indian Farmers’ Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) has urged the farmers to participate in a training programme it has organized on Rupay cards, mobile banking and other cashless payment modes. IFFCO has already started cashless payment system in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and this is proposed to be extended to other parts shortly. Another welcome initiative is one by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection under the Union Agriculture Ministry, which has started a special drive to promote cashless payments. As many as 186 Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) from17 states are now part of this programme. Their membership in e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) would help in transacting speedy and transparent cashless payments from one unit to another. Member of NITI Ayog Ramesh Chand has said despite the cash crunch, farm growth this year could exceed 5 per cent. Chand said a committee of chief ministers has been formed to create a road map for digital payments and the kind of infrastructure needed. Let us hope the committee would meet soon and complete its work speedily. Media Today Group wishes all its readers a Happy New Year. Comments are welcome at: mediatodaymails@gmail.com Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of “AgriBusiness & Food Industry” editorial board. AgriBusiness & Food Industry does not accept any responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to Delhi Jurisdiction only. .....Editor

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cover story

Cash crunch seriously hits farm and food sectors – Bureau Report

Short term pain apart, experts feel, if the small farmer and trader can be helped to slowly adjust to the realities of less dependence on cash deals, it would be a winwin situation for all.

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odi government’s demonetisation move, which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley averred would bring long term gains, definitely caused much short term pain to those involved in agri & food business, including farming operations, agri trade and market, food processing, poultry and fishery sectors. Since the majority of those engaged in farming and agri marketing are dependent on cash transactions, the sudden cash crunch spelt for them countless troubles. Severely hit by cash shortage was rural India. It was reported that Regional Rural Banks with 25 crore accounts across the country, received just about Rs. 8000

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crore of fresh currency from November 10 to 30, which works out to a little less than Rs. 350 per account. No wonder, all activities in the rural India took a big hit. Rabi sowing, which had started on an optimistic note, went behind schedule for about a month or so, all agricultural and food markets across the country -- from the mandi to the neighborhood grocer -virtually came to a standstill, fruit and vegetable growers suffered heavy losses and major wholesale markets were facing problems of falling rates, unsold stocks, reduced demand and delayed labour payments. The worst effect was on small producers of perishable commodities like vegetables, fruits, milk,

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

poultry products and fish, for which the value chain up to the consumers has been historically cash-driven. The cash crunch also adversely impacted the sale of tractors and two-wheelers in rural areas. Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 24 per cent decline in sale, year-toyear, in November. As for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, it is reportedly resorting to production cuts due to accumulation of stock. ‘Pain of transition’ Promising long term benefits of demonetisation to follow, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, commented, “The decision of this kind, carries the pain of transition. This is

regrettable.’ He added, “When you are in a cusp of history, you have to look at the long term impact of the steps that are going to be taken.” The effect of demonetisation problems was reflected in parliament, which was meeting for the winter session. Opposition protests stalled business in Lok Sabha for days together. As Rajya Sabha debated the demonetisation move, the government worked overtime to fix the mess by trying to increase supply and getting as many ATMs calibrated to dispensing new currency notes. Seeking immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met


cover story

President Pranab Mukherjee along with leaders of National Conference, AAP and NDA ally Shiv Sena and submitted a memorandum voicing serious concern over the crisis arising out of ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Short term pain apart, experts feel, if the small farmer and trader can be helped to slowly adjust to the realities of less dependence on cash deals, it would be a winwin situation for all. , One positive factor during these troubled times is that retail prices of major agri commodities like rice, wheat, arhar, potato and onion have remained largely stable, as per data from the Department of Consumer Affairs. Farm economists attribute this to the fact that there has not been any large scale supply disruption of these commodities. Here are some of the reports on the painful experience that various segments of the farm and food sector had to undergo. Plight of Vegetable farmers Rishikant Mandal made the journey from Lakhimpur Kheri along the Indo-Nepal border, to sell his produce of colocasia or arbi, in the mandis of Lucknow. Under normal circumstances, the farmer would have exhausted his stock within a couple of days and returned home. The cash crunch in the market since demonetisation , however, put paid to his plans as he struggled to sell even two bags of the vegetable. “On good days, an entire truckload of vegetables would be sold out in no time,” he rued. Not only have sales plummeted, the price the farmers would get for their produce has also fallen

Promising long term benefits of demonetisation to follow, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, commented, “The decision of this kind, carries the pain of transition. This is regrettable . . . When you are in a cusp of history, you have to look at the long term impact of the steps that are going to be taken” drastically. Sitting distraught on a sealed bag of arbi, Mandal counted his losses. “What would earlier sell for Rs. 100 does not fetch more than Rs 60. Buyers and customers don’t have change... I cannot wait to go home. My daily expenses at restaurants have created a hole in my pocket.” Mandal was among the hundreds of farmers who come from remote areas to sell their produce at the congested Dubagga Sabzi Mandi, Lucknow’s largest vegetable market. Though generally supportive of the Prime Minister’s move, farmers openly express their disappointment with impact of demonetisation. To cope with the drop in cash transactions, most farmers and vegetable sellers at the mandi are forced to sell on credit, which in the informal sector is based solely on mutual trust but involves a substantial risk. “Till the notes worked, I was selling a paseri (4.6 kilos) of beans for Rs 100. Today, nobody is willing to give me Rs. 40. They offer me Rs. 500 notes. What will I deduct? What will I return?” asks Mohammad Islam, a farmer. “I don’t know about the nation but this is bad for us. The notes are not working here. There is a loss of Rs. 400500 per every bag.” Trade collapses in Delhi’s Azad Mandi Shortage in cash has

affected almost every aspect of business in this sprawling wholesale market – falling rates, unsold stocks, reduced demand and delayed labour payment. What D D Singhal, a 40-year old veteran in the market, said summed up the experience of all vegetable producers and vendors who daily converge in this market. Singhal said the current crisis is unparalleled. This year, he is dealing in capsicum. He said before November 8, his produce was selling for Rs.25 a kilo, but since demonetization announcement, the price has plummeted to Rs. 5 per kilo for bulk purchases. The only silver lining is the drop in temperature that has allowed vegetables to be stored for a little longer than usual. Otherwise most of the stocks would have perished. Small producers of perishable commodities worst hit It is now clear that producers of perishable commodities such as vegetable and poultry have been seriously impacted by the government’s announcement to withdraw from circulation high

denomination currency notes, writes Sanjiv Phansalkar, Programme Director at Tata Trusts, who was earlier a faculty member at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). Phansalkar is of the view that the picture is not as black as many make it out to be. Hearing personal and reading accounts from reliable colleagues, the conclusion is that the negative impacts of demonetization are not nightmarish but certainly not negligible either. The worst effect of demonetization is on very small producers of perishable commodities, since their entire value chain is cash-driven. Many of the perishables, with the possible exception of milk, are in a class that can be called supplementary or auxiliary foods, not essential like salt, cereals or water. A household can always do without leafy vegetables for a short period and cook curries with only onion and potato. When cash is short, a household does not buy leafy vegetables but buys only the potato. This cumulated over lakhs of households in a city kills demand for leafy vegetables, and since these are perishables, sellers face a

“We had to review our production and reduced it by 15-20%,” said Varun Berry, managing director at biscuits maker Britannia Industries. AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

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cover story

"The government's move of eliminating highdenomination notes has impacted both the retail transactions between consumers and retailers and the ones between distributors and retailers," said Sanjana Desai, Head Business Development, Desai Brother's Food Division and ELMAC brand completely unwilling market. This is what has happened to fresh vegetable producers, fresh fruit producers, etc. The effect is even stronger on so-called luxury foods in the Indian context. Millions of households have meat or fish over weekends and not every day. These households, when confronted with cash crunch, have simply not bought birds or fish. Since most of the market for animal products is for unprocessed or live produce, the market for these has simply crashed through the floor. Bird prices have dropped to less than half their predemonetization levels and broiler producers whose birds had become saleable on November 8 lost income from a whole batch. Fish markets have more or less vanished from many places. These developments have had their implications on the livelihoods of those people engaged in these value chains.

Impact on FMGC sector –inventories pile up The fast-moving consumer goods (FMGC} sector has reported that demonetization is taking toll. Inventories are piling up, forcing companies to cut production. Distribution channels and consumption levels have been disturbed, leading to an overall impact on the sector. "We had to review our production and reduced it by 10 to 15 percent. There has to be some pulling down, else we will have a lot of inventory," Manish Aggarwal, Director of Bikano, said. Bikano, a part of the Bikanerwala group, makes packaged snacks and other items. "With unsold inventory piling up with wholesalers, who mostly deal in cash to supply to traditional trade, and consumers spending less due to the liquidity crunch, FMCG makers are bracing themselves for a short-term fall in sales," he said.

“We had to take production cuts as we have stock pileups,” said B Krishna Rao, deputy marketing manager at Parle Products. “But fixed cost doesn't change which is a challenge,” he said.

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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

"We had to review our production and reduced it by 10 to 15 percent. There has to be some pulling down, else we will have a lot of inventory," Manish Aggarwal, Director of Bikano, said The wholesale stores too are under stress as sales at these "cash and carry" outlets have slowed down. "The government's move of eliminating highdenomination notes has impacted both the retail transactions between consumers and retailers and the ones between distributors and retailers," said Sanjana Desai, Head Business Development, Desai Brother's Food Division and ELMAC brand. "The wholesales traders, who mainly dealt in cash, have stopped trading due to the cash crunch," she added. Desai predicted that there would be impact of at least 25-30 per cent on the volumes during this sales cycle in traditional trade, which accounts for 72 percent of overall sales for the FMCG sector. Research showed that

initially after demonetization announcement, the food and consumer products showed a spurt in sales, and that was because most of the retailers accepted old currencies. Production cut Earlier reports said consumer products companies such as Britannia, Parle Products, Dabur and Emami had started cutting their production as sales slowed down significantly in the aftermath of the demonetisation drive. “We had to review our production and reduced it by 15-20%,” said Varun Berry, managing director at biscuits maker Britannia Industries. “There has to be some pulling down else we will have a lot of inventory as retailers are reporting overall sales of 30-70% of what they were doing earlier.” With unsold inventory

Courtesy: The Hindu


cover story

Dabur CEO Sunil Duggal said sales were down 20%, which has resulted in the supply chain automatically calibrating production. “The entire supply chain from wholesale to retail is down-stocking” piling up with wholesalers, who mostly deal in cash to supply to traditional trade, and consumers spending less due to liquidity crunch, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) makers are bracing themselves for a short-term blip in sales. “We had to take production cuts as we have stock pileups,” said B Krishna Rao, deputy marketing manager at Parle Products. “But fixed cost doesn't change which is a challenge,” he said. While makers of discretionary products such as chocolates and biscuits are hit the most as consumers look to preserve cash in hand and are spending mostly on necessities, others too are feeling the heat. Dabur CEO Sunil Duggal said sales were down 20%, which has resulted in the supply chain automatically calibrating production. “The entire supply chain from wholesale to retail is downstocking,” he said. Emami Director Harsha V Agarwal, too, said the company has started making adjustments to align

production with demand. “The cut in production will be based on real-time demand analysis and will be across categories. We have to resort to such a strategy till the situation normalizes,” Agarwal said. Traditional trade, which account for about 72% of FMCG sales, typically transact in cash and at present more than two-thirds of kirana stores are having a hard time buying stocks from consumer goods distributors. With the squeeze on both purchases and sales, business was down for nearly 70% of the neighbourhood outlets, market researcher Nielsen said in a report on demonetization in November end. While consumer companies have been extending some credit to distributors, the impact is expected to be larger in rural areas as a bulk of the trade in the rural channel is serviced through wholesalers.

“The cut in production will be based on real-time demand analysis and will be across categories. We have to resort to such a strategy till the situation normalizes,” Harsha V Agarwal, Director, Emami said.

“We are managing our finished goods inventory tightly,” said Vivek Gambhir. MD at Godrej Consumer Products. “We are also monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis. If the situation does not improve in a couple of weeks, we may need to make selective cuts in certain SKUs,” he said. An ITC spokesperson said there has been a temporary impact on demand, which is likely to be short lived once the new currency is rolled out across the country.

Digital payment Meanwhile, modern trade stores, which provide digital payment options to buyers, have become vital for growth for most consumer goods makers even as stocks pile up at kiranawallahs and wholesalers. For instance, sales jumped to 30% during weekdays and about 50% on weekends for the country’s largest grocer Future Group. The retailer said stock availability on shelves increased too. “FMCG companies are coming to us to keep more stock. Consumers are increasingly coming to modern trade because of which sales are up. We have been able to negotiate better terms with companies and have increased our stocks by 25%,” said Devendra Chawla, president food and FMCG at Future Group. Currency crunch hits Kerala fishing industry Kerala’s fishing sector, which offers direct and indirect jobs to nearly four lakh workers in the

Amit Lohani

Convenor, Forum of Indian Food Importers The picture is grim and the end result will be large scale closure of SME and traders. The back bone of economy has been given a 20000 volt shock and near to long term scenario projections are negative. The entire Indian trading system works on one basic principle which is TRUST as many SME and traders have taken raw materials and other inputs on credit due to flushing of the cash system. The sentiment in the market remains negative as everyone in the system is on a losing streak. Every household big or small will find 10-40% depletion in their net-worth due to property no longer a worthy asset class. Farming community would be the most affected as they are not receiving the right value for their produce. They are switching crops which would affect the entire food chain in the near future. Middle class is living in a fear psychosis as their reliance on cash was very high and this scarcity has put a lot of pressure on their minds reducing the aspirational purchase.

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cover story

Demonetization, e-payments and GST By: Vijay Sardana

“We are managing our finished goods inventory tightly . . . We are also monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis. If the situation does not improve in a couple of weeks, we may need to make selective cuts in certain SKUs” – Vivek Gambhir. MD of Godrej Consumer Products. mechanised fishing segment, has been witnessing a diminishing trend in prices, especially in the retail market, since post-demonetisation measures kicked in.. Joseph Xavier Kalappurackal, General Secretary of the All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association, said the impact of demonetisation has been felt in the local market. The low purchasing capacity was reflected in fish prices and the majority of the local traders are facing difficulties in tendering exact changes to customers due to the shortage of lower denomination currencies. At present, there are about 2,700 fishing boats operating on the Kerala coast and it requires Rs 3 crore worth of diesel per day, with daily sales to the tune of Rs 7 crore. A single boat consumes Rs 1.25-1.5 lakh worth diesel for a 5-8 day venture into sea. Cash crunch is a problem. Shortage of cash has also hindered the fishing sector from leveraging the

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Impact on Small and Cottage Food Industries: There will be some relief for them in GST Act and rules, but the bigger issue is more of their internal working systems. In initial phase, many SME companies may find it difficult to adopt to new reality because of lack of systems in them due to lack of delegation of power and decision making process. It will be good for them to identify vendors those who are willing to take e-payments and willing to negotiate terms and conditions which are mutually beneficial. In case they have to change their vendors those who are not willing to cooperate, please do so. Transparency and e-payment system will help them in getting new markets as well. My request to small industries is they should form their own club of like-minded entrepreneurs’ and do joint negotiation with various suppliers and take the benefit of collective bargaining power. Will they do it? It will all depend upon their comfort level with each other and their interpersonal relations. This is the time for SMEs to learn how to cooperate with each other in place to treat everyone else as competitor. Please keep in mind, market will not provide shelter to inefficiencies. This is the time when industry associations should play their meaningful role and act as facilitator for SMEs to adopt to the new reality by organizing handholding activities. Regulators and inspectors should become transparent: Today, inspectors and authorities are not transparent in their dealings with manufactures, traders and public. Corruption and bribe is due to opaque system. No one knows which all samples were picked-up what happened to them. Why there is no transparency in the inspection system and laboratories. Why products of companies having HAACP certificate, good quality certificate from testing laboratories and FSSAI registration face rejection in world market. It means these systems are either ineffective or the certificates issued are fictitious. These are serious issues because these are not only hurting public health but promoting corruption. Any sample facing rejection must have detailed investigation and all agencies involved in approving these products must be made accountable. It is common knowledge that defective samples are cleared by paying bribe or inspectors demand money for not picking up samples or booking cases, otherwise why bad product should exist in market. Unless, it is known which all samples were found sub-standard and which is adulterated products consumers and public health is at risk because they will remain on shelf and people will keep on buying. Why is FSSAI not keen to make the system transparent and communicate the facts to the public, as they are doing in other countries? Whose interest is FSSAI protecting and why? This will be the biggest question of 2017. We have to force FSSAI to change and bring transparency in its function when it comes to public health. 2017 will be the year to promote transparency in FSSAI and all its affiliates.

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

“FMCG companies are coming to us to keep more stock. Consumers are increasingly coming to modern trade because of which sales are up. We have been able to negotiate better terms with companies and have increased our stocks by 25%,” said Devendra Chawla, president food and FMCG at Future Group. opportunities arising out of a good landing of demersal fish species (living at the bottom of the sea) witnessed of late. For seafood exporters, because of currency shortage their supplies from the harbour have been affected. Norbert Karikkasseri, President, Seafood Exporters Association of India — Kerala region, said that all transactions in the sector — right from primary supplies from the harbour to weekly payment of wages — are in cash. VK Shetty, Managing Director of Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation (KFDC), said the corporation has 17 retail outlets to sell fish in different parts of Karnataka. The corporation offers card payment option at present only at its Mangaluru and Bengaluru retail outlets.


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Cash crunch hits cake makers While increased payment through the electronic mode has cushioned bakers in cities, their counterparts in the smaller markets have had to resort to bringing out smaller packets to boost sales.

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ake makers are feeling the pinch of demonetisation ahead of Christmas and New Year, their best season for sales. While sale of cakes in most cities is down by about 10% from a year ago, it has slumped by 20% or more in semi urban and rural markets. While increased payment through the electronic mode has cushioned bakers in cities, their counterparts in the smaller markets have had to resort to bringing out smaller packets to boost sales.

“As a result of reduced cash flow, the home budget has been impacted and sales are down by 10%. The size of cakes is shrinking. The earlier 1 kg has become 800 gm while 750 gm has become 600 gm,’’ said TR Raghulal, managing director of Elite Group, a major manufacturer of cakes with presence in the southern and western states. Raghulal said the industry is trying to rev up interest through innovation. “People are looking for variety. We have introduced

novel varieties like pudding cake, jackfruit cake, etc., to stir up interest,” he said. For instance, Mumbai based cake brand Monginis Food has come out with designer cakes. “In cities the demonetisation impact was severe in the first two weeks

but it has eased somewhat now. We are tying up with electronic payment companies and are educating dealers to encourage this mode of payment,” said Ayyappan K Swamy, head of marketing and franchisee operations of Monginis.

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cover story

Expert view

Moving from ‘cash only’ to ‘cash & card’ in Agri and Food Markets

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rom the mandi to the neighbourhood grocer, all agricultural and food markets are at a standstill. Demonetisation has vacuumed liquidity from this virtually cash-only economy that provides livelihood to half the population. Prices have crashed and fresh produce lies rotting. The situation indeed appears dire. Business is forecast to revive only after people in 7,500-plus mandis and 600,000 villages are re-stocked with new currency. At the same time, to say that farmers refuse to accept cheque payment is a myth. Small dairy farmers in Andhra Pradesh accept cheques. Sugarcane farmers accept cheques from sugar factories. Moong farmers are accepting cheques from government procurement agencies. Apple farmers accept cheques from large buyers. Potato contract farmers accept cheques from food companies. Maize farmers in Nabrangpur, Odisha's poorest district, and coconut farmers in Karnataka took cheques from state agencies. The list is growing. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which have adopted the Rashtriya eMarketServicesrun Unified Markets Platform, produce worth Rs 39,000 crore has been sold with cheque payment in the last four years. The 250 mandis in 10 states that have adopted the electronic National Agricultural Market (eNAM) platform for sale of primary produce are designed for cheque payment. So far, 1.60 lakh farmers, 46,000 traders and 26,000 commission agents

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have been registered on the e-NAM platform. Direct benefit transfer for seeds has been a success even among the small and marginal farmers of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, of the seven crore Kisan Credit Cards issued in India, more than one crore are ATM-enabled debit cards. Farmers accept insurance and disaster relief cheques. So to portray the farmer as a Luddite is both unfair and untrue. What's more, marketing practices are changing in several crops, especially oilseeds, maize and certain spices. Farmers now have the option to store their produce in modern warehouses for a market-driven rent and take a bank loan against them. So even if the mandis stay shut until the cash shortage recedes, the farmer can still borrow against his commodity. It is true that the small and marginal farmers who sell off their produce in the village itself are hurt by the demonetisation. Similarly, value chains with minimal processing and direct

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

consumer sales such as fruits and vegetables are hit. Most fresh produce is sold by small hawkers and vegetable mongers in the streets of India. Since they take payment in cash and buy their wares from the mandi in cash, business is down. These are symptoms of the crying need for reform. The millers and processors who have raw material in their godown to last twothree weeks are in no panic. In any case, business in the mandis has to pick up soon. Food is not a discretionary expenditure. The pent-up retail consumer demand will eventually pull up prices sufficiently high to lure traders and re-start the market engines. Visible difference will come if the government uses demonetisation to persuade two intermediaries in the value chain — the trader and the village shopkeeper — to adopt electronic payments. All the APMC markets are regulated by state governments and used by the larger traders. They should be made cash-free.

To convince agri-input and other merchants, the government should make it easier and cheaper for them to adopt card payment and mobile wallets on a trial basis. Shopkeepers should be educated about how they can expand business by moving from "cash only" to "cash and card" because it attracts more customers. Those customers also spend more because they are not hampered by lack of cash. Once village retailers accept digital payments, rural customers will follow. It doesn't end there. Good customer experience is the key to adoption. The biggest argument in favour of cash is its convenience. You don't need literacy or tech savvy to use cash. Or travel miles to use an ATM. So the push for adoption of digital payments has to begin with easy documentation, quick and hassle-free KYC norms to incentivise utilisation of financial services in rural areas. Usage charges should be low and competitive so that farmers don't find them prohibitively expensive. Electronic payment points should be available at walking distance. Users should find apps easy to use and in their local language. They should quickly receive delivery, be assured of complete back-end security and have plenty of choice. The entry of payment banks will hopefully ease some of these pain points. Once the agricultural value chain adopts electronic payments and cleans up its books to align itself with the financial supply chain, benefits will follow.


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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017


AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2016 2017

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wheat imports

Duty-free wheat import decision An embarrassment to farm ministry Farmers’ Unions dub the move as ‘anti-farmer’

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he Centre’s decision to allow dutyfree wheat imports, on grounds of falling stocks and rising prices of wheat, even as Rabi sowing is in progress, has embarrassed many senior officials in the Union Agriculture Ministry. The Ministry has been consistently maintaining that India had produced a bumper wheat crop in 2015-16, estimating the output at 93.50 million tonnes (mt), up from 86.53 mt in 2014-15. This was despite government agencies procuring only 22.96 mt of wheat in the last rabi marketing season (April-June), as against 28.08 mt from the previous year’s crop. “We have no role in the decision (to permit zero duty imports). The Consumer Affairs and Food, Commerce and Finance ministries are the ones that have pushed for it, saying this was necessary because of domestic prices are flaring up”, a senior Agriculture Ministry official is reported to have said. The Agriculture Ministry’s higher production estimates — disputed by the private trade, which pegged it much lower at 80-85 mt in a drought year, aggravated by high temperatures and no winter rain — had led the Centre to raise the import duty on wheat from 10 to 25 per cent. The enhanced duty was first made applicable until March 31, 2016 and then extended up to June 30.

CBEC notifications On June 17, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued a notification continuing with the 25 per cent duty “beyond 30.06.2016 and without an end date”. But in the last couple of months, the dominant view within the Centre does not seem to subscribe to the Agriculture Ministry’s assessment of wheat crop availability. On September 23, the import duty was suddenly slashed to 10 per cent, to be effective until February 29, 2017 (the new crop’s arrivals start in March). In the latest CBEC notification, dated December 8, imports have been made totally duty-free — and that, too, “without an end date”. This decision has come even as the Agriculture Ministry has reported higher wheat sowings this year, on the back of improved soil and subsoil moisture conditions from good monsoon rains and the timely onset of winter conducive to germination. Consumer Affairs dept. data According to Department of Consumer Affairs data, wheat was selling in the second week of December at Rs 24 per kg in Delhi, up Rs 4 from this time three months ago. This has been linked mainly to the Food Corporation of India’s precarious stocks position. The stocks, at 16.50 mt as on December 1, were not only just below the 26.88 mt level a year back,

Farm experts point out that allowing duty-free imports of wheat in the middle of the sowing season, especially when farmers need to be incentivised to produce more of the crop that’s in short supply, isn’t an economically prudent decision... But given the prevailing situation, the government was probably left with no choice.

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but also the lowest for this date since 2007. “Our focus is production and farmers. The other ministries, especially Consumer Affairs and Food, are more concerned about rising market prices. They feel imports are required, especially given low government wheat stocks that may encourage hoarding and speculation”, an agriculture ministry official said. Farmers demand 40 per cent duty Farmer associations have raised a volley of protests against the latest decision, saying it would lead to distress sale of wheat during harvest. Members of the farmers’ body, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) have demanded that the decision to scrap import duty on wheat should be revoked immediately. Instead, a 40 per cent cess should be imposed on imports to prevent distress sale during harvest, they suggest. BKU has members drawn from the Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Outer Delhi BKU has said it has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for imposition of 40 per cent import duty on wheat. ”We want the PMO to call representatives of all the ministries and departments that deal with farmer issues and hold a meeting with farmers so that we can discuss our concerns,” said BKU leader Rakesh Tikait “The decision taken at a time when many farmers have more or less completed sowing is cruel and antipeoples and will lead to distress sale during harvest,” said Ajmer Singh, state president of BKU-Punjab. Wheat farmers maintain there was actually no shortage of wheat in the domestic market and the scarcity was artificially created by hoarders. “Farmers have sold their wheat for


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as less as Rs. 1200 per quintal to private buyers and it is now selling much higher in the open market. The price has shot up due to hoarding, which is what should be targeted by the government”, said Yudhvir Singh, National General Secretary of BKU. Other farmers’ unions are equally vehement in their criticism. They fear that farmers’ income will be affected by the Centre’s decision. The decision is all the more unfortunate, they feel, at a time when the farming community is facing trouble meeting consumption needs due to cash crunch following demonetisation. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) said government agencies had failed to procure wheat at the minimum support price (MSP), and without an adequate number of open purchasing centres, farmers are forced to sell their crop at lower prices. “The decision of scrapping the import duty ahead of the winter wheat crop is aimed at helping agri-businesses by dumping wheat from foreign countries in India,” AIKS president Amra Ram said. He said that big players in the wheat flour market had been demanding withdrawal of the duty, and this move was to suit their interests. Nirbhay Singh, leader of the Kirti Kisan Union in Punjab, said, “With easing norms for wheat imports, the government has taken a detrimental step towards farmers’ interest. We have seen it in every season that though the government promises to buy crop at the MSP, yet farmers sell their produce in distress at a lower price for various reasons.” “The government has been saying that wheat sowing has not been impacted by demonetisation and the area of cultivation has increased. If the area has actually increased, and there are no other indications that wheat production will be down in the ongoing

season, then why is the government allowing import of duty-free wheat?” asks Ajay Jakhar, chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj. Industry’s import estimate According to industry estimates, India has imported around 2.1 million tonnes of wheat since April. PS Nathan, a commodity broker from Chennai, said 6.5 lakh tonnes of wheat, contracted at $215240 a tonne is expected to arrive at Indian ports by February 2017. Further, another 6 lakh tonnes of wheat, contracted at $197-212 a tonne from Ukraine and Russia is due to arrive at the ports in the same time period, he said. Not economically prudent: Experts Farm experts point out that allowing duty-free imports of wheat in the middle of the sowing season, especially when farmers need to be incentivised to produce more of the crop that’s in short supply, isn’t an economically prudent decision. Nor is it politically the most expedient, when the country’s two largest wheat-producing states — Uttar Pradesh and Punjab — are headed for assembly polls early next year. But given the prevailing situation, the government was probably left with no choice. Wheat stocks in the central pool have already depleted to nine-year lows. The new marketing season, beginning April, is likely to see reserves plunge below minimum buffer norms. With farmers short on cash following demonetization, production prospects for the wheat currently being sown seem uncertain. Based on meteorological forecasts, there have been warnings about production loss if temperature rises in crucial February-March period. But one thing is clear: The Agriculture Ministry needs to improve its crop estimation machinery and market intelligence systems.

Agri Secretary says Duty-free wheat import will not impact farmers

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he ongoing wheat sowing will not be affected due to duty-free import of the grain as the state-run FCI will procure it at MSP and protect farmers' interest, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said. "The decision (to scrap wheat import duty) has been taken by the government taking into account the entire situation prevailing in the country. It will not impact sowing. It will not affect farmers as wheat is normally purchased by the Food Corporation of India (FCI)," said Pattanayak. The Food Ministry has informed that farmers' interest will be taken care. "Whatever wheat is available, it will be procured by the FCI." FCI had procured about 23 million tonnes of wheat in 201516 and 28 million tonnes in the previous year, the secretary said. Asked if the Agriculture Ministry had opposed the decision to allow duty-free wheat import, he said, evading the question, “Please ask the minister because he is the highest authority who decides. It is not our decision."

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street food

Cusines Galore at National Street Food Festival in Delhi

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tarting with a diverse range of paans from Benaras, and vada pao and pav bhaji from Mumbai to idiyappam from Chennai and different flavours of tea from Assam, the three-day National Street Food Festival, held in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital, tried to incorporate a wide palate of cuisines from across the country. Mutton rogan josh, chicken yakhni and kahwa were the highlights of Shabbir Ahmad’s stall. The resident of Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district is the owner of a food stall in Srinagar for over 12 years now. “I’ve been part of this event for two consecutive years. This fest is a great platform for vendors like me to interact with people from so many regions. We even share recipes and spices among each other,” he smiled. The opening day witnessed guests like Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who felicitated the vendors for successful completion of the orientation programme and skill test in hospitality services. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, a regular at this fest, focused on the need for collective

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responsibility for ascertaining food safety and raising the standards of Indian street food. A very tech-savvy vendor Jitender Singh, a very techsavvy vendor representing Rajasthan who greeted all customers with a cheerful “Ram Ram Saa”, said: “The National Association of Street Vendors of India [NASVI] has been providing a chance to small-scale vendors like me to discover new varieties of Indian cuisines. The training workshops on hygiene and food safety taught us several methods to stay clean and serve healthy food.” Jitender even shared pictures of dal baati churma and pyaaz kachori on WhatsApp while serving them to customers. The coupon counters accepted cash payment as

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

well as Paytm transactions to avoid hassles. Visitors were expecting POS machines too, but there was no such provision. Apart from food stalls, a kids zone for the little ones was also set up. The day ended with a musical performance by Indian Ocean. Impressive arrangements A set of litti chokha sellers from Boring Canal Road in Patna were first-time attendees at the event. “I’m really impressed with the atmosphere here. The training session was a major learning experience for me. Implementing these methods and ensuring similar hygiene standards may even boost sales at my shop,” said Krishna while serving littis to the customers. Although he appreciated

the venture, he did not seem too confident about using e-wallet transactions at his own shop. Debjit Banerjee, a Delhi University student said: “Apart from serving hygienic food, most vendors were quite welcoming. Watching Indian Ocean perform live while relishing the food was amazing. My personal favourites were the fish cutlet and litti chokha stalls. The chicken seekh kebabs were divine as well. Although the pricing was a little on the higher side, it was worth it.” Pratibha Das, a food vendor from Odisha selling a variety of pithas, said: “The festival began as a one-day event, which now takes place over three days. This explains the popularity and positive response. I have often run out of food supplies owing to huge crowds in the previous years.” She said she prefers serving the food in bowls made of leaves rather than paper plates. “I’ve been here only for a short while, but I already like the aroma of the food, the arrangements and the ambience. Although this is my first time at the festival, I have been a regular visitor at other food festivals across the city,” said Khushi, another student attending the event.


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event report

Deals worth AED3.8 billion signed as SIAL 2016 concludes

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he seventh annual SIAL Middle East exhibition, the fastest growing event for the region’s food, drink and hospitality sectors, concluded on 7th December at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with a record number of visitors and deals worth billions of dirhams. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and inaugurated by HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Head of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Social Development, the three-day showcase witnessed a string of major onsite announcements. Major-General Staff Pilot Ishaq Al Balushi, Head of the Supply Department of the General Command of the Armed Forces signed contracts worth AED763 million with the Army Officers Club, Abu Dhabi National Hotel Company Middle East, Al Wasita for Catering, Emirates Hospitality Centre, Kelvin catering

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services, Army Forces Coop Association and FOODCO. Jennan Investments signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sudanese Finance Ministry to establish the biggest date palm farm in the world, with a total of 221 million trees to be planted in Sudan over a 13 year period. Abu Dhabi Health Authority signed a contract with Etihad to introduce healthier, Weqaya-approved meal options to its staff restaurants. The Weqaya logo is the official mark of healthy eating in Abu Dhabi and is only permitted on foods and in food outlets that meet strict requirements on preparation and ingredients.

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SIAL 2016 which is organised in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), Thamer Al Qasemi, Chairman of the organising committee for SIAL 2016 said: “SIAL has witnessed unprecedented growth during the last seven years, in 2010 we had eight national pavilions, 7,200 visitors and floor space of 4426 square metres. Now, visitors have grown to over 22,000, we have 30 national pavilions and floor space has more than trebled to 14,220 square metres, underscoring the appetite and strategic importance of the event. Show content is evolving to provide a broad overview of food trends

and innovation and further highlighting the importance of the event. “The success of this event, now one of the biggest food and beverage showcases in the region, is attributed to the support of the Abu Dhabi Government and the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which has been instrumental in developing the show to the record numbers we have seen this year.” Out of over 150 entries, the SIAL Innovation World Champions awards’ showcase was won by Northern Irish food producer Mash Direct for its Crispy Vegetable Bakes. The Silver Award was presented to Al Ain Diary for their Breakfast Milk while Icelandic food company, Complete Global International Apoly Trade., was awarded the Bronze prize for their Vikingur food supplement. Rounding out the show floor events, and organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild of Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the World Association of Chefs' Societies, La Cuisine featured over 1000 professional chefs competing in a variety of culinary


event report

competitions, including the Alen Thong Golden Coffee Pot, Young Chefs Challenge, launched in memory of one of the Emirates Culinary Guild’s founding fathers. The winning culinary team will be announced this evening (Wednesday 7th) at the La Cuisine prize giving ceremony at the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Commenting on SIAL’s expanding role in the region’s food and beverage industry, Fadi Saad, SIAL Managing Director, SIAL Middle East, said: “Innovation in the food industry is not only

trending around the globe, it is accelerating thanks to the digital environment we all live in and it is an aspect that we have been keen to

showcase.” SIAL is organised in cooperation with Strategic Partner, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and

supported by Abu Dhabi Chamber as Host Sponsor and in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Food Festival. Al Dahra Agriculture is headline sponsor with Jenaan Investments the Diamond Sponsor and Emirates Food Industries Gold Sponsor. Emirates International Group for Food and Agriculture and Al Rawabi were Silver Sponsors; Mawasim and Agthia were Bronze Sponsors; LuLu was the official Retail Partner; Etihad Airways was the Official Airline; and Emirates Culinary Guild and World Association of Chefs were Culinary Partners.

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product launch

The Perfect Red Velvet Cake Is Here..!!

Pristine introduces an All Natural, Organic Red Velvet Cake mix for the first time

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ed velvet cake was not born red. The color may seem important today, but recipes dating back to the late 1800s for Velvet Cake make no mention of the color red. Velvet was a reference to the fine crumb texture then but with an artificial red coloring agent. How to source an all natural, easy to make, no artificial dye recipe for a perfect red velvet cake has been on the minds of bakers alike. Artificial food coloring has always been linked to ADHD, thyroid cancer, chromosomal damage, asthma, migraines, and a variety of other symptoms. Pristine, the Bakery Specialist will be the first to introduce an exclusive Super Veg Red Velvet Cake Mix in the Indian market. Pristine uses naturally made red color which has no disadvantages on health. This natural beetroot colour is permitted by FSSAI regulations. Pristine takes advantage of the incredibly healthy properties of a beetroot and makes the product beneficial for the consumers. Super Veg Red Velvet Cake mix by Pristine is 100% natural which is made from beetroot extracts. The premium ingredients used in this cake mix gives you an outstanding free flowing batter. This results in a sponge which has great volume and a delicious taste and flavour.

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Premix results into a soft and moist cake with a rich texture. It has excellent shortbite with a good mouth feel. A red velvet cake mix is a perfect base for bakers to work on & create infinite masterpieces. ‘Pristine’, the Bakery Specialist, strives to create niche and premium products for Bakery customers at its latest R&D and Manufacturing unit at IFPL (Indagro Foods Pvt Ltd), Kalwa Factory, near Thane. Indagro Foods Pvt Ltd is a part of the Allana group of companies. The Group has over 30 years of international experience in the bakery industry with presence in more than 60 countries. Maloy Chakravorthy, GM, Sales & Marketing quotes, “Pristine has been creating consumer awareness in the market for the natural v/s artificial color trend. At the onset of the festive season where the demand for the Red Velvet

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

Cake is higher amongst QSR, Artisans and others, we are introducing an exclusive organic, natural colored Super Veg Red Velvet Cake mix and intend to give the consumers a healthier option”. The Allana group through FAPL (Frigorifico Allana Pvt Ltd.) and Indagro Foods Pvt Ltd.is one of the fastest growing food conglomerates in India. At present, FAPL and IFPL cater to the needs of end consumers and industries through strong presence across food categories like Edible oils& fats, Premium ice creams & Bakery ingredients. FAPL‘s strong R&D foundation and experience over three decades in the Oils & Fats business across the world helps it to deliver world class products that offer significant value to both consumers and Industrial customers. These products are manufactured out of its State of the art facility set up at Khopoli in 2013 In 2012, IFPL put up a world class bakery ingredient plant near Thane to manufacture Pristine, an International range of superior quality bakery premixes. The aim of Pristine is to help artisanal and Industrial bakeries to bake better. Pristine has a wide range of world class products across both Bakery Mixes and Bakery Fats.


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event report

Trade Fair for Fresh Goods Sets New Standards

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new year and a new record - WOP DUBAI seems to follow this motto. The most important trade fair for the fresh goods in the Middle East was once more able to achieve substantial growth and, for the first time, filled three halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre. That corresponded to an increase of 18 percent. Here, exhibitors and trade visitors found the ideal setting for promising business deals. In total, 24 countries participated in the most important trade fair for horticulture by the Arabian Gulf. And at 3,890, the number of visitors also registered a handsome plus of eleven percent. Great Need for Horticultural Products It is not surprising that not only the number of exhibitors in general but also the number of official national participation booths increased. In addition to China, Egypt, Germany, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the USA, Costa Rica and India were involved for the first time. Not only the exhibition areas but also an exclusive supporting programme awaited the visitors. One day before the opening of the fair, a horticultural tour supplied insights

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into the local horticultural industry. In cooperation with the German company association called Representation of interests of the German horticulture industry (INDEGA), there were seminars on the subject of horticultural technology. Moreover, lectures about garden and landscaping were delivered. The "Middle East Floral Designer of the Year 2016" was chosen, too. Kimuel S. Villanueva from the Fullfillment & Logistics Center was able to prevail over 33 other participants in the renowned competition on the subject of wedding floristry.

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WOP DUBAI: Trade Fair for Fresh Goods Sets New Standards The only trade fair for fresh goods in the Gulf region enticed 235 exhibitors from 30 countries, for the first time companies from Argentina, Vietnam and Malaysia, too. This was 15 percent more than in the previous year. At 6,055, the number of visitors registered a plus of 23 percent. Thus, WOP DUBAI 2016 was the largest ever. The number of official national participation booths rose to 15. Greece, India and South Africa were also involved for the first time and Greece had most participants. The

other represented national pavilions came from Australia, Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. A high quality of fruit and vegetables is greatly appreciated in the United Arab Emirates. The Gulf region is therefore a significant market for the fruit and vegetable industry. In this respect, Dubai is used as a hub because over 40 percent of all the imported fresh goods are re-exported to the other Gulf states. This year, WOP DUBAI also focused on new technologies and equipment for the producers of fresh goods, including transport trolleys for the fruit and vegetable market and air freight containers for fresh goods. In the supporting programme, the Eurofruit Middle East Business Forum supplied specialist information for the visitors. The Dubai Municipality, operator of the largest fruit and vegetable market in the region, again provided partnership-based support for the fair. IPM DUBAI and WOP DUBAI Next time, the successful fair duo which is organised by Messe Essen and planetfair Dubai LLC will take place in the Dubai World Trade Centre in the


event report

Exhibitors' Opinions WOP DUBAI Michalis Xekarfotakis, President, NESPAR Agricultural Cooperatives, Greece: "Coming here with a national pavilion was certainly the right decision. We were able to meet up and network with a lot of important protagonists from the local market. WOP DUBAI has helped us to improve our understanding of the local market and given us the possibility of extending our business. The geographical location, the culture and the people's appreciation of quality fruits are making the Middle East a very important market for Greek imports. We will definitely come again next year."

Massimo Roversi, Sales Manager for North Africa and Middle East, Sorma Group S.P.A., Italy: "We are very satisfied with the fair. The market for packaging is growing in the Middle East. Supermarkets and retailers are investing more in the packaging equipment. At WOP DUBAI, we received inquiries from big supermarket chains from Dubai and Qatar. WOP DUBAI is the only fair in the Middle East to concentrate on fruit and vegetables. For us, this is the right place in order to offer our packaging solutions for fresh products."

Keith Packer, Managing Director, Aircoolbox, United Kingdom: "We are proud to have taken part in WOP DUBAI for the first time in order to present Aircoolbox in a region in which the temperatures may be very high. This may be a problem for perishable goods. This is the right place in order to introduce our products and to highlight to fruit and vegetable producers one possibility for supplies to or via Dubai with which they do not have to think about the goods perishing."

autumn of 2017. IPM DUBAI shows the entire value added chain in horticulture and is the most important trade fair for the green economic sector by the Arabian Gulf. It focuses on products and services from the sections entitled Plants, Technology, Floristry, Garden Features, Logistics, Plant Maintenance as well as Garden and Landscaping. In the entire Middle East region, WOP DUBAI World of Perishables is the only platform for fruit and vegetables, goods security, technical equipment, transport, trading and service for temperaturesensitive goods. Both fairs complement each other in an optimum way and offer a high value added to the visitors.

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products & technologies

John Bean Technologeis (Thailand) Ltd.

Aids Customers who Innovate for Growth Thailand is a country in which JBT has a long history of investment and customer engagement. Thai food producers will continue to support increased local demand as well as regional export demand in Asia-Pacific and Europe. As our customers innovate for growth JBT will be there with them to deploy our capabilities in support of those ambitions. Mr. Marshall Coleman, Vice President & General Manager, JBT Asia Pacific

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he greatest challenge of food manufacturers continues to be earning their consumer’s trust. Two ways to earn that trust are by helping our customers develop the highest quality foods and that are both delicious and safe. JBT continues to build the most versatile and hygienic food preparation equipment in the industry. As our customers innovate for growth through product development they can partner with JBT to develop preparation lines that are reliable and support our customer’s aims. We recently opened our Kunshan Innovation Center in China as our newest tool to help our customer develop and test new products.

is tremendous growth in traditional products. Convenience foods are also becoming a higher priority. The food must be easy to prepare and delicious for the family. In Thailand, ready meal chicken dinners continue to outpace the market. Seafood markets continue to grow in India and Southeast Asia. In Australia and New Zealand we are beginning to automate the portioning of beef and lamb in order in support of expanding case ready options that customers are demanding. Japan, Korea and the Philippines continue

SPECIFIC TO THE CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS Every country has customer preferences. For example, in China, there

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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

to see tremendous growth in convenience market products that are healthy and tasty. Wherever our customers are adapting to local tastes and purchase preferences JBT is close by to partner with them in the development of outstanding food products. Our commercial teams are positioned in country so that they understand the local tastes and priorities better. In this way we can better engage with our customers throughout the product development cycle. It’s been a winning strategy for consumers, for our customers and, therefore, for us. AUTOMATION AND LABOR COST REDUCTION BRING THE STATE-OFTHE-ART TECHNOLOGY FROM JBT TO FOOD INDUSTRY To better address increased demand for fresh, high quality products JBT has introduced two great technologies. The JBT-Stork aseptic filler is the perfect solution for bottling of “fresh” ready to drink beverages. This capability enables our customers to

produce premium dairy and juice options for their customers. This market continues to expand across Asia as consumers seek healthier and more delicious options on the go. Additionally, as the many wonderful people throughout Asia rise in terms of income they continue to demand delicious, high quality proteins. Chicken continues to be the most affordable and versatile protein in the market. JBT’s DSITM Water Jet Portioning System, is allowing our customers to create premium portion controlled leg steaks and breast cutlets. A single unit typically results in significant labor savings, more consistent product quality and portioned yield versus hand trimming. Lastly, in order to help our customer further automate many of their production and warehousing functions we are bringing our industry leading Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) technology to the Asia-Pacific region. Some of the applications seeing great success are delivery of production materials to work station in automotive manufacturing and assembly, automation of traditional warehouse fork truck operations, and even delivery of cooked meals to patients in hospitals. We believe these and other applications will continue to grow as automation capability is able to handle ever more challenging responsibilities.


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products & technologies

SORTEX F – the most hygienic optical sorter for the frozen fruit and vegetable industry

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crutiny of hygienic processing practices in the frozen fruit and vegetable sector has intensified, following several high-profile food contamination outbreaks. Bühler, a global leader in optical sorting technology for the removal of foreign material (FM) contamination, has addressed this by developing the most hygienic optical sorter available today, to help reduce the risk of microbial contamination. For food processors, it has never been more important to have state-of-the-art hygienic equipment to help meet the most stringent food safety specifications. The SORTEX F optical sorter, with its innovative open access, for quick, easy and thorough cleaning, has been designed to prevent the build up of pathogenic bacteria that can induce food-borne diseases such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Norovirus. As part of its research to understand the root causes of contamination, Bühler experts undertook extensive analysis of food safety risks, based on recalls in Europe and the USA. In most cases, they found that the problem could be traced back to the accumulation of food in certain locations within the machinery, particularly hollows, crevices and other

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areas with poor accessibility for cleaning. Bühler product manager, Stephen Jacobs, explains: “The past couple of years in particular have seen some very high profile cases of product contamination. For instance, earlier this year there was a major listeria outbreak in the United States[1] that was traced back to a frozen fruit and vegetable processing plant. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report said inspectors found chipped and cracked plastic on parts of the plant equipment, which also did not allow for proper cleaning and maintenance. “Thorough and regular cleaning of food processing facilities and equipment is the cornerstone of good manufacturing practice and one of the key pre-requisites for maintaining hygiene

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standards. To ensure that the SORTEX F meets the highest possible hygiene specifications, Bühler’s food hygiene team has worked closely with institutions such as EHEDG and Campden BRI. This included the testing of machine materials for long-term robustness and its design for trouble-free cleaning and maintenance.” The SORTEX F features a pioneering retractable chute that can be repositioned to allow operators to physically step inside and access internal a reas of the machine. Sloped surfaces ensure that all product residue runs off, eliminating the risk of product build up. The finish of all metal surfaces complies with the recommended requirement for safe food contact and all polymer materials are resistant to high pressure washer jets and compliant to

FDA regulations. Attention has been paid to the smallest details, such as the use of spacer brackets, to create access for cleaning between components, where bacteria could otherwise harbour undetected. The resulting machine is an unrivalled convergence of innovations, to improve hygiene standards in the food industry. Well designed hygienic equipment such as the SORTEX F also brings tangible benefits for food manufacturers and processors. Not only does it reduce the risk of contamination - and, thereby, minimise the possibility of costly product recall - it also increases productivity, as less water, chemicals, time and people are needed for cleaning. Unquestionably, product changeover is shorter due to faster cleaning and so too is inspection and maintenance, due to good accessibility and easy dismantling. Adds Jacobs “Overall, hygienic design contributes to more consistent product quality with less out-ofspec products, lower risk of spoilage, a better shelf life and thus less waste. By helping to reduce the risk of contamination, whether FM or bacterial, we are making food safer and, ultimately, saving food.”


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expert view

Centre may impose non-tariff import barrier on pulses – G CHANDRASHEKHAR

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mport of pulses is set for serious dislocation if recent development in the matter of fumigation of imported pulses is anything to go by. To avoid infestation and prevent entry of exotic pests and diseases into the country, Indian plant quarantine rules require that imported pulses are fumigated with methyl bromide at the port of loading and a certificate to that effect accompanies the imported consignment as part of documentation. This rule, issued years ago, was not implemented because India was desperately seeking imports. Methyl bromide is a powerful fumigant and shows results in about 24 hours. However, in many countries, including Europe and North America, methyl bromide has been a banned pesticide for many years. Obviously, these countries will be in no position to use the fumigant as demanded by India. Because India had to depend on pulses import to meet its supply shortfall, Canada, the US and France were granted a special facility as a result of which cargo from these origins was allowed to be imported without the methyl bromide

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fumigation certificate; but the Indian importer had to undertake such fumigation here at the port of discharge after paying specified fees. In course of time, the facility was extended to other countries, too. However, it was not a one-time exemption, but notified and extended from time to time (with six-month intervals) causing anxiety among exporters and importers. This twelve-yearlong tentative yet cozy arrangement of doing business is set to change. Officials at the Directorate of Plant Protection and Quarantine (PQ) have gone around the country to meet groups of importers, dal mills and traders and informed them that clearance will not be granted from early 2017 unless the fumigation condition (of treating with methyl bromide at the port of loading) is fulfilled. In other words, the fumigation rule is now sought to be enforced. Alternatively, the PQ authorities have reportedly said, the exporting countries must write to the Indian authorities seeking and justifying exemption from the rule. There has been no official communication from PQ

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authorities about enforcement of the rule, but they held several meetings with traders to drive home the point. There is reason to believe that the Indian authorities want to use the ‘request for exemption’ from overseas suppliers as a bargaining chip to extract similar concessions for Indian goods that may be facing non-tariff barriers in those countries; and therefore the threat to enforce the PQ rule for pulses. This development has the potential to throw Indian traders’ import plans into disarray. The fumigation exemption facility for Canada, USA and France is set to expire on March 31, 2017 and for others by the end of this month.

Overseas suppliers and promotional agencies are rather upset with the sudden turn of events as enforcement of the PQ rule can potentially impact the smooth flow of imports in the coming months. There is hectic lobbying already on to resolve the issue; but there are uncertainties as of now and the situation is fraught with possibilities. To be sure, despite being the world’s largest producer, India still needs to import substantial quantities to meet its growing consumption demand and rein in high prices of pulses. The writer is a global agri-business and commodities specialist. Views are personal.


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gastronomy

Kebab and Korma topped by ‘Kurmura’ – Vidya Balachander

Lucknow is justly renowned for its princely fare, but its street food in the lanes of Aminabad, Hazratganj and Chowk is as unique

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n an October afternoon, vehicles honked as they tried—unsuccessfully—to escape the gridlock that had formed in Aminabad, a busy marketplace in the heart of Lucknow. Exposed cables hung low on streets whose pavements had been claimed by construction debris, and pedestrians darted between oncoming cars and autos. Yet, the chaos barely made a dent on the impassive demeanour of the man sitting in front of a large griddle at Tunday Kababi, arguably Lucknow’s most famous purveyor of galouti kebabs. With an almost meditative ease, he deftly portioned out

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roundels of minced meat, and tossed them on the griddle with a casual flick of the wrist. A generous shower of oil followed, and after a quick sear on both sides, the flattened kebabs made their way into takeaway mithai boxes and to the diners awaiting them inside. Settling down inside the restaurant that pays minimal heed to ambience, I tore a piece of orange-hued sheermal and scooped up a bit of the kebab. Fabled to have been created for the enjoyment of a toothless king, galouti kebabs are distinguished by their smooth, almost velvety, texture. But Tunday’s version redefined

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my expectations. Aromatic, rich and as yielding as pâté, the galouti quite literally dissolved in the mouth. In savouring the silken texture of these unassuming and distinctly unphotogenic kebabs, I became acquainted with the nafasat or sophistication—in cuisine and culture—that Lucknow has always been famous for. Like every Indian city with metropolitan ambitions, Lucknow is expanding rapidly and gentrifying even faster. Driving in from the airport, the city’s suburbs resemble a time-lapse sequence with towering skyscrapers seemingly sprouting everywhere. Yet, over the course of my trip, I also had a

cherished encounter with the Old City—Lucknow’s cultural heart. It’s here that the genteel influence of the Mughal era lingers on, as much in the architectural grandeur of centuries-old monuments as in the delicacy of the longgrained Lucknowi biryani. A biryani that is seasoned so minimally that it is often considered a pulao, Lucknow’s version of the beloved dish is a testament to the gastronomic prowess of the erstwhile kingdom of Awadh. Despite not being a biryani fiend, I found myself returning for helpings of mutton biryani from Idris Ki Biryani, which enjoys a formidable reputation for its signature dish. Slender grains


gastronomy

of basmati held their own against chunks of fork-tender meat; the tanginess of the marinade offset by the deep earthiness of cinnamon and kewra (screw-pine essence). Although the rice and meat had been cooked individually in this pakki biryani (unlike a kacchi biryani, in which uncooked rice and meat are layered together and cooked slowly), the process of dum cooking over slowburning tamarind embers had rendered them into a fragrant and cohesive whole. A masterclass in the skillful use of spices, Idris’ biryani was only a primer for the equallynuanced Awadhi dishes I would try later. As the capital of India’s fourth-largest state, modernday Lucknow boasts of several new attractions, including the Ambedkar Memorial Park, the vast, concrete park visualized by former chief minister Mayawati. Yet its most enduring landmarks are those constructed well over 150 years ago, such as the Bara

Imambara, a magnificent Shia shrine that is believed to have been built by 22,000 labourers over six years. The more intangible legacies of the city’s royal past are made accessible by tour agencies that offer offbeat experiences, such as cooking demonstrations at a former raja’s palace-turnedhome. Belonging to a prominent family of talukdars or landowners, Amresh Kumar Singh’s palace, known as Khajurgaon, boasts of sweeping, 30ft-high ceilings and chandeliers made of Belgian crystal. It was here

that his wife Abha introduced us to the family’s version of chicken korma, bone-in chicken cooked in a decadent gravy made of curd, cream, mawa (milk solids) and ghee, with almond paste, saffron and kewra for added richness. While the korma was expectedly luxurious, my pick of the elaborate dinner spread was a simple vegetarian dish of karela (bitter gourd), the bitterness of the vegetable mellowed in a sweet-andsour, tamarind-laced gravy. A down-to-earth dish laced with simple flavours, it tethered the slightly lofty evening to

reality. If the flavours of Awadh courted me with their timeless elegance, Lucknow’s street food surprised me with its sheer vibrancy. Walking deep through the heart of Aminabad, I was distracted by the sight of food everywhere, much of it unique to the city. I was transfixed by the sight of a vendor roasting kurmura (puffed rice) by tossing it together with hot sand in a large cast-iron wok. A few moments later, he added some soaked pigeon peas, and dried, cornflake-like chivda, and allowed them to roast on high heat for a few seconds, before taking all the ingredients out of the pan and mixing them with a smidgen of fiery red chilli chutney and a squeeze of lime. Called chana churmura, this north Indian equivalent of Mumbai’s sukha bhel was a carnival of textures. The peas acquired a toothsome creaminess, which together with the crunchy kurmura and chivda, created a spicy, near-perfect street snack. Courtesy: live mint

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fresh produce

The versatile and healthy cranberry Fresh, frozen, dried, sauce and juice, discover why chefs and mixologists around the world are heralding in the unrivaled versatility and great taste of America’s Original SuperfruitTM. Cranberries are the perfect addition to soups, salads, entrees, baked goods, nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages and desserts. Research also shows convincing evidence that the tiny cranberry provides big health benefits. Cranberry History America’s original superfruitTM, Native Americans used the cranberries as a staple as early as 1550. They are cranberries fresh, ground, or mashed with cornmeal and baked it into bread. They also mixed berries with wild game and melted fat to form pemmican, a survival ration for the winter months. Maple sugar or honey was used to sweeten the berry’s tangy flavor. By 1620 early settlers learned how to use cranberries from the Native Americans. There are several theories of how the berry was named. Germany and Dutch settlers named the berry “crane-berry” because it appeared to be the favorite food of cranes or the blossom resembles the head and neck of an English crane. Eventually “craneberry” was shortened to cranberry. Today cranberries are grown across the United States in Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island, as well as the leading production states of Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, where cranberries are a predominant crop. U.S. farmers produce more than three quarters of a billion pounds of

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cranberries per year from approximately 40,000 acres of bogs or marshes. The cranberry is now Wisconsin’s state fruit. Health Benefits of cranberries Cranberries, available in many convenient forms including dried cranberries, 100% cranberry juice, and cranberry sauce, are a wonderful way to add an antioxidant-rich fruit to your daily diet. • A serving of fresh cranberries is a good source of vitamin C and fiber; provides antioxidant polyphenols; and is low in sodium. • According to the largest USDA study of the antioxidant content of food, cranberries are among the top five foods with the highest antioxidant content per serving. The study included samples of more than 1,100 commonly consumed foods and beverages. It represents the largest ever systematic screening of antioxidants in food. • Research suggests that antioxidants from food are more beneficial for human health as compared to dietary supplements. • Cranberry products may reduce the incidence of stomach ulcers. The same way cranberries promote urinary tract health and oral health. • Cranberries are also being investigated as a way to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. • Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs) that have strong bacterial anti-adhesion properties. PACs interfere with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the cells that line the bladder wall. Instead of sticking to the bladder wall and causing an infection (and the subsequent pain), the bacteria get flushed out in the urine. • Researchers in Canada and Japan have been investigating the effects of cranberry extracts on bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. • Cranberry prevents bacterial adhesion to cells. Cranberry metabolites bind to bacterial hairs and thus block adhesion to cell receptors. • Cranberries provide Cardiovascular Benefits and improves Blood Flow.

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The Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) USA is focused on promoting the use and consumption of cranberries worldwide. The CMC was established as a Federal Marketing Order in 1962 to ensure a stable, orderly supply of good quality product. The Marketing Order has been amended several times since its inception to further the CMC’s ability to expand market development projects in domestic and international markets. Currently, CMC conducts generic promotion activities in the United States, China, India, Mexico, Pan-Europe and South Korea. www.uscranberries.com


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News Round-up China allows 14 Indian firms to export rice

beetles and were unfit for consumption, an allegation Indian authorities have denied. The Chinese finally agreed to inspect all 19 basmati rice-making companies in India registered with the NPPO in September. With this clearance, India can look to lower its trade deficit with China that has ballooned from $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to $52.7 billion in 2015-16.

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hina has agreed to import basmati rice from 14 companies in India, opening a new vista for the country’s rice exports. The companies include LT Foods, maker of the Dawat brand, KRBL, maker of the India Gate brand, and Kohinoor Foods. Five companies that wanted to export to China and were registered with the authority for phytosanitary certification, the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO), did not qualify and have been told to improve their quality before applying afresh. China is one of the world’s largest importers of rice, but it had so far not allowed imports of basmati rice. Chinese prefer low aroma and shorter grain rice from India. The Chinese had earlier claimed basmati rice consignments contained

Affordable pricing helps Burger King log Rs 141 crore in sales

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merican fast-food chain Burger King, in the first year of its India operations, has posted sales of Rs 141 crore and net loss of Rs 38 crore. In the 2015-16 fiscal, the company generated an average of Rs 3.1 crore from each of its 45 outlets opened till March. Rival McDonald’s posted average sales of Rs 3.6 crore from each outlet. Burger King, however, notched up higher numbers than Jubilant FoodWorks, where average sales per outlet was Rs 2.2 crore in the 2015-16 financial year. Jubilant FoodWorks' brands are Domino's Pizza and Dunkin' Donuts. Burger King entered India in November 2014 when most quick-service restaurants were struggling with falling sales. “India, for Burger King, has been one of the largest countries it entered in

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On the list “India used to export 4,000-5,000 tonnes of basmati rice annually to China through Hong Kong. After this clearance, the rice can directly be sold in China,” said Rajen Sundaresan, executive director, AllIndia Rice Exporters’ Association. India produces over 70 per cent of the world's basmati but this constitutes a mere six per cent of the rice grown in the country. Basmati made up for 57 per cent of India's rice exports in 2014-15. Basmati exports have increased from Rs 28.24 billion in 2004-05 to Rs 275.98 billion in 2014-15 and their share of India's exports from 0.6 per cent to 1.3 per cent. West Asian countries bought 75 per cent of Indian basmati exports in 2014-15.

recent times. The growth and finances are exactly as we planned,” said Rajeev Varma, CEO, Burger King India. “Our restaurant EBIDTA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation] is positive, which means we are making money,” he added. The fastfood chain expects to open enough restaurants in India in two to three years to cover overheads and infrastructure expenses and become profitable at company level. As of December 2016, Burger King India has 70 outlets in nine cities. It has partnered with Everstone Capital which holds a majority stake in the company through subsidiary F&B Asia Venture. It has lined up $100 million for expansion over the next few years and has been launching one new product every twoand-a half months. “Burger King came out with an affordable pricing which has worked

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for them,” said Abneesh Roy, associate director at Edelweiss. “One disadvantage is that McDonald’s has a larger footprint and can subsidise in terms of ad spends over a larger number of stores." Leading quick-service restaurants have seen consistent decline in same-store sales growth since the last two years with consumers cutting back on discretionary spending. In addition, the segment also saw the entry of global companies including Wendy’s and Johnny Rockets, offering customers a wider cuisine range. Hence, quick-service restaurants have been expanding menus and upping promotions to reverse stagnating growth. India’s food and beverages (F&B) industry is expected to expand at an average annual pace of 24% to reach $3.8 trillion in sales by the year ending March 2017. Fast food joints, which have the largest market share in F&B at 45%, will grow by 16.6% a year, indicates a report by consulting firm Grant Thornton India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, followed by casual dining (32% share), which is expanding 10.1% annually.


News Round-up Godrej Nature’s Basket to invest over Rs 100 cr to expand in West, South India

Avani Davda., MD, Godrej Nature's Basket

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odrej Nature’s Basket (GNB) plans to invest over Rs 100 crore for transforming and doubling its stores in West and South India. The 12-year-old retail company, which acquired grocery startup EkStop, hopes its omnichannel strategy will lead to profitability by 2020, by when

it would target a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore. Avani Davda, Managing Director, Godrej Nature’s Basket, said, “We would easily be spending more than Rs 100 crore for making investments in areas like supply chain, sourcing, people and technology since we have a strategic transformation strategy known as GNB Refresh 2020. There are plans to also double the number of stores by 2020 during which time we also should turn profitable in the retail business.’’ Godrej Nature’s Basket is a subsidiary of Godrej Industries and competes in gourmet retailing with formats like FoodHall (Future Group) and Gourmet West (Tata Group

Foodpanda acquired by online food takeaway service Delivery Hero

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erlin-based online food takeaway service Delivery Hero Holding GmbH has acquired online marketplace for food delivery foodpanda for an undisclosed amount. In exchange for all its shares in foodpanda, Rocket Internet SE received newly issued shares in Delivery Hero

increasing its stake in Delivery Hero to 37.7 per cent on a fully diluted basis, Rocket Internet said in a statement. “The transaction strengthens Delivery Hero’s global leadership position in online food ordering and delivery, with the combined group processing over 20 million orders per month across 47 countries,” it added. Both foodpanda and Delivery Hero are backed by Rocket Internet. Furthermore, the combination of the two key companies leads to

company, Trent). Rather than entering new markets in the North and East, the retail chain is expanding existing markets in the South and West with 70 stores planned by 2020. Its presence across the five metro markets will be enhanced, from the current strength of 35 stores across cities like Mumbai and Bangalore. In fact, in cities like Mumbai, despite the high cost of real estate, Nature’s Basket intends to expand to new localities in South Mumbai and even having a hub and spoke model with smaller stores in residential complexes. Besides, it will emphasise on its private labels like Healthy Alternatives and Nature’s Best. “We have five private labels which contribute about 15 per cent of our turnover and intend taking it up to 25 per cent by 2020. There are plans to have new categories like fresh

ground atta, grains and spices in our private labels going forward,’’ she added.

a significant reduction of complexity at group level for Rocket Internet, the statement said. “Commenting on the development, Rocket Internet CEO Oliver Samwer said: “The combination of foodpanda and Delivery Hero, one of our most important companies, further consolidates key markets resulting in significantly improved market positions.” Delivery Hero is also acquiring new markets with leading market positions

further broadening its geographic footprint, he added. “foodpanda has built a fantastic position and service offering in some of the largest food delivery markets globally,” Delivery Hero CEO Niklas tberg said. “I am delighted to join forces with Delivery Hero and be part of a global platform that will help us grow and with which we share a common vision,” foodpanda CEO Ralf Wenzel said on the development.

Organic growth Seeking organic growth, Nature’s Basket would be staying away from making any further acquisitions. “We have been growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent and expect to grow organically for the next couple of years. We will give our platform to new entrepreneurs and start-ups to expand our food portfolio than trying to acquire them,’’ she said. Before joining the Godrej Group, Avani Davda was the first CEO of Starbucks Tata joint venture company. With Starbucks planning to bring in its tea retail format under Teavana, Davda is also open to the idea of retailing the brand through the Nature’s Basket stores. “Nature’s Basket can always be a great platform for Teavana,’’ she added.

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News Round-up Paper Boat has wind in its sales, but losses rise

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aker of Paper Boat drinks, Hector Beverages more than doubled its sales during year to March 2016 but its losses increased almost four times at Rs 84 crore due to investments in manufacturing and higher marketing spends. The seven-year-old company posted sales of Rs 72 crore for 2015-16, up from Rs 32 crore in the previous year. Its net loss in 2014-15 was Rs 22.6 crore. "We were slightly over invested in our marketing. But looking at the increased turnover, I don't think it is an over investment," said Neeraj Biyani, chief operating officer at Hector Beverages. "Now, we will probably curtail it (marketing spends) further to turn profitable," he said. Last year, Hector Beverages spent about Rs 30 crore to set up its second manufacturing unit in Mysore to cater to southern and western markets.

Experts said it is difficult to minimise the gap between sales and losses in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space in the initial years. While Hector Beverages also sell energy drink Tzinga, Paper Boat brand of packaged juices and traditional drinks contribute to about 80% of its overall sales. Coca-Cola India leads the branded packaged juice category, pegged at Rs 13,150 crore by Euromonitor, with a share of 26% in 2015, led by Maaza and Minute Maid brands. Other major brands include Dabur's Real, Parle Agro's Frooti and PepsiCo's Slice and Tropicana. Hector Beverages is a niche player in

Food processing sector may attract existing rates under GST

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ood processing industry is unlikely to have any adverse impact in terms of taxation under the proposed GST regime as the sector will continue to be taxed at existing rates, a top Food Processing Ministry official said. The industry has demanded the sector be levied with minimum tax under the GST regime to fuel growth and attract investments, he said. Addressing an international conference on 'India Farm 2 Fork 2016', Special Secretary in the Food Processing

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Ministry J P Meena assured the industry that there will not be any adverse impact of GST regime on the sector. "The GST regime is unlikely to adversely affect this sector with higher taxation slabs, as the available indication suggests that it would continue to be taxed at existing rates even post GST," a statement issued by PHD Chamber quoted Meena as saying during the event. The government has reduced significantly the taxes, particularly excise on food processing industries from 10 per cent to 6 per cent, Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said.

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this segment with its focus on traditional Indian drinks. Its initial success is now attracting bigger players into the segment. Paper Boat’s competition include ITC's B Natural and Dabur's Hajmola Yoodley. "Dabur is multiple times bigger than Paper Boat. With them coming out with a similar product as Hajmola Yoodley, speaks volumes about Paper Boat," said Abneesh Roy, senior vice- president at Edelweiss Financial Services. "There is tough competition even from Parle or Pepsi, which are large players. They are competing for the same consumer wallet share directly or indirectly," he said. Hector Beverages has partnered Japanese food giant Indo Nissin Foods to strengthen its distribution and brand presence in tier II cities and rural markets. Backed by multiple investors such as Sequoia Capital and China's Hillhouse Capital, the company is now focused on reducing its dependence on summer by launching packaged Indian snacks to make sales round the year. Till now, it has raised about Rs 250 crore in funding.

In future, she said the government would take more initiatives to make this sector more vibrant and put on global map, she was quoted as saying in the statement. On post-harvest losses of agri-produce, Meena earlier said the government is evolving policies to boost food processing and reduce agri-wastage by 50 per cent in the next 5-6 years. He called upon the industry to manufacture quality processed foods which are accepted in global markets, besides asking the food safety regulator to streamline standards in this regard. He also shared that foriegn direct investment in the sector has been USD 500 per annum in the last three years and mega food parks are coming up in 42 locations.


News Round-up ‘Food, beverage firms need to improve nutritional quality of products in India’

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, and Inge Kauer, CEO, Access to Nutrition Foundation, at the launch of the Access To Nutrition-India Spotlight Index, in New Delhi

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ood and beverage manufacturers in India need to put in a lot of effort to improve the nutritional quality of their products to combat malnutrition in India, according to Access to Nutrition Foundation, which launched India Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index, based on an product analysis of the 10 key players in the

sector in India. As per a report by the Netherlands-based non-profit organisation: “Only 12 per cent of the beverages and 16 per cent of the foods sold by these companies were estimated to be of high nutritional quality in the product profile analysis.” Based on the total sales in 2014, the 10 food and beverage manufacturers selected for

assessment for the index included Amul (GCMMF), Britannia Industries, CocaCola India, Mondelez India, Mother Dairy, Nestle India, Parle Products, PepsiCo India, Ruchi Soya Industries and Hindustan Unilever. Inge Kauer, Executive Director, Access to Nutrition Foundation, said: “India faces the serious and escalating double burden of malnutrition, with a large undernourished population as well as growing numbers of overweight and obese people who are developing chronic diseases. Food and Beverage (F&B) manufacturers in India have the potential, and the responsibility, to be part of the solution to this double burden of malnutrition.” Selling healty products The study ranked Mother Dairy, Hindustan Unilever, Amul and Britannia Industries as the top four companies that sell the largest proportion of healthy products. The product profile score assessment was based on the nutritional quality of products weighed by retail sales. On the corporate profile score, which assesses the companies’ nutrition

commitments, practices and disclosure, Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever, PepsiCo India, and Mondelez India ranked among the top four. The report said while nine of these companies had made commitments to combat under-nutrition, most companies either did not produce or produce very few fortified packaged foods. Fortification standards Speaking at the launch of the index, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said the government was committed to address issues related to malnutrition and the regulator had recently come out with fortification standards for staples.“Fortification can be made mandatory in some areas but in many areas making it mandatory is not feasible,” he added. On a query regarding making companies more accountable for product labels, Agarwal said the regulator was examining Codex norms and the labelling norms were currently under revision, adding that the regulator would look at the best global practices.

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News Round-up Packaged food labels may soon carry details of salt, sugar content

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ood and beverage companies may have to compulsorily disclose additional information on the sugar, salt and sodium content of their packaged products, as part of a proposed revision of food labelling laws, said a top official of India’s apex food regulator. Currently, packaged food companies — including those who make instant noodles, biscuits, snacks and breakfast cereal — need specify only the energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat content on their covers. Information on other

constituents such as sodium, salt, vitamins need not be disclosed unless companies claim it as part of their advertising pitch. For instance, details on fibre content in biscuits or the percentage of trans unsaturated fatty acids (trans fats) need not be specified unless a company promotes them as “high fibre” or “zero trans-fat.” This gives companies leeway to not disclose if, say, their high-fibre biscuits are also high on sugar or sodium. The World Health Organisation recommends that an adult should not have more than 25 gm of sugar

per day while the American Heart Association says that an adult should not consume more than 2.3 gm of sodium. While both of these are critical to the healthy functioning of the body, they can, in large amounts aggravate diabetes and hypertension. In several countries, companies are required to specify the proportion of the daily recommended sodium, salt and fats that will be consumed in a packet or serving of processed food. A forthcoming update to India’s food regulations will consider incorporating this. “We have set up various panels on scientific assessment and labelling to consider these issues and may incorporate this in our revised labelling norms,” Pawan Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India said, “However this is quite a challenge and requires much consultation.” Draft likely in a month A draft of these notifications is expected in a month but after that would require clearance by the Health Ministry for it to become a norm, according to Agrawal. The Centre for Science and

Japan's fund places first bet on B2B FMCG startup ShopKirana

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n its first investment in India, Japanese seed-stage investors Incubate Fund has led a bridge round in business-to-business FMCG platform, ShopKirana. The amount of investment is estimated to be between Rs 2 crore and Rs 3 crore, according to people aware of the deal. The Indore based startup helps momand-pop stores improve their supply chain by partnering with FMCG brands. Other investors in the round include Mumbai-based Lead Angels Group and

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senior executives from leading FMCG companies. The startup which has over 5,000 kirana stores on the platform and processes over 200 plus orders a day has its major customer base in Indore. "We promise a delivery turn around time of 24 hours. We have revenue coming in from two streams, revenues from the FMCG brands and the other from promotion of new brands in cities where they don't have a presence," said Sumit Ghorawat, cofounder of ShopKirana which

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Environment made public a report Food Labelling, Claims And Advertisements — in the presence of Agarwal — detailing instances of underreporting by several food and beverage companies. “In contrast to best practices in other parts of the world, there is no mention of several other types of nutrition claims,” Amit Khurana, programme manager, Food Safety and Toxins team, CSE, said in a statement. “There is a clear trend of focussing on a single attribute of a product while making claims…a look at the content of a few popular packaged food claims suggests that these could be unhealthy due to nutrients other than those claimed.” As an example, the report mentions how a Coca-Cola can in the United Kingdom and Mexico specifies — along with the energy content — what percentage of the daily recommended fat, saturates, sugars and salt are met if a single can is consumed. In India, no other information is available other than the carbohydrate, protein, sugar and energy content (in grams).

was incorporated in 2014. "The grocery market in India is mostly supported by small businesses like Kirana stores..... we are very happy to join ShopKirana's journey to empower small retailers in India," says Nao Murakami from Incubate Fund, the lead investor in the round. The company competes with similar b2b solution providers including Just Buy Live which raised Rs 136 crore in Series A round from Alpha Capital in January. The company is focused on creating an e-distributor network through brand tie-ups and building a network of warehouses.


News Round-up Mother Dairy, Safal Booths to enable cashless transactions

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ith the recent boost to cashless transaction drive across the nation, Mother Dairy and Safal booths in the Delhi NCR region are now fully geared up for cashless transactions for your daily purchase of milk, vegetables and groceries. The digital mode of payment is currently available at more than 97 percent of the 800 Mother Dairy booths and 324 Safal booths across the city. "Mother Dairy in its endeavor to ease change management issues for consumers as well as booth operators started the cashless transaction drive way back in

2014 through SBI SmartChange cards and later through Paytm mobile wallet. With the recent fillip to cashless transactions, these transaction modes have gained patronage with our customers and we are also helping them to go cashless for buying milk, vegetable, fruits and grocery items like edible oil, pulses etc. We have seen a rise of 3 times usage of these modes of transaction in the last few weeks," said Business Head Milk, Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable, Sandeep Ghosh. "Currently more than 97 percent of our 800 milk booths and 324 Safal booths are now enabled for digital transactions,"

How a small outlet may recharge Delhi’s iconic grocery retail chain

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wo years ago, Mother Dairy’s Safal outlet in Pitampura — part of the largest retail chain of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Delhi-NCR region — was shut down. The reason: poor sales. “There were many issues with the outlet. People preferred to buy groceries from the neighbourhood vendor,” says B N Mehra, 75, a resident who has been visiting this store in west Delhi since it was set up in 1988. It was also the time when the face of organised retail in the country was changing. “We were the neighbourhood store which provided items of daily use. But brands such as Big Bazaar and Reliance Fresh made grocery shopping an experience. So six months ago, we decided to revamp the brand and focus on our poorest performer, the Pitampura outlet,” says Vinod Kumar, unit head of

Safal’s headquarters in Mangolpuri. After studying the market — and drafting a consultant, DY Works— the company launched its first “new and improved” store in Pitampura on November 10, as a model outlet that could possibly be replicated. The changes are stark. Based on their theme of “fresh and earthy”, Safal, a subbrand of Mother Dairy, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board, has remodelled the entire store. The bottle green-and-red background colours have been replaced with olive green and brown. The shop has been divided into four sections — seasonal products, fresh vegetables, exotic vegetables and essentials. A new point of sales machine conveys details of supplies to the headquarters. The stock is replenished twice a day and their new slogan, ‘Safe, Real, Natural’ is painted in bold letters on the wall. “Consumers want fruits and vegetables that are natural. Since its inception in 1987-88, Safal has been following these principles— we never use ripening agents or polishing oils— but without advertising it. But given the competition and demand, we felt the need to tell customers about it. The ‘100 per cent’ natural stamp on

added Ghosh. The rise of digitized payment also eases the problem of the customer wherein he is not needed to tender the exact change for buying his daily needs.

the store is to inform customers about quality,” says Kumar. The shop looks different, too — soft lighting, wooden encasings, a new blackboard for prices, foldable racks, newly tiled white walls and new uniforms for staff. “We have been in the business for 30 years and have nearly 400 outlets. When we launched, there was a ‘wow’ factor, but the sheen withered. This model store is an attempt to re-energise the brand and win over our customers again,” says B Jagdish Rao, business head of Safal. Today, there is a steady stream of customers at the Pitampura store and the staff, who some residents complained were not very helpful, are seen guiding buyers. They also have home delivery services. “Earlier, our sales at the outlet were around 250 kg a day, now it is over 650 kg,” says Rao. So how will this model be replicated? “We will study this for the next three months. We have identified 20 more outlets, but remodelling stores requires over Rs 10 lakh. We will also have to shut down the shops to carry out the renovation. Then, new staff has to be hired and trained. It will all need some time,” says Rao. The early response has been encouraging. “It is nice to see such fresh produce in the shop. Earlier, this wasn’t the case,” says Vimlesh Vashist, 67, another local resident.

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News Round-up COO Quincey to replace Coke CEO Kent

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oca-Cola chief executive officer Muhtar Kent will be succeeded by top lieutenant James Quincey next year, handing the job to an executive credited with steering the company toward less sugary beverages. Quincey, a 51-year-old who currently

serves as Coca-Cola's chief operating officer, will assume the CEO role on May 1, the company said in a statement. Kent, who turns 65 next year, will remain chairman. The move will put the London-born Quincey in charge of the world's largest soft-drink company at a time when it's adapting to shifting tastes. Many consumers in the US and other developed countries are shying away from sugar and artificial ingredients, putting pressure on Coca-Cola to diversify its lineup. During his two decades at the Atlanta-based company, Quincey helped introduce smaller package sizes and other initiatives to cut the calories of its beverages. Coca-Cola also is offloading more of

its bottling operations around the world. And it embarked on an effort to cut costs by $3 billion under Kent. When the transformation is complete, Coca-Cola will primarily be a seller of concentrates and syrups to other companies, which manufacture, package and distribute the drinks. "Having worked closely with James during the past 10 years of his 20-year career with our company, I know that his vast industry knowledge, expertise with our brands, values and system, coupled with an acute understanding of evolving consumer tastes, make him the ideal candidate," said Kent, who has been CEO for eight years. Warren Buffett, Coca-Cola's biggest investor, praised the incoming CEO. "I know James and like him, and believe the company has made a smart investment in its future with his selection," he said.

Street food vendors need to be trained in cashless sales: Rudy

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Entrepreneurship awarded certificates to the vendors trained under 'Skill India Mission'. He presented a scientifically-designed food cart to Radha Devi, who has a tea stall in Sarojini Nagar area. "The minister talked to the vendors on the need and benefits of serving hygienic and safe food," a senior official said. "Keeping in mind demonetisation, he stressed the fact that all street food vendors need to be trained for digital options for payments and they should be efficient in accepting cashless payments from customers. He stressed the fact that the vendors also 011-64519106 /29535593 need to be trained for E-mail : abfienquiry@gmail.com cashless transaction," the official added.

nion Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said street foodvendors across the country needed to be trained to undertake cashless transactions, as he interacted with them at the end of a national street food festival. The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and

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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

The three-day festival that began on December 23, was organised by National Association of Street Vendors of India and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. About 500 street food vendors from across the country have reached here to offer their special food and snacks. Rudy said his ministry will organise an international street food festival next year to mark former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday.

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News Round-up Online grocery delivery startup urDoorstep raises Rs 10 crore

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nline grocery delivery company urDoorstep has raised Rs 10 crore in a bridge round, with a high net-worth individual investing Rs 5 crore and an equal amount coming in as debt from Lakshmi Vilas Bank. The fundraising comes four months after the Bengalurubased company raised a sum of Rs 2 crore. In the previous

round, CP Murali had invested in the company, which raised seed funding from Rajeev Chandrashekhar-backed Jupiter Capital. “With the current round, we will be expanding to new pin codes in the city. We are eyeing Ebitda breakeven by first quarter of 2017-18. We are doing this by managing cost of customer acquisition

ITC to invest Rs 800 cr on food processing, hotel in Odisha

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iversified group ITC will set up an integrated consumer goods facility and a five star hotel in Odisha at an investment of Rs 800 crore. The integrated consumer goods manufacturing facility is being built on an area of 700,000 sq ft at Khordha district in Odisha. The firm will roll out ITC's food brands like Aashirvaad, Bingo, Sunfeast, YiPPee! from the unit, a company statement said. Besides, the group is also setting up a 110 room five star hotel in Bhubaneswar under its WelcomHotel brand, it said.

"These investments including a state of the art integrated consumer goods facility and a five star hotel

and logistics cost,� said Dinesh Malpani, founder of urDoorstep. The platform sources produce from 9,000 farmers across India, depending on seasonal variations, and serves only Bengaluru at present. The orders are served through a 3,000-square-feet fulfilment centre which dispatches the orders to smaller spokes across the city for delivery. urDoorstep competes in a sector dominated by Big Basket, which fulfils nearly

47,000 orders per day across cities.

property entail an investment of nearly Rs 800 crore," ITC said, adding that the facility would be completed in 30 months. These flagship projects were unveiled in Odisha by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in presence of ITC Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Puri, the statement said. "ITC's investment in the processed foods sector in Odisha will add significant value to the state's agricultural potential. ITC believes that food processing sector can make a multi-dimensional contribution to the state by enhancing competitiveness of food value chain, encouraging sustainable agriculture, reducing agri-wastages and helping create livelihoods along the entire value chain," it added.

Puri said: "ITC is making fresh investments in Odisha in two landmark projects. We are grateful to the state government for their continuous support and guidance in furthering our investment plans in Odisha." ITC, which has a diversified business portfolio, is growing presence in Odisha. ITC's FMCG businesses support livelihoods for over 7 lakh people in the state and also has been engaged deeply with farmers in Odisha. "The company has been supporting local entrepreneurs and farmers to try new table potato varieties by providing agronomy support and supplying early generation seed potato and in Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Balasaur, Puri and Koraput districts," the statement added.

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News Round-up Coca-Cola launches active hydration beverage 'Aquarius' in India

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ith an aim to expand its existing portfolio of beverages in the country, Coca-Cola India announced the launch of its "active hydration" beverage, Aquarius.

The company said its entry into the "Active Hydration" segment marks its plans to shape the category which is currently at a nascent stage and has the potential to grow exponentially in the coming years. "In India, it (Aquarius) is aimed at shaping the category of Active Hydration, targeted at young and urban consumers who are active-minded and lead active lifestyles," Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Marketing and Commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said in a statement. "With its refreshing lemon flavour,

Milk prices set to go up

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ilk and milk products are set to cost more, as dairy cooperatives such as Amul and Mother Dairy are preparing to increase prices in the coming months and boost the payouts to farmers. The dairy majors are expecting a sharp drop in the stock of milk products to carry forward to the next fiscal year in April. They plan to raise milk and milk product prices and pass on the gains to farmers to encourage them to increase supplies, so that they can stock up products for the summer months, a lean period for the production of fresh milk. “By the end of March, carry forward stock of skimmed milk powder (SMP) will be 50% less of last year and hence we might have to again increase farmers' prices, which will impact the price in the market,“ said RS Sodhi, managing director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation

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that owns the Amul brand. “Consumer should be ready to pay more.“ Mother Dairy managing director S Nagarajan said the price that the consumer pays for liquid milk could see an upward movement by February . The cooperative has increased its payment to farmers by `3-4 a litre over the past year, he said. The last consumer price revision was in JuneJuly this year, when milk prices were increased by `1 a litre. Private dairies usually follow Amul and Mother Dairy in revising prices. “If Amul increases liquid milk prices, then we will too,“ said Kuldeep Saluja, managing director of Sterling Agro Industries, which sells dairy products under the Nova brand.He predicts the price of milk products such as buttermilk, butter and ice-cream to increase 5-10% by March. Amul had not increased the price it pays to farmers in 2014-15 when supplies were more than demand, but the situation has now changed, said Sodhi. “Now that milk production has slowed and we have low carry-forward stock of milk powder and butter, we are further increasing (procurement) prices,“ he said. Cattle feed and fodder prices have gone up 32-35% in the past one year, so an increase in farmers' price is necessary , he added. Amul had increased the procurement price for cow milk by 10% to `30 a litre and

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2017

the new product aims to establish new consumption occasions for consumers for their busy, on-the-go lifestyle. We expect Aquarius to shape the evolving Active Hydration category and help it grow at a rapid pace in the country." According to the company, the lemon flavoured beverage with essential salts and minerals will be initially available across organised trade, e-commerce and select grocery outlets across major cities in the country, in 400 ml packs priced at Rs 30. The introduction of Aquarius in India follows the launch of Vio in 2016, Fuze iced tea in 2015 and Coke Zero in late 2014, the statement added.

buffalo milk to `41-42 a litre in the past one month and may increase it further. Sodhi said the carry forward stock till date of SMP in the country by dairy cooperatives and private players was 32,000-35,000 tonnes, compared with 1.25 lakh tonnes a year earlier. In the summer months, when milk production drops, the dairy sector manufactures liquid milk and other products by diluting milk powder -10 tonnes of SMP is needed to make 1 lakh litres of milk.November to January is the flush season when milk production increases naturally as there is plenty of green fodder available. Meanwhile, milk fat prices have moved up to `340 a kg from `290 and SMP to `195-200 a kg from `170 since September this year.Players like Mother Dairy have increased ghee prices since September by `15 to `375 per litre.


News Round-up Biscuit sales down post demonetisation, says Parle

The demonetisation drive has eaten into the growth momentum of the biscuits sector, which has seen sales fall by up to 1.5 percentage points, according to market leader Parle Products. "Biscuits as a category saw growth of about 5 per cent in 2016, except in the past two months, when the sales were

hit due to demonetisation. "The momentum in consumption, which had picked up after the monsoon, was affected severely by demonetisation. The result was shaving off of about 100-150 bps from category growth," Parle Products Category Head Mayank Shah told . The government on

November 8 had banned old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes worth around Rs 20 trillion to control black money and counterfeit currency. Noting that demonetisation has had a significant impact on consumer demand and rotation of capital in trade, Shah said the effect would continue till the government is able to infuse adequate currency into the system. "We see it continuing till the government pumps back sufficient currency into the economy. Only about one-third of what has been demonetised has been replaced till date. "In the meanwhile, we are effectively looking at change in spending or paying habits of consumers, but this may take time," Shah said. Parle Products, which owns biscuit brands like Parle-G and Monaco, enjoys around 40 per cent share of the estimated Rs 25,000-crore biscuits market.

Shah said rural demand will be a strong growth-driver in 2017. "While urban consumption is growing, rural demand has been sluggish due to the late arrival of the monsoons. But since then we have seen revival in rural consumption as farmers expect a bumper harvest and therefor we see rural demand to be a strong growth-driver in 2017," he said. The note ban has yanked a whopping Rs 1.2 trillion or 10.2 per cent from the market capitalisation of consumer goods companies. Out of this, as much as Rs 99,000 crore value erosion is from FMCG stocks alone. The worst hit have been ITC and HUL, according to exchange data. For the consumer goods sector as a whole, sales are down a whopping 40-70 per cent, according to analysts.

retail shop business declined by 3.6 per cent between November 2016 and October 2016. The grocers saw a 2.1 per cent decline during the same period. On the other side of the spectrum, chemists and cosmetics shops saw a positive growth of 2.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. "Chemists stood out in November by growing positively, especially in rural areas.This can be

partially attributed to the fact that chemists were allowed to accept old currency until November 24th," said Prasun Basu, president South Asia, Nielsen. While packaged grocery grew positively by 2.4 per cent, categories such as impulse foods, personal care and household cleaning saw a 2 per cent-5 per cent dip in sales.

Consumer goods industry sales hit on liquidity woes

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he fast moving consumer goods industry saw a slowdown of 1-1.5 per cent led by the fall in consumer sales and retailer purchases from trade, said a recent Nielsen report on the impact of demonetisation of higher value currency notes. Pegged at Rs 2,56,000 crore, the industry saw the value of consumer sales decline by 1.2 per cent due to liquidity crunch. As a reflex to fall in consumption, inventories started piling up and volume of retailer's purchases from trade fell by 1.6 per cent. The numbers reflect the business done between October and November 2016 to the same period last year. These numbers might

not reflect the real picture post-demonetisation, that is, November 8, as it calculates the business of the entire month. It is worth noting that maximum grocery shopping happens in the first five days of the month. In spite of two months into demonetisation, consumers are still cutting down their purchases and will continue to do so for at least another quarter, said the report published on December 23, 2016. This is further expected to impact the paan and cigarette retail shops and grocers who have been hit the hardest in the government's fight against black money. The paan and cigarette

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