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Reach Over 11000 APEDA Members

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inside...

Cover Story

...12

Agri Affairs

...30

3rd India International Potato Summit

Entering the wonderful world of potatoes! Sanjeev Chopra

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20th Annual APEDA Export Awards

Agri is the only

sector doing well, says Asit Tripathy Anwar Huda

Retail

...18

Event Report

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3rd India International Potato Expo

Focus should be on exports & cold chain: Tariq Anwar

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SIAL 2012

...22

Food & Beverages

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Britannia

I hate the word social in CSR, says Vinita Bali – Ravi Balakrishnan

Using Health & Nutrition Theme to Propel The Brand

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Maggi Still Rules the Roost – Preethi Chamikutty

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Street Food Festival 2012

profile

Trade Delegation

The Food Mela of the Gulf focuses on private labels

– Bureau Report

Vijay Sardana

EDITORIAL

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Thousands gather for taste and learning experience Yuvraj Fruits

Bridging the gap between Growers and Traders

New Zealand Trade Delegation in India

New Zealand & India can benefit from each other tremendously Say Alan Pollard, Grant Sinclair & Mike Simpson

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AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

NEWS Retail 38 40 Corporate 42 Food & Beverages 45 Health & Nutrition 46 Commodity 47 Marine 48 Dairy


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orial Edit

A Chief Editor: S. Jafar Naqvi Consulting Editors: T.V. Satyanarayanan K Dharmarajan Chief Co-ordinator: M.B. Naqvi Editorial Co-ordinator: Syed M K News Editor: Anwar Huda General Manager: Lalitha V. Rajan

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frank appraisal of India’s agricultural development since the launch of the Green Revolution in mid-sixties reveals a mixed picture of achievements and disappointments. Transforming a country living a “ship-to-mouth existence” to become an exporter of food grains – or, farm-to ship -- is indeed a remarkable achievement. According to trade figures, India’s wheat exports in the current financial year are likely to exceed 5.5 million tonnes, making the country the seventh largest exporter of this commodity. Rice has done even better on the export front. The rice shipments in 2011-12 touched 10 million tonnes, taking the country to the top position among rice exporting nations. In the process, India has overtaken Vietnam and Thailand, which were at the top till recently. Premium quality rice Basmati accounted for one-fifth of the total exports from India. All this reflects India’s impressive growth in the production of food grains, particularly wheat and rice. Another sector which taken big strides is milk production and dairying. Hailed as White Revolution, annual milk production in India has exceeded 120 million tonnes, enabling the country for well over a decade to maintain its position as the world’s largest milk producer. Despite these achievements, the country has still a long way to go to tap its rich potential to become a food basket of the world. A lot much needs to be done to improve productivity levels of food grains and milch animals. According to a latest report by U N’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the average yield of rice in India is 2.3 tonnes a hectare, against the global average of 4.37 tonnes per hectare. The average per hectare yield in China, world’s largest rice producer, is 6.5 tonnes, while in Australia it is 10.1 tonnes and U S 7.5 tonnes. In wheat, however, average productivity in India is a little better. It is only a shade less than the global average of 3 tonnes per hectare. China is ahead with 4.8 tonnes a hectare and France 7 tonnes a hectare. The need of the hour is a paradigm shift in the formulation and implementation of various programmes for agriculture and allied sectors, covering all activities from farm to fork. Far too many shortcomings have come to the fore in the last few decades of the Green Revolution in the entire chain, starting from production to post-harvest operations, transportation, storage, processing, marketing et al. Research and extension deserve to be given high priority. To cite an example: Scientists of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University have found that rice can be grown with less water by employing Systematic Rice Intensification (SRI ) technique. The yield is higher, cost is less and profit is more than the traditional method of cultivation. To popularize this technique and similar other research findings among the farming community on a large scale what we need is a strong extension network, which at present is not as effective as it should be, Another instance highlights a major weakness in the system -- shortage of processing and storage facilities. Andhra Pradesh government recently announced a “milk holiday” to stop procurement since the dairies were unable to take on any more load in the wake of high production. The order, however, was withdrawn fearing a backlash. Definitely, what is produced needs to be conserved and that calls for stepping up efforts to build adequate storage capacity and augment processing facilities for all farm products. A welcome development, announced by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, is the establishment of the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management on the outskirts of Delhi at Kundli, Sonepat. It is designed to provide onestop solutions for issues pertaining to the food processing sector, including addressing capacity building needs. One hopes the 12th Plan programmes for the farm sector would correct many of the weaknesses and help transform agriculture into a profitable agri business for all stakeholders.

Media Today Group wishes all its patrons and readers a Happy New Year Comments are welcome at: mediatoday@vsnl.com

Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi

Vol 10....... Issue 1 ...... January 2013

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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

20th Annual APEDA Export Awards

Agri is the only sector doing

well, says Asit Tripathy Anwar Huda

O

utstanding performances in the field of Agri exports got commemorated by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) during the occasion of 20th Annual Export Awards for the year 2010-2011, held in New Delhi, on November 23. Awards were felicitated to 45 exporters from the different fields

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by Asit Tripathy, IAS, Joint Secretary, MoC&I, and Chairman, APEDA, in the presence of R.K. Boyal, Director, APEDA, A.S.Rawat, General Manager, APEDA, and other distinguished delegates. As expected, Diamond Trophy went to the meat behemoth Allanasons. 16 Gold, 14 Silver, and 14 Bronze trophies were also distributed among the winners. Welcoming and congratulating winners, Asit Tripathy, praised export

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

community for keeping the flag high in international market. Calling it the quietest ceremony, he said, “It was the wish of Apeda to do it with a lot of flamboyance so that the world may see our prowess as top exporters of quality foods, but due to other engagements and lack of time we could not make it”. India is agri, agri is India “In fact, while momentum in other


Cover Story

In fact, while momentum in other sectors could not be maintained, agri sector is the only sector doing well in terms of exports. It provided cheer to the government and exporters. Last year growth is phenomenal. Agri and processed food exports touched new high. Apeda, acknowledging the efforts of the exporters, is pleased to honour the winners who together represent exports worth billions of dollars...

sectors could not be maintained, agri sector is the only sector doing well in terms of exports. It provided cheer to the government and exporters. Last year growth is phenomenal. Agri and processed food exports touched new high. Apeda, acknowledging the efforts of the exporters, is pleased to honour the winners who together represent exports worth billions of dollars,” Chairman said.

stable policy and infrastructure to the exporters as this in turn also sends note of confidence to overseas importers. Since we do not want a feeble overseas import response, we will keep on allowing exports of the most of the agri-materials, and only stop a product in case of local demand/supply emergency, as Indian consumers cannot be allowed to suffer”. He added that now India has wellestablished system to provide all kinds of support to the exporters. “Now we are the biggest rice, bovine, groundnut and guar exporters. This reflects the strength of the sector.” R. K. Boyal, in his Thanks of Vote Speech, said that Apeda compliments all the exporters and is proud to work tirelessly with them to make India the biggest and a reliable exporting country in the world.

Removal of Ceilings About the need for an efficient and fast decision making system, he said that Commerce Ministry has brought down the decision making powers to lower secretary-level so that fast decisions could be made, and also to avoid the long- winding process involving several ministries. "And above all, concerned ministries are cooperating very well now." “Most of the ceilings have been removed so that we could offer a

Attractive Statistics Total world export of agricultural products for the year 2011-12 stood at $1.66 trillion. India moved to 10th position in the exporting countries with export value of $ 34.3 billion, and a share of 2.06 per cent in the world market. Share of agri exports in the total merchandise exports became 11.3 per cent. Share of Apeda products in the total agricultural exports is now over 55 per cent with export value of above $18 billion.

Asit Tripathy

The exports during first year of the current year have also shown growth of 83 per cent over the same period in the last year. With export performance of $11.5 billion in six months, India may be heading towards achieving an export turnover of $ 24 billion by the end of the current fiscal. List of Winners Diamond Trophy v Allanasons Ltd, Mumbai Golden Trophy v Ramesh Flowers Pvt Ltd, Tuticorin v Bombay Fruits & Vegetable Import Export Pvt Ltd, Mumbai v TKV Marketing India Pvt Ltd, Mumbai v Kashmir Walnut Overseas Pvt Ltd, Jammu v Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, Jalgaon v M.K. Overseas Pvt Ltd, New Delhi v VKS Farms Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore v Gujarat Co-Op Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, Anand v Little Bee Impex, Ludhiana v G.S. Exports Navi Mumbai v Hindustan Gum & Chemicals Ltd, Bhiwani v U.B. Global, Bangalore

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Cover Story Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd, Gurgaon v Best Foods Ltd, New Delhi v Sri Sai Traders, Chennai v Chamong Tea Exports Pvt Ltd, Kolkata v

Silver Trophy v Namdhari Seeds, Karnataka v Chand Fruit Company Ltd, Sangli v Nandyala Satyanarayana, Andhra Pradesh v Hansraj & Sons, Jammu v Foods & Inns Ltd, Mumbai v Hind Agro Industries Lt, New Delhi

v SKM Egg Product Export (I) Ltd, Tamil Nadu v Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Ltd, Mumbai v Kejriwal Bee Care India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi v Siddhartha Corporation Pvt Ltd, Navi Mumbai v Vikas WSP Ltd, Rajasthan v Mrs. Bector Food Specialties Ltd, Ludhiana v KRBL Ltd, Delhi v Exim Rajathi India Pvt Ltd, Chennai Bronze Trophy v Vaachi International Pvt Ltd, Kolkata

v Freshtrop Fruits Ltd, Ahmedabad v Sanghar Exports, Pine v Karamhans Foods Pvt Ltd, Jammu v Exotic Fruits Pvt Ltd, Bangalore v Al-Nafees Frozen Exports Pvt Ltd, New Delhi v Ovabel Foods Ltd, Bangalore v Sterling Agro Industries Ltd, Delhi v MBM Trade-Link Pvt Ltd, Mumbai v Jai Bharat Gum & Chemical Ltd, Bhiwani v Soni Biochem Extractions Ltd, Indore v D.D. International Pvt Ltd, Amritsar v Sunstar Overseas Ltd, Delhi v Ind-Andhra Agro Product Pvt Ltd, AP

Govt to offer incentives to exporters

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he Commerce Ministry recently indicated that it may provide incentives to exporters in order to achieve the USD 320 billion exports target for the current financial year. "Since the European Union and the US markets are in doldrums, we are making our best efforts to achieve as much as we can. We need special efforts that could be in nature of incentives, additional markets and making more efforts on market promotions," Commerce and Industry Additional Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters on the sidelines of a pharma event. On what kind of incentives the government will provide, he said it could be tax incentive or market promotion scheme. "The end game is to make exports

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more profitable," he said. A recent Ficci survey said it is feared that the export target of USD 320 billion for FY13 is unlikely to be met due to the global demand slowdown. The rising cost of raw materials and weak demand from overseas are primary factors that are bothering members of the export community, it had said. "Until now Europe and the US have been the primary export markets for us. The new strategy should be targeting other countries like Africa and the Middle East to take the next leap forward," he said. Trade deficit with China has also risen to USD 40 billion and we need to export more to that country, he added. "Our exports target for the current year is USD 320 billion...with only five months left, we are making best efforts to achieve the target," he said. Sounding optimistic about the pharma sector, Kher said the sector will

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

be able to achieve the export target of USD 25 billion by 2014. Lifting of ban Removal of ban on shipments of non-basmati rice and wheat last year helped India emerge as a net exporter of agricultural commodities. Exports of agricultural products have more than doubled in the past three years, while imports have grown by about a third in the same period. Besides, the surge in shipments of sugar, spices, coffee and tea has helped India boost its agriexports in recent years. The agriexports have grown from $10.56 billion in 2009-10 to $23.97 billion in 2011-12. In the same period, the import of various agri-products has grown from $10.70 billion to $14.27 billion.


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Retail

Vijay Sardana

P

arliament has authorized Government of India to allow FDI in multi-brand retailing in India. Retailing in India is traditional occupation and corporate investment in retailing is also not a new development. Existing model of street retailing and neighborhood retailing is quite widespread and successful. The success of existing model is based on low capital investment and personalized services to retail consumers. FDI in retailing in India is an important development not only for the policy makers but also for the business and policy managers. It will be like driving a heavy truck on small narrow lane with lot of pot holes filled with mud with many small huts on both sides. Success will depend upon careful driving without damaging the existing livelihood

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options and without splashing mud all over. The success of FDI in retailing will depend upon many factors ranging from enabling policy environment to enabling rules impacting regulations and execution of business processes. There will be many challenge for the foreign investors as well as policy makes in the days to come, some of them are mentioned below. l Acquiring affordable real estate to meet their requirements to suit their efficient logistics and display requirements will be challenging. Large cities are already suffering from high prices of real estate, over-crowded cities and shortage of parking space. Large stores in middle of cities will imbalance the traffic movement. Increased air and noise pollution levels in those areas will be another challenge. This will force the authorities to relook into the town

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

planning and traffic movement plans. l Arguments that FDI will bring investment in storage infrastructure. Why they should invest when Essential Commodities Act will not allow them to store as per their requirements? What will happen in case of price rise of essential commodities? Will Essential Commodities (EC) Act apply or not? If government is planning to give concession to FDI retail chains under EC Act, why not the same for domestic traders and players as well? In brief, will there be pressure to scrape the EC Act itself to provide level playing field to all. l All the investment will lead to high cost of supply chain. This will force the retailers to charge more. Will supplies in large retain stores have different MRP than open market for the same product? This will force manufactures to print highly inflated MRP and consumers will be again at the mercy of retail outlets. Pl. visit your nearest retail out and check edible oil prices of the same brand in same pack size inside and outside modern retail. You will come to know the fact about MRP. My suggestion is, why not introduce taxation system based on MRP in place of cost of manufacturing. This will resolve many problems at consumers end and government will get additional revenue. Alternative option is have different MRP for different retail outlets. Will this be in line as per the spirit of Consumer Protection Act and Packaged Commodities Act? l There are many products which cannot be imported or manufactured as per existing food laws. Imported foods will have issues related to quarantine and banned food additives and ingredients like GMOs. How long government of India will be able to resist the pressure of retail chains


Retail to keep Indian foods safe from these challenges when our food laboratories and quarantines points are ill equipped. Indian food laws will be forced to change to accept the global rules to suit large retail chains. l Predatory pricing through subsidized and under invoiced imported goods and impact on domestic SSI is also a reality. Toy industry and confectionary industry in India virtually doesn’t exist. Oil seed farmers and edible oil industry is suffering due to large scale import of edible oils. Many more products may enter like butter oil to mix in desi ghee, garments, electronic and auto components, etc. will impact SSI in these sectors. Will Competition Commission and Anti-dumping directorate look into these cases? l Current regime of APMC forces sourcing from mandies. State governments are biggest gainer of mandi taxes. Sourcing from farmers and existing APMC Act adds about 5 to 12% on the price of raw material. Will government dilute APMC Act for retail chains, if so; why not scarp the APMC Act all together for level playing field for domestic players as well.

l Large retail stores will add pressure on municipal wastes as well due to increase in packing of consumer goods to meet display requirements. Will there be additional tax on packaged goods to offset the cost of waste management by municipalities? Will retail chains have mandatory recycling schemes to collect garbage and recycle it? They should create incentive for consumers to bring back waste to stores for dumping and recycling. l With large scale operations impact of bad product or unsafe food will also be on larger population. Consumer Protection Act and Liabilities needs to be looked at because of change in scale of businesses. These laws must ensure that no one goes for corner cutting. Cost of non-performance has to higher than cost of doing right thing. l Bargaining power of large buyers’ vis. a vis. small farmers and traders will make many SSI to surrender to these large corporates. Who will ensure that large players make timely payment to small manufacturers and don’t force undue credit and discounts? Will there be any law to ensure timely payments and ensure Fair Trade

Practices Act. This is essential so that Indian SSIs sustain their profit margins for survival. l Unresolved political issues like should there be taxation on agriculture commodities and services sold to urban rich because these stores are in major metros only so that suitable resources can be generated for creating infrastructure for poor farmers and urban and rural poor. These are some of the issues which policy makers and corporate manages have to think before game starts. It will be difficult to change the rules midway because large number of vested interest will at full play. It will be difficult to have fair play when all are fighting for their share of pie. FDI in retail is good development because it would shake-up many old laws and existing non-performing systems in government as well as in private domain. About Author: Vijay Sardana is well known internationally recognized food security and agribusiness expert. Views are personal. Email: sardana.vijay@gmail.com

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

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Retail

PAU Golden Jubilee Convocation

PM asks Punjab to take advantage of FDI

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espite having succeeded in getting Parliament approval, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on December 9, made a concerted effort at convincing Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal to grab the opportunity and allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector in the State. He said efficient and vertically integrated supply chains could resolve most of the stress points plaguing the State’s agriculture sector. Addressing the golden jubilee convocation of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana, Dr. Singh advised Punjab to lead the nation in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by allowing FDI in retail. It would help shift from the wheat-paddy cycle, allow research and promote new technology, as well as investment in the marketing sector. Punjab stood to gain through the building of modern supply chains, investment in back-end infrastructure to minimise wastage and thus increasing farmers’ income. “Punjab can be a torchbearer in

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this shift,” Dr. Singh said, expressing confidence that the FDI in retail would benefit farmers and consumers alike. He also favoured changes in the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act, which would allow private markets to develop. The Shiromani Akali Dal, which is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), is opposed to FDI in retail. Dr. Singh said he expected Punjab to do better in the 12th Plan period, when the resources of the country as a whole would be galvanised towards achieving an average of 8.2 per cent growth in GDP and 4 per cent growth in agriculture. He said diversification out of rice cultivation had become essential, as Punjab should not continue exploitation of groundwater. A gradual phasing out would not affect the overall the country’s overall food security as the National Food Security Mission, launched in 2007, had begun to bear results. While the burden of grain production could be shifted to other States, Punjab’s agricultural strategy must evolve a workable diversification plan that caused the least economic hardship to farmers and provided them with alternative crops that yielded higher income. “We aim to increase our expenditure on agriculture research to 1 per cent of agricultural GDP in the 12th Plan from the level of 0.65 per cent in the 11th Plan,” Dr Singh said. While developing varieties more suitable to different market tastes and with longer shelf life, the PAU, along with all agricultural universities, must also gear up to face the potential threat to

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

agriculture from climate change, which has serious implications for national food security and posed livelihood concerns for the small and marginal farmers. The Prime Minister in detail talked about need to develop post-farm agroprocessing linkages that would provide employment opportunities to the youth of the State, who wanted to move out of the traditional farming activities. He hoped the State would capitalise on the opportunity provided by the Centre, which has taken various steps to liberalise investment decisions that could used to evolve innovative solutions to the benefit of the small scale industry as well as the existing highly skilled labour force. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while skirting the FDI issue, sounded a grim warning that nonresolution of the prevailing farm crisis could have serious implications, leading to social turmoil and throwing up law and order problems in the country. The fact that the State’s debt ridden peasantry was demoralised could be gauged from the reduction in number of small and marginal farmers from 5 to 3 lakh in recent years. Badal lamented that despite assurance from the group of ministers led by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, a special package to bail out the drought hit farmers of his State had not arrived. Despite no assistance, Punjab farmers overcame the 42 per cent deficiency in rain to record a bumper paddy crop. To ensure farm diversification, he urged Dr. Singh to immediately set up a technology mission for the ‘Diversification of Agriculture’ with an allocation of Rs. 5000-crore on line of the mission “Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India” that was provided Rs. 4000-crore. While he expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for sanctioning the Borlaug Institute and the Directorate of Maize Research (DMR), Badal sought centres of excellence for research in soya bean and fisheries.


Retail

FDI in retail will kill small industries: Sushma Swaraj

Counter-view

Global retail giants will destroy small traders, says S. Narayan

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sserting that FDI in multi-brand retail will sound the "death knell" for small industries and traders, BJP leader Sushma Swarajon Tuesday accused the government of having failed to evolve a political consensus on the controversial issue despite making a promise in parliament. Initiating the debate in the Lok Sabha on FDI in retail, the leader of opposition said the government claim that foreign investment would benefit farmers, consumers and generate employment was a myth. "The government has gone back on its promise of holding consultation with all stakeholders before allowing FDI in retail. It is sad that no effort was made to make a political consensus and no meeting or any consultation was held with even the main opposition party," she said. "International experience shows that retailers do predatory pricing, and once they come to India, they will reduce prices so that smaller shops get shut... and when the competition is over, they will raise prices and the consumers will have no option but to buy at high prices," said Sushma Swaraj in a forceful speech. Trashing the government's assertion that foreign investment would put an end to middlemen, she said: "FDI in retail will not end the middlemen culture. There are instances like in sugar industry where there are no middlemen but still farmers have to struggle for sugarcane pricing." She quoted Punjab's example saying Pepsi promised to buy potatoes and tomatoes from farmers, but backed out later. Countering the government's claim that FDI will increase employment, she said: "Government says that FDI will generate employment for 40 lakh people. But going by figures if we have to employ so many people, then all companies like Wal-Mart, Tesco and others coming to India need to open over 36,000 stores in 53 cities, which means over 600 stores in each city." Sushma Swaraj said FDI in retail would sound the death knell for small industries. "Government says that foreign

F

companies will have to take 30 percent product from Indian small and medium enterprises, which means 70 percent will be imported." "Can any industry be viable at 30 percent production? And 90 percent of the imported stuff will come from China and it will generate employment and growth in China, not India," she said. "Small shops, retailers have been wiped out in countries which allowed FDI in retail. About 12 crore people will go out of jobs in India due to the UPA government's decision to allow FDI in retail," she said. She quoted US President Barack Obama saying small business are engines of growth in the US. "President Obama is spearheading the campaign to encourage Americans to shop at small business establishments. When the rest of the world is questioning FDI in retail, why are we welcoming it," she said. Sushma Swaraj also read out from a letter of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which he wrote as the then leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, in which he opposed FDI in retail. Targeting the prime minister, Sushma Swaraj said: "PM makes bold statements like if we must go down, we'll go down fighting. You must Mr PM, but fight for the poor, not the rich, fight for country, not multi-nationals, fight for small, not big." FDI in retail "is not the step to success and improvement but is the way to the pits of destruction". "I am not against FDI; however I am against FDI in retail. FDI should be allowed in power, airports but not retail," she said.

DI in retail is the best decision for the deteriorating I n d i a n economy if executed well, said S. Narayan, President of the Centre for Asia Studies. Speaking at a guest lecture on FDI in retail at the P.S. Higher Secondary School, Narayan said the Indian economy could develop based on the consumption and investment demand of people, irrespective of class. Large investments in the retail sector will see better employment opportunities in agro-based sectors, logistics management and front-end retail. China’s growth in retail and wholesale trade approval of 100 per cent FDI in retail is a good case in point, said Narayan, a retired IAS officer and former economic advisor to the Prime Minister. On the other hand, global retail giants may resort to predatory pricing to build monopoly, resulting in essentials being dominated by foreign organisations, he said. The shopping density in India is large — there are 11 shops for every 1,000 people. There are 1.2 crore shops employing over 4 crore people; 95 per cent of these are small shops managed by the owners themselves. LARGE-SCALE JOB LOSSES So, India needs to watch out for the big international supermarkets, which may displace small retailers, leading to large-scale job losses. Small retailers have, in fact, been erased from developed countries like the US and Europe, said Narayan. South-East Asian countries had to foist strict zoning and licensing regulations to moderate the evolution of supermarkets.

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Trade Delegation

New Zealand Trade Delegation in India

Joint Farms in Punjab & Support to HP Apple Growers on anvil An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was also signed between CII Agro Tech and Fieldays, on November 27, in Chandigarh. Through this, CII Agro Tech and Fieldays would avail reciprocal rights to attend and exhibit at each others' agri and business shows, share intellectual property, host VIPs, delegations and promote business collaborations. The signing of MoU recognizes CII and Fieldays status as leading international facilitators of agribusiness expansion and innovation. This MoU is not for apples

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eading a business delegation, New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter, landed in India in November end to boost agri-trade relationship between two countries. Carter met senior officials of the Indian government and governments of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh as negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and New Zealand progress. “A high-quality and comprehensive free trade agreement between India and New Zealand would increase two-way trade, boost investment and encourage further collaboration in the agricultural sector,” said Carter. “New Zealand is a world-leader in agricultural and horticultural technology, and I am pleased some companies are already working with India in this space for the benefit of both countries,” he added. New Zealand-developed innovations such as the electric fence, refrigerated shipping and rotary

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milking sheds have transformed global agriculture, he said. The business delegation included representatives from the dairy, meat, horticulture and agri-tech sectors. As one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural products and technology, New Zealand is helping to deliver higher yields and greater consistency in farming outcomes around the globe, said the minister. In India, 100% Pure New Zealand Apples provide some counter-seasonal apple supplies and the New Zealand apple industry is hoping to work with orchards to improve Indian supply. Many New Zealand companies are working with Indian farmers and companies to pass on the world-leading production methods New Zealand is renowned for. New Zealand is also known for its safe, traceable healthy foods, and has expertise in cold chain management. Memorandum of Understanding India and New Zealand are all set to increase mutual collaboration and

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

David Carter, New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries, in India

partnerships in the agribusiness sector. David Carter and Minister of IT, Food, Civil Supplies and Food Processing in Punjab, Adaish Partap Singh Kairon met and had great talks that would certainly change into actions An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was also signed between CII Agro Tech and Fieldays, on November 27, in Chandigarh. Through this, CII Agro Tech and Fieldays would avail reciprocal rights to attend and exhibit at each others' agri and business shows, share intellectual property, host VIPs, delegations and promote business collaborations. The signing of MoU recognizes CII and Fieldays status as leading international facilitators of agribusiness expansion and innovation. This MoU is not for apples. David Carter supported the signing. “The collaboration will allow both to share the best practices and technologies, while building agribusiness connections between the two countries,” said Jon Calder, CEO, National Fieldays Society. Joint Venture in Punjab Carter expressed keen desire to set-up


Trade Delegation

Master Chef Kunal wins Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship joint ventures in Punjab in various areas of industry, agriculture and milk processing sector to become partners in the progress of Punjab. He said Punjab and New Zealand share the common expertise in agriculture sector and New Zealand can coordinate with Punjab by offering it latest agriculture technology and techniques to prolong shelf life of agriculture products. Joint Farms & Relaxed Taxes Offering to setup "Joint Farms" in Punjab, the minister said these agriculture farms could be pilot projects to showcase the latest technology in agriculture sector, adding that the focus of New Zealand agriculture sector was on increasing productivity and profitability to make the sector self-sustaining. Adaish Partap Singh Kairon said, "By entering into this memorandum we look forward to progress. We will be happy to work for relaxed taxes." He added that the international airport in Amritsar would prove as an outlet for trade. With this CII's Agro Tech 2012 entered into a MoU with the largest agriculture show in the Southern Hemisphere -New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays. Support to HP Apple Growers New Zealand could soon lend a helping hand to Himachal Pradesh by offering its expertise to raise apple production in the state. The New Zealand delegation met top state government officials including the Chief Minister, P K Dhumal. David Carter said, “Himachal has a vast potential to increase apple yield by planting high-yielding varieties and replacement of old root-

stock where New Zealand could lend its support”. “Similarly, technology transfer in agriculture could be another sector where we could provide expertise as 90 per cent of the population live in villages here,” added Carter. Currently, Himachal produces 4 to 9 MT per hectare apple as compared 25 MT per hectare yield in New Zealand. The state is keen to import quality root-stock of apple from New Zealand for multiplication in laboratories in the state and distribute them to farmers. Most of the apple varieties in Himachal are old American varieties which are over 50 years old. In the past, the state had imported root-stock but the number has been so small that only a few farmers have benefited. Along with neighbouring Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh accounts for the country’s ‘almost’ entire apple production. India’s apple imports India’s fruit imports are dominated by apples, which, in volume terms, account for more than 75% of the total fruit imports. Imports of apples grew to 122878 tonnes in 2010, from 90714 tonnes in the previous year—an increase of 35.5%. The apple imports into India rose further to 162651 tonnes in 2011. The main suppliers of apples to India were China (58289 tonnes), USA (30660 tonnes), Chile (25442 tonnes). Imports from China grew by 61% from the previous year and from Chile by 21%, while that from USA declined by 25%. Imports was also done from New Zealand (6050 tonnes) and Australia (1104 tonnes).

(L-R) Jan Henderson, Ambassador of New Zealand, Kunal and NZ Minister of Prime Industries David Carter

H

e is a Delhi boy from a Punjabi family, and that gives him a natural affinity for food, but chef Kunal Kapur has taken that many steps further. Kunal, the executive sous chef at the Leela Kempinski, and the host and judge on Masterchef India, was awarded a prestigious fellowship by the government of New Zealand on November 30, in New Delhi. The Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship 2012, awarded to Kunal by the government of New Zealand in the field of food and beverage, is given every year to an individual for his/ her contribution in their respective field. Previous winners include Rahul Gandhi and Vijay Mallya. “They confirmed a week ago that they had decided to give it to me,” said the 33-year-old chef. “Incidentally, a delegation from NZ, including their Primary Industries Minister David Carter, was visiting India during the last days of November, and so he awarded it to me in Delhi on behalf of their PM John Key. I will be traveling to New Zealand sometime in January, where I will study their agriculture and food sector in detail,” said Kunal.

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Technology & Expertise offer to India’s Apple Growers

Trade Delegation

New Zealand & India can benefit from each other tremendously Say Alan Pollard, Grant Sinclair & Mike Simpson

Alan Pollard

Leading a business delegation, New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter, came to India, in November end, to boost agri-trade relationship between two countries. AgriBusiness & Food Industry Correspondent Anwar Huda met three members of the delegation-- Alan Pollard (Chief Executive, Pipfruit), Grant Sinclair (Director, Mr Apple) & Mike Simpson (Managing Director, Waimea Nurseries Group)-to know the intention of their visit, and plans on the anvil, among other things. Excerpts:

What is the intention of this visit? Alan Pollard: We have been in to strengthening relationship between us and Indian agri-business community since 1990s, and we are here to take this relationship further. We want to offer support infrastructure, technology and capability transfer to Indian farmers and business community, so that both countries can be mutually benefited. We want to take some Indian farmers and businessmen to New Zealand so that

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they can have the first-hand experience of our unique technology and agrisystems. We also aspire to achieve social and economic understanding between two countries. Since we have round-the-year supply of apples, and India produces seasonal apples only, we want to give Indian consumers a wonderful New Zealandapple-experience. To achieve this, we just had fruitful, big apple-like conversation and dealings with Indian officials


Trade Delegation

Mike Simpson

Grant Sinclair

and ministers, especially those from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

both countries and that must be explored for all the good reasons.

Whom did you and Minister David Carter meet and what was the outcome? Alan Pollard: We met some senior horticulture officials of the Indian government and governments of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh including Minister of IT, Food, Civil Supplies and Food Processing in Punjab, Mr. Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, and Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Mr. P K Dhumal. An MoU was also signed between CII Agro Tech and Fieldays. Through this, CII Agro Tech and Fieldays would avail reciprocal rights to attend and exhibit at each others' agri and business shows, share intellectual property, host VIPs, delegations and promote business collaborations. The signing of MoU recognizes CII and Fieldays status as leading international facilitators of agribusiness expansion and innovation. This MoU is not for apples. David Carter supported the signing. Apart from this, we had also useful talks at length to sort out the future course of actions. As you know, India needs best technologies and expertise to boost farm and dairy growth. It is the place where New Zealand is willing to help. You know, we are here to listen and respond accordingly. There is significant progress in India in many agri-fields, and we want to be part of that progress, as it would help the growers and business communities of both countries.

You met apple growers of Himachal Pradesh, which is hub of apple production in the country. What is your plan for them? Alan Pollard: We will provide them expertise and opportunities to grow the best quality apple and how to process and market them. The industry here is very familiar with one of the scientific research institutes in New Zealand. We would take some growers to New Zealand to let them see how we do it including things like post-harvest management. It will certainly help them.

What opportunities do you see here? Alan Pollard: A lot of opportunities in almost all agri-segments of exist for

In India 30% fruits and vegetables go waste due to lack of cold chains. Do you have some plan to address this problem? Alan Pollard: We had a dialogue with the Chief Minister and some officials of Himachal Pradesh and they understand the challenges like lack of cold storage and refrigerated transportation. Our trade delegation includes some people from cold storage industry and they want to share knowhow with Indian businessmen and are keen to explore business opportunities. Indian fruits and vegetables exporters face pesticide issue as EU and US laws are quite tough. What do you think India should do about it? Alan Pollard: Not only this but climatic impact issues like frostbite as well apart from growing attacks by insects. In our country, we have done a lot of research and development in this field to avoid problems at the time of

New Zealand is extremely reliable supplier. In fact, it is the best fresh fruits supplier in the world. Dairy, meat, beverages all are excellent industries there. When people think about New Zealand they think about safe, pure, sustainable, environment-friendly foods. We are expensive producers as we get no subsidy from our government. But the government helps us to market our products in the best effective manner in domestic and overseas markets. Now, we are targeting premium Indian markets as more and more people are visiting retail houses to buy fruits and foods exporting. We would be happy to share that knowledge with Indian growers and industry. We can share expertise in production process and other related aspects too. As you know, coming together is the beginning. So, let’s share ideas and fight the challenges together. What specific technologies would you like offer to Indian growers? Grant Sinclair: I think Indian farmers are very very capable, and can bring transformation in their work if they get a little bit of support and guidance. The kind of environment they get to do their job is incredibly challenging. We are not here to tell them what to do but just share mutual expertise for mutual benefits. This is just a step ahead of the long process we had have here. Indian industries have changed tremendously in last few years. And this demands that farmers should be enabled to meet the new challenges

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Trade Delegation of the emerging markets. We can offer growers here innovative methods of pruning and harvesting apart from post-harvest expertise. We have very strong capability and technology in this field and that can be shared with Indian growers and business community. Innovations happen due to necessities. As we are situated at a far away place from the rest of world we have to spend a lot on transportation of things. As we have many disadvantages like this, we did not get scared but found ways to combat such problems effectively. We had to change often and keep on finding new solutions. So those innovations and solutions can be given to India to save costs and avoid issues like pesticide residue and high transportation costs. New Zealand is extremely reliable supplier. In fact, it is the best fresh fruits supplier in the world. Dairy, meat, beverages all are excellent industries there. When people think about New Zealand they think about safe, pure, sustainable, environmentfriendly foods. We are expensive producers as we get no subsidy from our government. But the government helps us to market our products in the best effective manner in domestic and overseas markets. Now, we are targeting premium Indian markets as more and more people are visiting retail houses to buy fruits and foods. So it is a win-win situation for both countries. Mike Simpson: We have visited Himachal Pradesh and met the apple growers. It is a beautiful place where growers are producing good results despite challenging conditions. They deserve to use the latest technology and expertise to bring revolution in

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their work, and reap good profits. We are here as researchers and potential entrepreneurs to see if we can be of any help to Indian growers and businessmen. You know, New Zealand has a lot to offer. That is all I want to say. And yes, we are going back to our country very enriched with new experiences. Countries like Turkey and Holland are also aggressively entering Indian agri-sectors to explore business opportunities. Washington Apples has also strong presence in Indian markets. China and Chile are other strong suppliers. In this scenario, how are you going to compete? Mike Simpson: You see we share a long and powerful relationship with India. We are the best in expertise when it comes to apple and dairy. But it is the solid relationship between two nations that is the most valuable for us. So in fact, we are not competing with anyone. New Zealand has enough to stand as a unique supplier. Since India is a price-sensitive market, so how are you going to meet this challenge? Grant Sinclair: In New Zealand, growers know how to swim and not sink as there is no subsidy or any kind of support except the strong support that we get to connect to various markets. This might sound strange to Indians as it would take a long time here to end farm subsidy. But in our country farmers are very clear that they have no support. So they must produce the finest products and sell them in the most attractive markets. It forces us to on our feet and to remain highly competitive globally. That is the reason our products, tools, technologies and expertise are the best in the world. This survival instinct makes us very confident about how to meet the requirements of the customers. And we,

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

always, are able to satisfy the demands of the consumers who buy our products. That is why we know how to bring down input costs such as transportation, cold storage and supply chain costs to sell the products to consumers at reasonable prices. Coming of FDI and increased purchasing powers of healthconscious Indian consumers are also in our favour. What are your future plans? Alan Pollard: We are not aiming for a short-range period of engagement but have a long duration plan. We are very keen to know the feedback of Indian growers and businessmen. We want to hear what they want from us. Apart from that as I told we want to take some growers as well as some government officials to our country for knowing it all the first hand. So, let’s wait and see what good things come out in near future. We are very sanguine that we can benefit both Indian and New Zealand markets collectively. We can integrate our offerings with the larger picture of Indian agriculture and agri-business. Thank you very much Mr. Alan, Mr. Grant, Mr. Mike. As a parting shot we want to inform you that Media Today Group also organizes annual expos on horticulture, floriculture, landscaping & gardening, dairy, grains, and poultry. And we cordially invite you in Horti Expo 2013 that will happen in New Delhi from January 11 to 13. Many countries take part in these exhibitions and conferences. So, bring your iconic, delicious Kiwifruit and Apples. Alan Pollard: Thank you too. We would certainly participate and dazzle you with big apples. Please give us brochures of the coming expos as some of our delegates will also be interested to participate. n


Event Report

3rd India International Potato Expo

Focus should be on exports & cold chain: Tariq Anwar

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ndia needs to focus on export of value-added potato products, for which there is a need to create a complete cold chain facility, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Agriculture Tariq Anwar, said on December 21. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER Inaugurating the 3rd India International Potato Expo in New Delhi, Anwar said technology transfers from multinational firms operating in the country should be another focus area and also called strong partnership with the private sector and industry associations in bringing in investments into the sector. ORGANISED SECTOR Highlighting the potential of the potato processing industry, Anwar said potato chips and potato-based products occupied almost 85 per cent share of the $3 billion organised Indian snack market, which was growing at the rate of 15-20 per cent. The unorganised market share is roughly $1.5 billion, which was currently growing at a rate of 7-8 per cent, he added. However, the Minister said the challenge ahead was greater as climate change would most rd certainly bring higher average temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and more frequent extreme events, multiplying the threats to sustainable food security.

FACILITIES M.K Jalan, Chairman, India Chamber of Commerce-Agri Business Committee, said the country’s immediate emphasis should be on creation of post-harvest infrastructural facilities, such as collection and grading centres, washing facilities, packing, refrigerated vans etc. “Cold storages can be set up on the basis of public-private partnership, where the State Government may provide land and the private party will invest necessary funds”, he added. 2-DAY EXPO The two-day expo, organised by the ICC, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food Processing, is being attended by international experts, academicians, policy makers, corporate houses, agriscientists, bankers, members from the farming community and others.

Tea Board cancels 156 licenses

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he Tea Board of India, on December 21, cancelled the permanent licences of 156 tea exporters for nonperformance. Many of the exporters were found to be bogus. The action came after a monthlong review during which it was revealed that these exporters were neither performing nor submitting the returns as per a statutory need. The development was confirmed by a senior Tea Board official. Export licences are given under the Tea Distribution and Export Control Order and anyone exporting teas has to hold a valid licence from the Tea Board. It was learnt that licences given are either permanent or temporary, where the latter is for a period of three years. Sources said that the action followed the virtual non-receipt of any data from the exporters. “Only 30 per cent of the licence holders submit data,” sources said. Following a thorough review, it was decided to send notices to 194 regular exporters. “Subsequently the decision to cancel 156 licences was taken, as it was found that 100 had not replied to the notice and around 60 notices had bounced, indicating that they were either bogus exporters or were no longer interested in exports.” In the review exercise, nearly 90 per cent of the temporary licencees were also weeded out, as it was seen that their licences had anyway lapsed. Now 290 more temporary licences would be reviewed this month, as their three-year period expires at the end of December. It may be mentioned that having an export licence entitles a company to a host of benefits including income tax relief and duty draw reliefs.

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Event Report

Food Mela of the Gulf focuses on private labels The

Demands of natural, healthy foods growing in gulf, say organizers Bureau report

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his year, SIAL Middle East, happened from November 26 to 28, registered a 32% increase in the number of trade visitors. This once again proves that it remains one of the fastest growing F&B events in the gulf region.

“Brands are big business for the region, across all market sectors, and with consumers becoming increasingly selective, the growth of private labels in the food industry is a logical next step for local and international retailers - and SIAL Middle East is the ideal platform to translate ideas into action,” said Chris Fountain, Managing Director of Turret Media, organisers of SIAL Middle East

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Inauguration His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed AlNahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, inaugurated the third edition of SIAL Middle East in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, which opened at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The VIP delegation, as well as ambassadors from Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, Malaysia, Portugal, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA, toured the exhibition. HE Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said at the inauguration, “SIAL Middle East has accomplished much in its first and second editions. This year, the number of participants increased to include more than 1000 food companies from 52 countries. This is in addition to the innovative products on display and the quantum of business deals expected to be struck during the event. All this is thanks to the support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.” Eight new pavilions Visitors to SIAL Middle East 2012 were treated to 21 national pavilions - eight of which were new and included a dairy pavilion from Bulgaria, a beef pavilion from Brazil and a seafood pavilion from Vietnam. Exhibitors also came from other countries Kenya, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Taiwan.


Event Report

Indian Presence India’s leading monthly “AgriBusiness & Food Industry” also set up a stall, distributing free copies among trade visitors and participants to promote Indian food products through exhibition. Although the overall feeling among Indian participants was below expectation, they appeared serious as Middle East is an emerging, vast market for food products. And thus all food products manufacturers visiting the show looked very keen and ambitious. Conferences & Workshops The SIAL Middle East conference focused on three main forums: Private Label (Risks & Rewards, Improving Collaboration between Retailer and Manufacturer to Drive Growth), F&B Business, and the Food Retail with a few other workshops in between. Private label in gulf stands at just 3% compared to over 35% in Europe and 20% in the US. Focus on Private labels “Brands are big business for the region, across all market sectors, and with consumers becoming increasingly selective, the growth of private labels in the food industry is a logical next step for local and international retailers - and SIAL Middle East is the ideal platform to translate ideas into action,” said Chris Fountain, Managing Director of Turret Media, organisers of SIAL Middle East. Moderated by Koen de Jong,

Director, International Private Label Consult, panelists Maurice van Vliet, CEO of Netherlands-based consultancy privatelabeltrader.com, and Victoria Hassani, Managing Director, Global Market Access ME, painted a realistic picture of the challenges and opportunities for local and international Gulf retailers. “Private label brands have been around since the early 1900s. It’s not just a question of producing a quality product; this needs to be supported by sophistication in terms of packaging, and investment in marketing and promotional strategies in order to drive consumer confidence,” said van Vliet. “If you take Carrefour as an example, to support its private label activity in China, the company partnered with a high profile Chinese basketball player, who’d played in the US’ NBA, to headline its marketing activity,” he added. “The consolidation of retail in the region has seen local players such as Lulu and Panda rise to the top to take on international retailers like Spinneys and Carrefour, and it makes good business sense to move forward and develop private label ranges,” remarked Hassani. “With no monolithic consumer base with shared culture and culinary tastes, a major challenge is to position private label as a brand and market it as such, not merely as an adjunct or afterthought. There is also a need for systems and procedures - such as

category management and just-intime controls - to be adopted, as growth to date has been organic rather than structured,” she added. Other topics The topic of conferences and workshops also included Global & Regional Food Innovation & Trends, What are the Opportunities for Middle East Food Companies in China? In Food & Beverage Business Forum, topics covered included Food Safety Update, Five key Ingredients to Restaurant Success, Eating out & Dining Trends for 2013, From Global to Local, Social Media Strategies for Restaurants and F&B Businesses. In Food Retail Forum section, panelists discussed on such topics as Insights from a retailer, Consumer Trends for Supermarkets and Hypermarkets, Building a Strategic Retail Platform, Food Markets in Northeast Asia, FOODPOLIS, and Emerging Opportunities in Korea's Food Markets. Huge demands in the gulf “Demand from the Middle East consumer for natural, healthy food choices is a growing trend, and is increasingly important for the region’s economy as nutrition becomes a key factor in the purchase decision,” remarked Terlet.

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Event Report

Etihad showcases its support to ITCA

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tihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, delivered the keynote presentation at the opening session of SIAL Middle East 2012 conference, highlighting its support for the International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) and the importance that Etihad places on the quality of its in-flight food and beverage offering. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) - who visited the Etihad Airways stand during his official tour of the exhibition – and in strategic partnership with ADFCA. During his keynote address, Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We at Etihad Airways are delighted to sponsor the largest gathering to date of the International Travel Catering Association, the travel industry’s pre-eminent Food & Beverage event in the region. “We do not benchmark our product and services against our airline competitors, but rather against the top restaurants and hotels around the world. This is what inspires us to introduce innovative concepts such as our First Class Chefs and our Food and Beverage Managers in Business Class, bringing a restaurant-quality

experience to our premium passengers. ITCA is an embodiment of this spirit. It not only promotes forward-thinking and excellence, but also provides huge opportunities.” Etihad has an in-house team of culinary experts – all classically-trained chefs – designing and managing new menus for every route every two months across all classes, an approach which Etihad claims sets them apart - putting culinary professionals in airline jobs, as opposed to airline professionals in culinary jobs. ITCA has entered into a co-location partnership with SIAL Middle East, the region’s fastest growing trade exhibition for the food, drink and hospitality industry, as members target new business opportunities in the region as aviation sector forecasts indicate exponential growth across the GCC through to 2020, buoyed by up to US$90 billion investment into infrastructure expansion. “Etihad’s strategy for growth is based on the quality, consistency and five-star service levels of its food and beverage offering. This is becoming a global trend with many of the leading airlines, as it becomes increasingly difficult to set your airline brand apart through technology alone,” said Stephen White, ITCA President. According to IATA reports, the Middle East will process 400 million air travellers by 2020 as state-of-the-art airports come on line, major carriers expand their route networks and aircraft orders from the

Gulf region further boost capacity. The UAE is also the single biggest market for Airbus, with total orders valued at US$223.9 billion over the next 20 years. ITCA is also bringing the Mercury Awards to the region for the first time. Mercury is the most prestigious award in travel catering worldwide, sought after by the best and most pro-active companies in the industry. ITCA will also reveal the winners of its annual Mercury Awards at a gala event during the exhibition. These prestigious international travel catering awards cover eight categories including recognition for excellence in On Board Service, Skills Development, Equipment and Innovation.

Turkey as Leader of the Arab According to Terlet, Turkey currently leads the Arab world in innovation, closely followed by the UAE. “The rise of the UAE in the innovation rankings is supported by changing consumer attitudes to food, coupled with willingness on the part of producers and the relevant authorities. While there are a lot of innovative products being launched by Occidental producers, we are also seeing more and more from local companies,” he said.

Cuisine by SIAL culinary competition this week as part of the SIAL Middle East 2012 exhibition, held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). Organised by the Emirates Culinary Guild, the competition was one of the visual highlights of the three-day exhibition and conference, and covered 17 food categories from individual ice carving and wedding cakes to five-course gourmet menu cook-offs. Commenting on the competition, Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee for SIAL Middle East and ADFCA Official Spokesperson, said: “Competitions like this contribute to quality improvement

across the food industry, and present a unique opportunity for UAE chefs to showcase their skills and innovative approach to food.” “The standard of entrants has definitely risen from last year, with specific categories such as pastry taking a big step forward in terms of creativity and execution, and impressive performances from entrants in the hot kitchen section,” said Uwe Micheel, President, Emirates Culinary Guild. “Recognition in the form of an Emirates Culinary Guild La Cuisine by SIAL medal is special for every chef, and the most important ingredient in the success of any restaurant is its staff,” he added.

Chef competitions More than 300 UAE-based chefs showcased their creativity at the La

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Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, speaks to ITCA delegates during his keynote address


Event Report Concurrent events Through a number of strategic partnerships with organisers of other leading food events, visitors to SIAL Middle East also gained free entry to ITCA Abu Dhabi, Rice & Grains 2012, and International Date Palm Festival, all running alongside SIAL Middle East. The event attracted above 15000 visitors in all. Innovation Awards A total of 15 nominations from seven countries vied for the accolade, with the overall winner, Nutrigreen SA of Portugal, accepting the highly prized and high profile award for its ‘Wow Every Now Unboring Fruit’ fresh fruit pieces range, from Xavier Terlet, CEO of market intelligence consultancy, XTC World Innovation, and head of the judging panel. “Our panel of industry judges were unanimous in their decision this year, with Nutrigreen SA keeping it simple (KISS) and ticking all the right boxes as a standout example of marketplace innovation reflecting the global trend for convenience, combined with new demand for products with natural health benefits that offer a pleasurable eating experience,” said Terlet.

“This is the first time we have participated at SIAL Middle East and are thrilled to receive this prestigious industry accolade. Our fresh fruit bars are a convenient solution to enjoying one of your five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables in a simple, attractively packaged and fuss-free way,” said Lidia Santos, board member, Nutrigreen SA. Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for SIAL Middle East and Official Spokesperson of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, said: “I hope the award program and the exciting range of innovative products that took part in the contest will inspire food companies in the UAE to creatively improvise on their culinary skills and add further momentum to the dynamism of the industry. The award program complements the basic objective behind organizing SIAL Middle East, which is to take the food industry here to the next stage of growth and diversification.” “Our SIAL Innovation Award is a global food accolade presented at each of our five international events - from Brazil and China to Canada and France - and has been a core feature of the show

for two decades,” said Chris Fountain, Managing Director, Turret Media, organisers of SIAL Middle East. “The industry thrives on its ability to constantly reinvent and innovate as consumers become more demanding, and technology allows us to enter new realms of the possible, and the SIAL award is a vital platform for the food sectors’ most creative minds to showcase their ideas and inspire their peers,” he added. The 2012 nominations included multiple submissions from the US, Portugal and South Korea, as well as entries from Argentina, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the UAE with products including frozen food items, fruit juices and beverages, baking mixes, cured and prepared meats, desserts and sweets. Exhibitors and visitors to the show could also view more than 50 winning products from other global SIAL events, as well as the 2012 nominations, at the Innovation Observatory, a highlight of the three-day exhibition and conference, which is held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). n

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Agri Affairs

3rd India International Potato Summit

Entering the wonderful world of potatoes!

Sanjeev Chopra

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he third edition of the India International Potato Summit and exhibition was held on the sprawling lawns of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa, during 21-22 December. It would be wrong to call it international, for other than discussing the export potential of potato seeds and potato products, there was little to show by way of an international engagement. However because the government of India – both in Agriculture and Commerce ministries gives a higher allocation for ‘international events’ most conferences , workshops , seminars and exhibitions have an international tag, and manage to rope in some global NGO or business organization to participate. Attractive State Stalls Having said that, the organization was superb, the exhibition stalls – from state governments , agribusiness organizations and farm equipment companies were impressive, and farmer friendly, and last but not the least, the farmers from across the country – Assam, west Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, UP, MP, Punjab, Haryana and HP were enthusiastic participants. Your columnist decided to deliver the keynote address in Hindustani –which struck an immediate chord – and compelled the organizers to switch to an English Hindi format, rather than the opening speeches which had a lot of content , but in

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the absence of simultaneous translation, made no impact. Here is an ‘obiter dicta ‘observation for all conference organizers. Encourage people to speak in their own language, but arrange for simultaneous translation at least to Hindustani, and the regional language. The insistence on Hindustani is deliberate. One is not looking to the Lok Sabha translators, who are ‘purist’ in their approach – one is seeking a language to connect and engage. History of Potato Yours truly spoke about the history of potato : its origin in the central and South Americas, its movement to Europe as the ‘poor man’s crop’, Von Gogh’s expressive painting ‘The Potato Eaters’ and its references in the court proceedings of Emperor Jahangir (1615-1619). As European footprints on Indian soil increased, the cultivation of potato gained momentum, and by the early nineteenth century, potatoes were established in the hilly regions of the country, mainly as a garden vegetable, often grown during the summer months. Gradually, potato was grown in the winter months in the plains and became an important part of the winter cuisine and was used in conjunction with cauliflower, carrots, peas, beans and other greens. However the production did not really take off till cold storage technologies made it possible to extend the shelf-life of the potato, and today it is the most important horticulture crop in terms of value, volume, employment opportunities and diversification potential. Today the country produces

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The credit for potato popularizing goes to the entrepreneurship and hard work of the Indian farmer, and the support extended to them by the Central Potato Research institute at Shimla. CPRI has released more than fifty varieties which are suited to the different agro-climatic conditions of the country, and this has contributed to the spread of potato cultivation, and making it the ‘king of vegetables’


Agri Affairs already been covered – and this had the advantage of improving soil health, besides reducing dependence on external inputs. Thus while leveraging the funds available under the Government of India’s BGREI (bringing Green revolution to eastern India); Bihar was clear that greater focus would be on ‘processes’ rather than inputs!

42 million MT of potato from an area of 2 million hectares and has been a prime mover in accelerating growth in the agri-horti sector. King of Vegetables The credit for this development goes to the entrepreneurship and hard work of the Indian farmer, and the support extended to them by the Central Potato Research institute at Shimla. CPRI has released more than fifty varieties which are suited to the different agro-climatic conditions of the country, and this has contributed to the spread of potato cultivation, and making it the ‘king of vegetables’. True the productivity is less than in countries like France, Germany, Netherlands and the US, but we are catching up by improving the quality of our planting material. We have to make the transition to TPS (True Potato Seed) which has the potential of reducing the seed material requirement by over 50% (compared to clonal seed material). Tripura’s experience with TPS has been very good. As mentioned in the column last week, North East is now a shining exemplar in pioneering the horticulture revolution in the country. Honour to Bihar The conference also acknowledged and honoured the Government of Bihar for having achieved remarkable success in the production and productivity of potato in Nalanda district. Dr N Vijay Lakshmi, the Agriculture Secretary, in her acceptance speech also mentioned the Bihar government’s policy of mainstreaming ‘organic cultivation ‘in the agriculture development strategy of Bihar. Over 12 lakh hectares had

Technical Sessions In the first technical session Dr Bir Pal Singh, the Director of the CPRI spoke at length about how potato had helped the farmers achieve four times higher returns than wheat or rice. He acknowledged that the current productivity levels of 20-25 tonnes per hectare were way below the potential of 50-55 tonnes per hectare, especially in the fertile Doab and the Indo Gangetic belt. One reason was that farmers were keen to varieties with shorter gestation period (eighty days as against the conventional varieties which took over hundred days to mature). He also mentioned that CPRI had been giving priority to processing grade potatoes – and the six varieties in the Chipsona series was a testimony to these efforts. CPRI had extended support to the establishment of thirty five Tissue Culture labs- and were willing to extend their support to other entrepreneurs as well. Dr Singh felt that India should leverage its seed production facilities to become the seed production hub for South and South East Asia as well as central Asia. He also wanted the states to give permission to allow open field trials for GM potatoes which had the ability to resist the ‘late blight ‘disease which played havoc with the crops just as they were reaching the state of maturity. Demand for National Potato Board In the discussions that followed, there were demands for a National Potato Board, the need to connect farmers to consumers and address losses on account of Post harvest management and cold chain infrastructure. Suggestions which are quite well meaning by themselves – but given the resource constraints with the agriculture and horticulture departments in both the central and state

governments, and the policy logjam with regard to APMC, it appears to be a Herculean task! So even though it’s not impossible, it will be a tough call….. (The author is Joint Secretary & Mission Director, NHM & NMMI, Union Ministry of Agriculture)

Award for Nalanda farmers

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rogressive farmers from Nalanda who created world records for the highest yield of potatoes using organic fertilizers, were awarded for their excellent achievements by the Union minister of state for agriculture Tariq Anwar at the third India International Expo-2012 held in New Delhi on Friday. On this occasion, N Vijyalaxmi, secretary, agriculture department, Bihar, also received an award for the achievements of the farmers. Nitish Kumar, a farmer from village Darveshpura in the district, who produced 729 quintals of potato per hectare and created a world record of highest yield by using organic fertilizers, was awarded by the minister for his achievement. Nitish also equalled the previous world record of paddy production held by a Chinese while another farmer from his village Sumant Kumar got the award for the highest yield of paddy last season to beat the Chinese record after he produced 127 quintal per hectare using the scientific method of system of rice intensification (SRI) and organic fertilizers. Since then hundreds of farmers of the district have turned to SRI and the average yield of paddy and wheat has almost doubled in the district. Rakesh Kumar of Nalanda Organic Vegetable Growers' Association (NOVGA), of which Rakesh Kumar is the secretary from Sohdih in the district and Vijendra Prasad from village Jhamadih in Nalanda, also received awards for their outstanding performances for procuring significant yield of potato by the minister on this occasion.

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Food & Beverages

Using health & nutrition theme to propel the brand I hate the word social in CSR, says Vinita Bali

Ravi Balakrishnan

A contemporary image was essential, so I appealed to the Indian psyche to create a distinct position which not only played on taste i.e. a healthy stomach leads to better thinking. It was a combination of mind and body." The other option was 'Eat Healthy, Live Better', but 'Think Better' finally made the cut

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inita Bali had taken charge of Britannia after several years of working overseas for Coca-Cola, and at marketing consultancy the Zyman Group. In 2005, brand Britannia had lost some of its mojo, being trounced when it came to exciting products by new and nimble competitors like ITC's Sunfeast. Bali admitted candidly at the time, "This was a company that was very innovative. For the last three or four years, it did not use this ability. We are beginning to use that muscle again." Cut to the present and the competitive scenario is if anything, even more challenging. Homegrown rivals like Parle, ITC and Priya Gold are still going strong. Brands like Kraft's Oreo and United Biscuits McVitie's which used to be mainstays of 'import' food stores are now starting to make their presence felt across the retail spectrum. Against this backdrop Britannia has clocked fairly impressive growth. If it had a turnover of 1,666 crore in 2004, its total revenue at the close of financial year 2012 was 4,974.19 crore — a three-fold increase over eight years. Brands in the health and nutrition space have been among the growth drivers according to Britannia. That the charge would be driven in part by Milk Bikis and Marie Gold comes as no surprise. Both brands have been in the Britannia stable for decades. Industry sources claim they command a share of approximately 55% and 50% respectively in their categories. The dark horse is NutriChoice, which apparently accounts for nearly 75% of an admittedly small but rapidly growing health snacks niche.

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

The change started according to Bali when the management looked at Britannia's tagline Swasth Khao, Tanman Jagao aka Eat Healthy, Think Better. It had been conceived of in 1997 by former Britannia managing director and CEO Sunil Alagh. Speaking of its genesis, Alagh says it lay in representing a change from a mere biscuit company to a food company which included breads, cakes, cheese and milk. He elaborates, "It also needed to represent a major thrust in the mass glucose biscuit market, with Tiger. A contemporary image was essential, so I appealed to the Indian psyche to create a distinct position which not only played on taste i.e. a healthy stomach leads to better thinking. It was a combination of mind and body." The other option was 'Eat Healthy, Live Better', but 'Think Better' finally made the cut since "living" was more ostentatious and related to the body as opposed to "thinking" which connected to the mind. Alagh says, "It worked beautifully and propelled Britannia to the Number 1 food brand in India through Tiger and its new positioning." While many new bosses have been known to jettison slogans and marketing concepts from a previous regime, Bali believed the tagline was in fact being underutilised: "The light bulb went off when we said we have a fabulous slogan but it's just a slogan so far. For us the challenge was how do we convert "swasth khao" to a brand credo that gets activated?" Learning from experience Britannia's initial approach to health


Food & Beverages under Bali was radically different. Plans were afoot for the national rollout of a milk based drink named Anlene. Initially launched in the East, it was aimed specifically at women, to combat osteoporosis. However Anlene didn't go beyond the test market stage. Team Britannia began to learn that while health concerns were on the rise, the Indian consumer's mindspace was dominated by more common killers: diabetes and heart disease. Explaining a problem and then offering a solution was a task that the biscuit giant did not feel equal to. Says Bali, "When you ask 'am I using the assets I have in the most effective and productive manner?' you get to where we got to. We opted to use what we have whether a brand, consumer insight or way to market and suffuse that with health propositions." Building NutriChoice An obvious option to build the health platform was NutriChoice. It was an umbrella brand started long before Bali came on board to bunch niche products together and thus save on ad budgets. Its main representation was a staid thin arrowroot biscuit sold primarily in the east. However the team at Britannia decided to build on the health positioning inherent in the brand name. Bali says, "We figured there was something with this brand and something happening with consumers who were seeking products that are healthier." The initial option was to create sugar free biscuits for diabetics. However as Bali points out, "As we delved deeper, we found what they are seeking is not just sugar free but something that keeps sugar levels constant." It made Britannia look afresh at ingredients like oats and ragi, known to have a low glycaemic index. It spurred the creation of a more sachet based package design as opposed to the large boxes that NutriChoice used to be sold in, to make it easy to transport and keep within reach. The main lesson according to Bali is "The building of a brand goes far beyond the most obvious." The brand currently has multigrain, digestive and oats based variants, besides spinning off into finger food with NutriChoice Thins and the general mixture or pouring range with NutriChoice Multigrain Roasty.

UN World Food Program & CSR After a project with the UN as a part of the World Food Programme, during which Britannia worked to the recipe of a calorie and nutrition dense biscuit, Bali decided on starting the Britannia Nutrition Foundation. She says, "I hate the word social in CSR; it simply has to be corporate responsibility. We tried to build this into our business model so it's not just a question of writing a cheque which stops when the funds stop." Britannia has fortified its regular portfolio of biscuits with iron in its flagship Tiger brand, and extended iron and vitamins to brands like Milk Bikis, Marie and even bread. It also focussed on "removing the bad while adding the good", as Bali puts it. The company claims a lead among food brands in India for raising awareness about and eliminating trans fats from its recipes. Health Experts’ opinions Health, says marketing consultant Shripad Nadkarni, founder of MarketGate is a fairly bankable concept to build brands around: "It has grown on the back of increased health concerns through education and better information. This awareness is across categories and not just restricted to food. Advertising has also driven curiosity and preference for healthy options." And there's lots of elbow room to grow considering India's per capita consumption of biscuits is a mere 2 kilos per person, lower than even Sri Lanka which consumes double the quantity.

the durables to the food industry. He says, "Snacking is never meant for people who want health. It's mainly taste driven and if in that, there's some element of health, that's great. If the total organised snacking market is between 14,000 crore and 15,000 crore, I think the sales of products on a health platform will not be above 400 crores. People say it's growing at 50% and 60% — but on what base?" The trouble is when researched no consumer will claim to be averse to a healthy product but when it comes to the crunch, indulgence generally wins the day. Nadkarni adds, "The role of health in many of these indulgence categories is one of permissibility. When you want a chip and it says 'baked, not fried' you are likely to be reassured. But if I am in the mood to have chips, I'm not going to give up the taste needs. Hence the holy grail of finding taste with health benefits." According to one of Britannia's arch rivals in the marketplace, healthy snacks still have a long way to go. The roadblocks include the taste challenge: consumers preferring

Skeptics’ idea However there are some skeptics — notable among them being the man who coined 'Eat Healthy, Think Better.' Alagh believes health is one of the most overused terms in Indian marketing, flogged by everyone from

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

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Food & Beverages fried snacks over so called 'diet options'. Says Mayank Shah, group product manager at Parle Products: "Health snacks segment is growing at a rapid 35%-40% but from a very small base. It will be some time before the category achieves scale and evolves." Parle does have a couple of healthy snack products like digestive Marie biscuits and sugar-free cream crackers, but these are small. "These products cater to consumers looking for functional health benefits, but that segment has a long way to go," he adds. These launches happened around three years back and even if there are more products on the anvil, they won't be the marketer's immediate priority. The two need not be mutually exclusive, though. Bali points to several products from nature like fruits that straddle the two aspects with no contradiction. She says, "It's lazy to think that healthy cannot be tasty. The thing to do is challenge yourself and the product development team to say I want health and taste. It's the same as saying what is cheap cannot be functionally good. The electronics industry broke that myth entirely. Today I can buy a DVD player for

2,500 and its runs brilliantly." Beyond Crunch Time While biscuits still account for 80% of Britannia's business, the company is in the middle of a serious push behind other aspects like dairy, bread and cake. It's driven quite simply by the need to make Britannia more relevant to the consumer and increase consumption opportunities. Biscuits are and will always be a tea time or between meals snack. But according to Vinita Bali, as a biscuit company, you don't really have anything relevant at the breakfast table. The moment I go in with bread, butter and now milk I become seen at breakfast." Imagining biscuits compete only with other biscuits is a fallacy. There are several other options from healthy ones like fruits to not so healthy ones like deep friend traditional Indian snacks. Other categories on the other hand are a lot more airtight. For instance, according to Bali, "Someone who is going to have curd rice for lunch will definitely have curds. The choice then is whether it is homemade or if they opt for our brand or the competition." Flavoured milk products When it comes to milk, Britannia

again ties it in with health, selling slim or zero fat milk in tetrapaks. Its flavoured milk range with variants like badam, chocolate and the soon to be launched chaas in Mumbai, ensure it gets into lunchboxes too. Says Bali, "There is a conventional way of thinking about brands which is 'how much do I advertise?' or 'what do I do at the point of sales?' Another way to think is how often am I relevant to the consumer right through the day? One of the things that have worked for us is to extend and expand Britannia in a consumer's life." It's been pushing the edge on differentiation in cheese not just via flavoured spreads and cheese cubes but more recently with gourmet variants imported from Austria. Many of these products, being a lot more perishable than Britannia's mainstay of biscuits, has caused it to re-look at distribution. Curd has a 15 day shelf life but that's only if stored in the right conditions. And when it comes to bread, Bali says, "In a city like Mumbai, if it's not available between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning, we've effectively lost our sales for the day since they want fresh bread. The product, form and character determine the go-to-market strategy." Courtesy: ET

FMCG brand extension is more successful than new launches: Survey

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s it possible for consumers to accept a hair oil brand as a skin care lotion? Parachute Advansed, the leading hair oil brand from Marico, has managed to make this transition based on insights from research firm – Nielsen. Extensions of existing fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands are five times more successful than launching a new brand in India, claims a study done by Nielsen, provider of insights and information on what consumers watch and buy. BRAND STRETCHING According to Sameer Satpathy, EVP & Head Marketing – CPB, Marico, “We had to translate the goodness

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of coconut oil into a new category to leverage the strength and equity of Parachute Advansed. We had to treat this extension as a new brand and it worked for us and we managed a 6 per cent share in the first year of the launch of the product. The idea is to stretch and not strain the brand.” In fact Nielsen’s study of top brands in 46 FMCG categories and 82 brand extensions in food and nonfood categories shows that in addition to promoting brand equity, brand extensions can grow incremental sales up to 38 per cent and contribute as much as 30 per cent to the parent brand’s sales. INNOVATION SUCCESS “Innovations are driving

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

FMCG

growth in India,” said Arun Chogle, Client Business Partner, Nielsen India. “Brand extensions, or stretching your existing brand, increase your chances of innovation success. Not only do brand extensions leverage the equity of the parent brand, but they also lead to faster adoption and deliver higher marketing efficiency.” The study further states that brand stretches gain share and build distribution faster than new launches. Brand stretches are also two times more likely to succeed in a highly fragmented category. Also when the parent brand is a leader in the category, brand extensions can become successful.


Food & Beverages

S

ome 26 years after Nestle launched Maggi noodles with its captivating two-minute proposition, three big consumer products companies, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Glaxo-SmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) and ITC, decided to test the waters. Almost three years after these three giants got into the fray, Maggi still rules the roost, with more than three-fourths of the 2,500 crore market in the bag, as of September 2012. ITC's Yippee has done well to grab a double-digit share. Top Ramen from Nissin Foods of Japan, which entered the country way back in 1988, has a 4.3% slice of the pie. But the two multinationals, HUL with Knorr and GSK with Foodles, have yet to show any substantial gains. For a category that is growing at 20% annually, and in a country in which instant foods are beginning to catch on with India's burgeoning middle class, you'd expect plenty of action in noodles. Devendra Chawla, president, food & FMCG at Future Group, says: "Noodles are no longer considered a processed food; it has become mainstream, a choice rather than a last alternative and has come to be accepted as a part of the regular household menu." Why then have brands from reputed consumer marketers not been able to make a dent? The biggest shocker is Foodles, which has used the health plank as a differentiator. According to a recent Edelweiss research report, Foodles' contribution has dipped roughly 24% year-on-year and the company has shifted focus to niche multi-grain offering, which earns higher gross margins but does not compete in the mass noodles segment. HUL, which has extended a soup brand into the category, may be having trouble convincing consumers that Knorr is also a noodles label, say analysts. "The soup imagery of Knorr has made customers think of it as a product that is consumed during winters," says an analyst tracking the foods sector who did not want to be named. An HUL spokesperson declined to comment when contacted, although HUL's annual report for 2011-12 does say: "Knorr soupy noodles managed to double the business during the year as the product has received good response from consumers across all the markets." ITC, for its part, is pleased as a punch with the share it has garnered so far, and attributes its No 2 position to factors like quality, inter-business synergies and

First Mover Maggi still rules the roost, Johnnie-comelately ITC has gained significant ground, and HUL and GSK Consumer still have to get their act right in the fast-growing instant noodles category

Preethi Chamikutty distribution strength. V L Rajesh, executive vice president & head of marketing, foods division, ITC says: "We did few things that are pretty oldfashioned really. Our hotels business has some of the most exceptional chefs in India today, and they have played a huge role in shaping our noodle offering." Rajesh adds that ITC's clout with distributors has also helped it reach consumers. "Distributors trust ITC. They know that if there is a product problem, we will take it back or we will find a solution to the problem." Maggi, meantime, shows few signs of faltering, launching new variants — one of the newer ones is Maggi Masala Damdaar — and pulling out all stops to cement itself in the consumer mind space. In 2012, for instance, it signed on tinsel town superstar Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador. "Maggi is growing consumption by upsizing packs with various combo & multi packs," says Chawla.

If Nestle has to worry, it's less about the multinationals — at least for now — and more about regional players who have carved out handsome shares locally. One such marketer is CG Foods. The maker of the Wai Wai brand of noodles claims it is has been able to beat Maggi in the north east. G P Sah, global business head, CG Foods, claims that Wai Wai has a 65% market share in West Bengal and the north east. Sah goes on to claim that Wai Wai is also the second largest noodles seller in India with a 16% share (he pegs Maggi's share at 62%). "Wai Wai sells 20 lakh packs of noodles per day. And I challenge any brand that claims to be second to Maggi, if they have the guts to declare their numbers publicly," declares Sah. Courtesy: ET

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Food & Beverages

Thousands gather for taste and learning experience

T

o beat the winter blues and tickle the taste buds of Delhiites, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) held the Street Food Festival 2012 recently. The festival had a spread of over 200 street food varieties in 50 stalls from States such as Rajasthan, West Bengal, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab. What’s more, in keeping with the true spirit of globalisation, even Chinese and continental food sold on Indian streets was showcased. NASVI, a non-Government organisation, aims to promote Indian street vendors and organised this festival in a bid to regularise the market, the primary aim of the National Policy for Street Vendors, 2009. “With membership of over six lakh vendors and 714 organisations recognised countrywide, we want to highlight the struggle of these vendors” said Sadaf Farooq, Programme Manager, NASVI. She said they contacted vendors from different States, arranged for their travel and accommodation, and also ensured that all requirements for preparation of street food were made available. On offer were regional favourites such as uttapam from Kerala, biryani from Hyderabad, fish curry, prawn pakodas from West Bengal, mutton qorma from Uttar Pradesh, chaat from Delhi, and many more lip-smacking items. Farooq said the festival’s aim was

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not to generate profit, but to promote the concept of street food and help change the perception that street food was ‘unhygienic and unhealthy.’ “This time, we included special features such as a magic show, folk dance and music to make the festival engaging for kids,” said Farooq. While Delhi has no dearth of street food joints, Arbind Singh, Project Coordinator, said people from all economic strata thronged the venue to try out food from various regions. India has over 10 million street food vendors who are facing a threat from the foreign fast food giants, but we train them to recognise business opportunities and innovations and use them for their benefit, Singh said. Vendors want Street Food Court With thousands thronging the threeday Street Food Festival to have the lip-smacking treat here at the Constitution Club lawns, the street vendors have high pitched their demand for having a street food court in Delhi. The final day of the festival saw almost 30,000 footfalls and even made the organisers close the entry into the venue for some time to control the congestion. People who came for the festival got to savour from about 250 delicacies from 16 States which were dished out by 47 stalls. The items on offer included Kerala chicken, puttu, egg curry, medu vada, Jharkhand banana jalebi , Bihari thali with mutton cooked in entire bulbs of garlic,

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

litti chhokha, Punjab’s makki ki roti and sarson da saag, Bengali prawns in mustard and pieces of steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf. The festival was billed a grand celebration of social and cultural diversity. The delicacies on offer also included Rajasathan’s chewar and finni, Karnataka’s exotic tamarind rice and unique chicken and mutton dishes and Old Delhi’s paranthas and pakoras. The popular vote for the “Best Street Food Vendor of the Season” went to the team of Vasudev Taneja from Patiala for “makki ki roti and sarson da saag”. The best turned out stall was the one from Bihar which offered litti chhokha. “The litti chokha is worth dying for. I came here to have taste of every stall. But here I have already had five pieces of litti chhokha; the only thing now I want to have is makki ki roti and saag which I have heard is another crowd puller here,” said Sumit Kumar, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University who had also come. With over 50,000 people turning up for the festival over the weekend, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) which organised the event has demanded space in the Capital for a street food court. “The objective of the festival was to promote healthy and hygienic food vending practices and use the platform as an advocacy event to influence the government to ensure that street vendors led a secured and dignified livelihood,” said NASVI coordinator Arbind Singh.


Profile

Y

uvraj Fruits is a leading marketing agency in the field of citrus fruits. It has been putting its best efforts in order to serve the interests of growers and consumers since 1965. Throughout all these years, it has truly stood by its motto “service with excellence”. The unflinching pursuit of the motto in all its endeavours has enabled it to set dimensions in this arena. “Yuvraj Brand Kinnoo” is another attempt made by it to supply the best quality fruits to its valuable customers and to fetch the best price to the hard working growers of the country. Yuvraj Fruits constantly fulfils its aim and commitment to provide worldclass fruit-care through the use of the

latest technologies in post-harvesting processes and narrowing the gap between the growers and traders. It provides a smooth platform for direct deals in a safe, hygienic environment, and above all, friendly and co-operative atmosphere. Yuvraj Fruits, situated at the richest fruit-bearing belt on Ganga Nagar road, is an associate of ‘ORIENT FRUITS’, established in 2005. ‘ORIENT FRUITS’ is a well-known name for its excellence in fruit-care and providing a complete chain of services to farmers and traders under the able leadership and vision of second generation of ‘BHATIA TRADERS’ of Delhi. BHATIA TRADERS is a pioneer in the field of Malta-Kinnoo, and is the

Raj Kumar Bhatia

first to initiate the revolutionary step in post-harvesting fruit handling in Northern India. It is committed to strengthen the supply chain. E-mail: kinnoocare@gmail.com

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Heritage Foods to cut retail business

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Rinac to cash in on FDI

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ith Parliament giving its nod to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the Rs.121-crore Chennai-headquartered Rinac India Ltd. is re-looking its game plan to cash in on the emerging opportunities. Rinac offers end-to-end engineering solutions for the cold chain and modular construction industries. According to R. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, Rinac has set in motion the process of identifying new products to strengthen its portfolio. At the same time, it has initiated action to beef up its R&D (research and development) wing, comprising about 35 engineers from across disciplines. In an interaction with this correspondent, he said the opening up of FDI in multi-brand retail would eventually drive the market towards infrastructure creation. “When big modern retailers come in, the chain itself will get developed, and the process then becomes irreversible,” he pointed out. Elaborating the positive fall-outs, Mr. Krishnan said it would even open up opportunities for India to “look at food export”. Since there was no cold chain worth in place, the country could not export much of the milk items (except milk powder). Though Tamil Nadu was the largest banana-growing state with widest variety, lack of backend infrastructure such as cold storage had constrained the farmers, he said.

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eritage Foods India (HFIL), the Rs 1,400-crore retail and dairy products company promoted by the family of Andhra Pradesh's former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, will hive-off its retail business into a separate arm to rope in strategic or financial partners, said a top official. The move assumes significance in the backdrop of the government's move to allow foreign direct investment into the retail sector, allowing foreign companies to buy a controlling interest in Indian retailers. "The board has approved a proposal to hive off the retail business into a wholly-owned subsidiary and to rope strategic or financial partners in a bid to accelerate the pace of growth in retail business," HFIL president M Sambasiva Rao said. A separate entity, Heritage Foods Retail, was registered for the purpose and the transferring of the retail business to the subsidiary will take place along with the firming up of new partners, said Rao.

He ruled out promoters divesting stake at the parent company level. Heritage Foods, founded by Chandrababu Naidu in 1992, had in 2006 forayed into food and grocery retail. It currently operates in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The retail division now has 72 'Heritage Fresh' branded retail stores with a total retail trading space of 2.1 lakh square feet. "It is a volume business and we want to at least double the retail trading space over the next two-three years with the help of partners in these three southern states," said Rao. For the year to March 2012, the retail business reported sales of Rs. 299 crore but had negative EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of Rs 18.3 crore. "We are open to roping in both domestic and foreign partners," he said. "There are some pure investment players who may be interested to invest and allow us to manage the business and some domestic and foreign retailers keen on active role in running the business".

Global retailers to eye emerging India post-FDI

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ith the Government’s decision to operationalise FDI in multi-brand retail, Subhasis Roy, National Director, at Knight Frank India, notes there is bound to be a two-fold impact on the Indian real estate sector. “Firstly, it will increase demand

AgriBusiness & Food Industry w January 2013

for anchor space in cities with one million-plus population where the State Governments agree to permit foreign retailers. Secondly, there is a possibility that rental expectation would be raised,” he added. Anshuman Magazine, Chairman of CBRE South Asia, termed it a positive move by the Government, which would be a game-changer for the real estate industry in India. “It will encourage international retailers to look at India as a destination to set up their operations, resulting in creating opportunities in supply chain management, warehousing and better quality products at competitive prices. Eventually it is expected that most of these foreign retailers will source products locally to remain competitive which will benefit the manufacturing sector,” he said.


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Delhi Govt wants to change APM Act

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o facilitate entry of big retail chains into fruit, vegetable, food grain, poultry and flower markets under the new FDI regime, the Delhi government is planning to seek the approval of the cabinet to bring an amendment to the Agricultural Produce Marketing (regulation) Act 1998. The amendment will break the existing monopoly of the authorized market committees on wholesale trade. The amendment will facilitate direct purchase of produce from farmers by retail chains, including the multinationals, to deal directly with farmers and producers. The Act now provides farmers an access to licensed agents, who deal with market committees and enable farmers to sell their produce in wholesale markets like Azadpur Mandi. BJP, the main opposition, is unhappy over plans to implement FDI in retail and expected to oppose the Bill. The BJP and Confederation of All India Traders have expressed concern that FDI will affect indigenous trade in retail and wholesale markets. When the UPA-led central government decided to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was one of the first chief

ministers to welcome the move. The CM said she felt this would check wastage of food and vegetables, improve quality, and open up job opportunities. On how FDI would impact local vendors and wholesale markets, she had said, “Those who will open these chains will also buy from our wholesale markets. Farmers will be benefited by FDI.” The government feels the amendment would be a step towards creating an enabling environment to make room for the big chains, sources said. However, senior officials disagree that by breaking the monopoly of the market committees, the big retail chains would be able to take over the existing system. “The big chains may be able to access the farmers and tie up with them, but the well-established wholesale markets will not be eclipsed,” an official said. To break the monopoly of Azadpur Mandi, the government is considering allowing private market yards for marketing of farm produce. Officials said the government was also considering setting up a wholesale market in Tikri Khurd in west Delhi. They said the government was likely to allow foreign retail giants to set up shop in the area.

Retail sector braces for new innings

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he retail sector saw a tumultuous year in 2012, punctuated by ebbs and flows in the government’s attempts to bring in laws to permit foreign direct investment (FDI) in the multi-brand sector. The issue snowballed into a political tussle with voices raised against the move in the first-half of the year. While FDI in the wholesale (cash & carry) segment and single-brand retail is allowed, it was only in September 2012, that 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retailing was allowed. The Parliament approved the FDI policies and the sector, which was stagnating due to paucity of fresh capital infusion, is likely to get a boost going forward. Industry watchers feel that organised retail, now estimated at $500 billion, will grow at 15 per cent annually. “The major advantage of the entry of private companies, including domestic and foreign, into the retail sector is the

enhanced flow of investments in overall infrastructure and the establishment of new supply chains,” said Pranad Barua, Business Head-Apparel & Retail Business, Aditya Birla Group. “Retail giants are able to transform the farm-to-fork infrastructure,and develop transport infrastructure”. Also, contrary to expectations that the floodgates of investments would open as soon as FDI is allowed, there are now more realistic expectations that it would be at least a year before any significant investment comes in.

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FDI in retail will play out like a ‘lab experiment’

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h i e f Economist of World Bank Kaushik Basu welcomed the difference in opinion among States on allowing foreign investors into the domestic retail industry . Though he described the move by the Union Government as a “good” reform initiative, the former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government felt that the autonomy of State governments in implementing it offers India an opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of allowing 51 per cent FDI in retail. “I like giving States the autonomy on this decision, because it will be almost like a laboratory experiment on whether it is worthwhile or not,” Basu told newspersons on the sidelines of Indian Finance Conference at the IIM Calcutta campus. “I understand that different States take different views on that and are hesitant… In a few years, we will see whether the States allowing FDI are doing well or battling. “If we see that they are doing well, then presumably States that were hesitant earlier will open up,” he said. He said that if instead those that opted for foreign investment in multi-brand retail are seen to be “doing bad”, it would be a “lesson for everyone”. Basu also added that opening up the retail sector will benefit farmers, while the “biggest beneficiaries would be small-scale producers (enterprises)” as they can access international markets. Stating that every policy has negative fallout, Basu said, “We need to have regulatory authority for this.”

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Negligible food processing: CII Agrotech

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n the present situation, as the agricultural produce moves from farm gate to the food plate, most of it (close to 80 per cent) is consumed by the end consumer through the wholesale and retail network, leaving just 3 per cent and 17 per cent to the processing and the export sector. As a result, there is a huge potential for both the exports and processed food sectors to grow, an international conference on ‘Post harvest infrastructure’ during the CII Agrotech observed. Anil Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Container Corporation of India, said a controlled atmosphere was helping to extend the shelf life of apples, so that the year round storage and consumption could be done. “Apart from apples, we have been successful in storing organic rice in a controlled atmosphere, done successful trials with banana and mango ripening, and also been able to store kinnows, oranges and carrots for sale during off-season. We have developed a ventilated banana container and are also developing a modern ripening center in Azadpur,” he added. Jang Bhadur Sangha, Managing Director, Sangha Seeds said that the farmer is never going to provide international quality produce unless he feels that he is being treated as an equal partner in the growth process. “When a farmer is convinced that he is getting a fair deal, he will deliver the best product. Online auction of produce should be brought in regularly to provide transparency in trading transactions,” he said.

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LT Foods to invest $50 million in Africa

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T Foods Ltd plans to set up a subsidiary in Africa for milling rice, as it gears up to service the continent’s growing local market. “We are in active dialogue with a couple of players in Africa to set up a local milling capacity,” said S. Venkatesh, Head of International Trade at LT Foods Ltd. The company plans to invest about $50 million in its African subsidiary over the next three years, he said. “The subsidiary is most likely to be located in South Africa,” he added. LT Foods plans to source the paddy locally and is also exploring options for contract farming with local farmers. The company’s move to get into local sourcing, milling and contract farming in Africa is part of its backward integration strategy, Venkatesh said.

RISING CONSUMPTION Africa has emerged as one of the largest markets for rice in recent years on rising consumption and accounts for a little over a fourth of the 35 million tonnes of rice traded globally. This has attracted Indian exporters, who have shipped significant volumes of the cereal to the region since September 2011, when the Government, lifting a four-year ban, allowed exports of nonbasmati rice. LT Foods, which sells basmati under the Daawat brand, has expanded its operations in about nine African countries, including Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. In April-October this fiscal, the company exported about 2.5 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice, of which about 1.6 lakh tonnes was shipped to Africa. Last year, the company exported about 1.35 lakh tonnes in the November-March period, mainly to Africa. EXPORT GROWTH LT Foods, which clocked a revenue of Rs 1,435 crore in 2011-12, is eyeing a turnover of Rs 2,000 crore this financial. For the quarter ended September 2012, the company posted a net profit of Rs 15.2 crore on revenues of Rs 434 crore.

Exports of fruits & vegetables increase by 24%

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he export of fruit and vegetables, including processed food items, have risen 24 per cent in value terms to Rs 8,241 crore in 2011-12 over Rs 6,638 crore in the previous year. This information was given by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Exports of onions fell marginally

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to Rs 1,723 crore in 2011-12 against Rs 1,779 crore in the previous year. Fresh vegetables were up 43 per cent at Rs 1,299 crore (Rs 910 crore). Similarly, the shipments of fresh fruits were up 48 per cent at Rs 736 crore (Rs 496 crore). The exports of fresh grapes increased to Rs 603 crore (Rs 428 crore), while walnuts increased to Rs 231 crore (Rs 166 crore). The exports of fresh mangoes stood at Rs 210 crore (Rs 165 crore). The effect of growth in export of fruits and vegetables on the Indian market does not seem to be visible as the share of exports of fruits and vegetables were only 0.55 per cent and 1.24 per cent, respectively, of their total production in 2010-11, the Minister said.


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Imports of nuts spike up due to high consumption

Domestic output “Imports are necessary to meet the processing requirement as domestic production is inadequate,” said K. Sasi Verma, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council. The country’s current cashew processing capacity stands at 15 lt, up from 13 lt two years ago.

lobal beverage can maker Rexam and Hindustan Tin Works have jointly invested Rs 250 crore for setting up a new aluminium line at its manufacturing plant in Taloja, Maharashtra. The new unit has a production capacity of 950 million cans per year. The UK-based Rexam HTW was the first beverage can maker to enter the Indian market in 2007. The company has been at the forefront of innovation,

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A However, the domestic cashew nut output is pegged at about seven lakh tonnes. The shortfall in processing requirement is met mainly through imports, Verma said. From about 100 kg of raw cashew nuts, about 22 kg of kernels are extracted. India produces about 3.5 lt of kernel from 15 lt of raw cashew nuts. About 2.2 lt of cashew kernel is consumed domestically, while about 1.3-1.4 lt are exported. In case of almonds, the entire quantity is imported into the country. California accounts for 95 per cent of the imports, while the rest is from countries such as Afghanistan. “The growth in imports in some ways mirrors the overall prosperity in Indian economy, which has continued to boom despite the overall global slow down,” said Sumit Saran, Director at The SCS Group, an agri-business consulting firm. “Growing awareness of healthy lifestyles and rising disposable incomes is driving the consumption of high-value food,” he said.

Beverage can-maker Rexam to invest in India

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Cold Storage at Tiruchi Airport by March

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ndians are consuming more nuts, especially high-value cashew and almonds. Increase in affordability driven by rise in disposable incomes, coupled with awareness of nutritional benefits, is driving the consumption. Such a trend is reflected in the increased imports of raw cashew nuts and almonds into the country. In the past three years, imports of almonds have grown 36 per cent, while raw cashew shipments into the country have risen by 7 per cent in volumes. India imported about 8.09 lakh tonnes (lt) of raw cashew nuts valued at Rs 5,337.76 crore in 2011-12. This is up from 5.29 lt in 2010-11 and 7.55 lt in 2009-10. This information was provided by Minister of State for Commerce D. Purandeswari to Rajya Sabha. The major source of raw cashew nut imports were Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Benin, Ghana, Tanzania, Indonesia, Gambia, Guinea, Mozambique and Senegal.

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working in partnership with its customers in India to successfully build the beverage can business. “This investment is fully in line with our strategy to grow in faster moving markets. It will support and enable us to take advantage of the exciting opportunities the Indian market has for beverage can packaging,” said Graham Chipchase, Chief Executive, Rexam PLC.

five-tonne capacity cold storage facility for storing perishables would be set up at the Air Cargo Complex at Tiruchi Airport by end of March. The cold storage is being established with the support of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The facility would come up at the airport as soon as necessary clearances were issued by the Airports Authority of India, said S.Dharmaraj, Airport Director, Tiruchi. The air cargo complex is also likely to get the Electronic Data Interchange (EID) for speedy processing and clearance of export/import procedure. “Efforts were underway in association with the Customs Department to get the facility, also by March end,” Mr.Dharmaraj said speaking at a function to mark the first anniversary of the air cargo complex at the airport on Friday. The opening of the air cargo complex, which became functional on December 1, 2011, has contributed to a steady increase in export of cargo through the airport. The complex has handled 2,143 tonnes of cargo over the past 12 months, accounting for a 20 per cent increase over the corresponding period the previous year. However, the annual handling capacity of the complex was around 45,000 leaving a huge gap in capacity utilization. The complex had a capacity to handle 250 tonnes of cargo and it currently handles about 200 tonnes a month on an average. K.Anantha Padmanaban, Chief Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Tiruchi, observed that efforts to increase the capacity utilisation of the cargo complex have to come from all stakeholders. “You have to survive by providing better service and facilities,” he told the airport officials. Though the volume of transaction was less at the air cargo complex, much importance was being attached to Tiruchi as manifest by the shifting of the headquarters of the Chief Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) to the city from Chennai. He assured the cooperation of the Customs in increasing cargo exports and imports through the airport.

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Raymond to make KamaSutra energy drinks Vadilal launches 3 new varieties

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iversifying into the flavoured milk segment, leading ice-cream and frozen processed food maker Vadilal Industries Ltd (VIL), on Friday, announced its entry in the beverages market with three varieties and said it would launch another three in the next three months. A month after the soft launch, Devanshu Gandhi and Rajesh Gandhi, both Managing Directors, said here that VIL’s new products, called ‘Power Sip’, will be available across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the next couple of weeks. At present, the company is marketing rose, elaichi and kesar flavors and would soon introduce coffee, badam and chocolate flavours too. The company expected to capture 5-7 per cent share in the Rs 400-crore flavored milk market in India in the next three years and make Power Sip a Rs 30-crore brand. The segment has an estimated annual growth rate of 15-20 per cent. “This is our first major launch in non-ice cream dairy sector and we plan to introduce more products.” The new product range will be available under the Vadilal Quick Treat umbrella brand in a 180-ml bottle at Rs 18. No preservatives will be used in Power Sip which would have a long shelf life of six months. The company is focusing on tourist places, railway stations, bus stands, airports and canteens at educational institutions as major supply centres, they said. Vadilal Industries currently procures nearly 1 lakh litres of milk in Gujarat daily for its various products, including ice cream, mainly through about 10,000 contracted milkmen. The company has a distribution network of over 50,000 retailers, 250 stock keeping units (SKUs), 550 distributors and 32 CNFs across India. The Gandhis said Vadilal had the largest range of ice creams in India with 150-plus flavours, sold in more than 250 packs and forms.

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Ranju Kumar Mohan (R), Director & Business Head, JK Ansell Ltd, Gautam Singhania, Chairman & Managing Director, Raymond Ltd and Aniruddha Deshmukh, President-Textiles, Raymond Ltd and Director-JKHC, launch “KamaSutra Energy Drink" in Mumbai

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iversified conglomerate Raymond which owns the premium condom brand KamaSutra, has decided to extend the brand line to energy drinks or the caffeinated beverages segment after its entry into deodorants two years ago. Keeping in mind the bold and young positioning of the brand, the company believes that entering into the growing energy drink market is a natural extension for KamaSutra, said Raymond’s Chairman, Gautam Singhania. He added that it would get into categories that symbolise power and potency, coupled with the premium imagery. KamaSutra brand is owned by J. K. Ansell, a joint venture of the Raymond Group and Australia’s Ansell

International. Available in two flavours — XFruit, a mixed fruit flavour and X- Berry which is a mixed berry flavour — KS E Drink will compete with brands such as RedBull, Tzinga, Horsepower and Gatorade. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, sports and energy drinks in India have registered the highest value growth at 41 per cent, driven by a growing pub culture and restaurants. These drinks are used for mixers at parties and also by youngsters to keep them energetic. However, when asked if the extension of a condom brand would work in India, Ranju Kumar Mohan, Director and Business Head, J.K. Ansell, said Indian consumers, especially the youth, are evolving and increasingly influenced by western culture. They are not shying off in showing their sexuality, he said. “Our deodorant brand is doing extremely well in the urban areas. We intend to market the brand as a premium one and do not expect to go rural. We expect energy drinks to become a significant line of business, contributing considerably to the company revenues in the next few years,” he said and added that the company has a sales turnover of Rs 120 crore and is growing at 20-30 per cent annually.

Italian ice-cream brand Milano enters India

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talian ice-cream brand Milano has opened its first Indian outlet in Kochi on December 18. Sara Calderoni and Giancario Segalini, directors of the company, said that Milano is home-made, fresh, 100 per cent vegetarian and organic. The ice-cream producing unit and display console were already brought from Italy to make the product maintain its fresh appeal. Certain ingredients are imported and rest of the items will be locally purchased from reliable vendors in the city. To make the brand a household

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name, she said the company plans to offer local flavours, free home delivery, offer for children below 10 years during Christmas and New Year. The company will offer 24 flavours. Asked why the company chose Kochi, Sara said she is familiar with the city since 2004 for her various business ventures in coir and jute. Besides, the city has the potential to accept any new brand because of its cosmopolitan look. The tropical climate and spending capacity of the new young generation in this mini metro will make ice cream a much sought-after item, she added.


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Ruchi Soya to make food products

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uchi Soya Industries, makers of the largest-selling soya food brand Nutrela, is getting ready to rejuvenate its portfolio with a range of value-added yet niche food products under the franchise. The company is plans to tap into the the growing breakfast cereal market. “We are looking at a total food experience for the Nutrela brand, which is being revitalised and rejuvenated with a 360-degree approach to include a range of value-added products,” said Sarvesh Shahra, Business Head (Consumer Brands Division), Ruchi Soya Industries, adding, “We are looking at the heatand-eat space in breakfast cereals with a differentiated offering.” The two-decade-old Nutrela brand is estimated to record Rs 1,000 crore sales turnover, including low-absorption cooking oils. In the past, several attempts have been made to extend Nutrela beyond soya chunks and granules into the readyto-eat snacks and beverage space. Recently, Nutrela has entered the

margarine category with Nutrela premium table spread. While the size of the butter category is estimated at nearly Rs 1,400 crore, the margarine segment is much smaller at Rs 150 crore, giving brands like Nutrela a chance to establish themselves in the category, despite the presence of stalwarts such as Amul, Britannia and market leader Zydus Cadila (with Nutralite). “Butter has reached a saturation point as the number of new users are limited and is growing at a mere two to three per cent today as compared to the table spread category, which is growing at 10 per cent,” added Sandipan Ghosh, Assistant Vice-President (AVP) (Consumer Brands Division), Ruchi Soya. Advertising major O&M’s sister agency Meridian has been roped in to develop a new campaign for Nutrela’s latest offering. Further, the company has also roped in partners such as multiplex PVR (for Nutrela pop lites popcorn) and Jet Airways, to promote its brand as part of a sampling exercise.

NACDOR wants redesigning of national nutrition policy

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arginalised communities, under the banner of the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR), have called for redesigning of the national nutrition policy on the basis of a life cycle approach aimed at communities that face acute nutritional deficiencies. In a declaration adopted here at a fourday Dalit convention on Dec. 4, NACDOR also sought immediate passage of the Right to Food Bill with universal provision for 40 kg of grains per family, per month on subsidised rates and an additional 20 per cent allocation to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families. “The nutritional well-being of all SC/ ST and other vulnerable communities is a pre-condition for the development of societies and should be a key objective of progress in human development,” it said. Among other demands, NACDOR said food coupons should be provided to the homeless, jobless and destitute, irrigation facilities must be improved, other farm inputs must be made available

to SC/ST small and marginal farmers, and a national nutrition authority must be set up to eliminate malnutrition and under-nutrition with representatives for the sections suffering the most. Resolving to work in co-operation with the Government and other agencies, NACDOR said a grassroots nutrition activists should be appointed from the marginalised communities for implementing the flagship schemes. To eliminate untouchability, it proposed that all cooking staff for the mid-day meal scheme be appointed from among the SC/ST community.

HRPL to become a subsidiary

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ardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (HRPL), the master franchise for the south and west operations of McDonald’s restaurants will become a full fledged subsidiary of Westlife Development, a listed company and part of Mumbai based B.L Jatia family. Amit Jatia, Vice-Chairman, Westlife Development, said, “With this consolidation exercise within the B.L Jatia group companies, Indian investors will be given an opportunity to invest in the McDonald’s business. It will also give the quick service restaurant a chance to raise debt and equity whenever it is required.” The B.L Jatia family had indirect holdings in HRPL and this will now get consolidated under a direct subsidiary by merging some of the companies within the group. HRDL recently dissolved its joint venture with Mc Donald’s to become a master franchise for the QSR in India. Westlife Development had been registered as an NBFC and after retiring its license it has been in business of trading and hospitality. “Going forward Westlife Development would be focussing on the QSR business through HRPL,” added Jatia. HRPL currently has a sales turnover of Rs 544 crore with profit at Rs 42.5 crore for the financial year ending March 2012. “HRPL has remained a zero debt company and all this time we have been raising funds through internal accruals. As we become a subsidiary of a listed company, it will give us more options to raise funds. The environment is challenging, but we maintained same store sales growth between 20 and 25 per cent,” added Jatia.

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Science for food security

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second Green Revolution in agriculture will help meet the challenges of rising global food demand, said Robert S. Zeigler, Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Delivering the 24th Coromandel Lecture on “Cutting Edge Rice Science for Food Security, Economic Growth and Environmental Protection in India and Around the World,” Zeigler said the world needs to produce an additional 114 million tonnes of rice by 2035 to meet the rising demand and ensure food security. At present, the world rice output and consumption is around 460 million tonnes, Zeigler said stating that “there is no global surplus.” “To meet growing food needs and face the parallel challenges of improving nutrition and reducing poverty under a changing global climate, a second science-based Green Revolution in agriculture is already under way” Zeigler said on Wednesday evening. The IRRI and its collaborators in the new Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) are already tapping into the other ongoing revolutions in genetics, molecular biology and plant physiology to develop better traits that are resistant to climate change, use less water and produce more, Zeigler said. Stagnant area, declining water table coupled with labour shortage and drop in yield growth to less than a per cent are among the major constraints to boost global rice output. “Raising overall yield growth rates back to near 2 per cent is critical to future global food security” Zeigler said.

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Rasna to focus on tier 2&3 markets

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iruz Khambatta, Chairman Rasna Pvt Ltd, is not very concerned about the company’s bottom-line at this point of time. The owner of the iconic fruit juice concentrate maker rather wants to focus on improving penetration and increasing the per capita consumption of Rasna. Rasna, an innovative concentrate drink created in the mid-seventies, an era dominated by Gold Spot and Limca, continues to improvise the product. From being known as a brand for kids, the company has been able to position itself as a ‘drink for all’. “We want to ensure that the per capita consumption is increased. We are launching small packs at affordable price points and a range of innovative products next summer. Our competition is not powder drinks anymore, but ready-to-drink brands,” said Khambatta, on the sidelines of a CII event on innovation. The products are likely to take on brands such as Frooti and Mazaa in the ready-to-drink (RTD) segment. The Rs 5,000-crore fruit-based Indian beverage market is growing at 35-40 per cent annually and is divided into three segments — fruit drinks, nectar and 100 per cent juice. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Parle Agro, Dabur and Godrej are among the leading players in this segment, according to industry reports. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, concentrates are slowly losing their appeal to RTD products owing to increased ease and speed of consumption. Besides, health factors are also driving this trend. The segment is growing faster than others.

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Rasna Beverages, a separate subsidiary, will manufacture energy drinks, fortified bottled water and premium fruit juice. The transformation of brands from powder to RTD formats is driven by the company’s aspirations for higher growth rates, achievable in more dynamic categories, said industry experts. The company, with a distribution network of 35 depots, 2,500 stockists, 18 lakh retail outlets and 700 sales force, might have lost the brand’s popularity among consumers in the metros, but feels there is immense potential in the non-metros which are dominated by neighbourhood or kirana stores. Rasna still rules the roost at 90 per cent share in the concentrate powder drink market, which is getting competitive with the entry of brands such as Tang, Piyoz, Kissan and other players. Khambatta further said the company would come out with products that would not only provide refreshing drinks but also keep in mind the health benefits that the consumer seeks.


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Fighting Cancer through fruits & Vegetables

Fisetin's Role Fisetin is not the only compound that may have a miraculous effect on tumor angiogenesis; Rana’s team is also studying the effect of Silibinin, Decursin and Acacetin. Silibinin is found in the extract of Milk Thistle seeds and has proven to inhibit angiogenesis. Decursin found in the roots of Angelica herb has also been studied by the team

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lifesDHA runs “Be a Hero” Brain Health Campaign for Children

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ccording to experts, most cancers may be prevented. Cancer biologists see a lot of hope in natural compounds that can prevent tumour angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels that lead to spread of cancer). Most research at Jawaharlal Nehru University Cancer Biology Laboratory is now focussed on finding these compounds. A recent finding that scientists at the lab are excited about is the role of Fisetin, a compound found in strawberries, apples, onions and some vegetables in inhibiting the growth of tumours associated with prostate cancer. Even though a lot of research studies had indicated earlier that Fisetin may have anti-tumor activity, the lab at JNU aimed to prove its efficacy in inhibiting tumor angiogenesis both in-vitro and invivo. When administered on mice, the team found Fisetin treatment strongly inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induced vascularization of implants. It also inhibited growth and capillary network formation by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), and many angiogenic markers in prostate cancer cells. “This finding has given us a lot of clues and we are making potent hypothesis that phytochemicals like Fisetin play a major role in preventing tumor angiogenesis,” says Rana P Singh, associate professor of cancer biology and lead researcher of the study which was recently published in the journal, Carcinogenesis.

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l and found to have a potency to limit tumor growth. JNU has recently taken up a research project funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Acacetin, found in marigold, sun flower and other plants of the same family. Another compound that scientists are excited about is Diallyl Triisulfide which is derived from garlic and other Allium plants. “Around 5% to 10% of cancers are caused due to genetic factors. Others are due to environmental or lifestyle issues. That is why there is a lot of interest in prevention. After 40 years of research on developing a drug to fight cancer, we have not managed to find that magic bullet that will work. Since the financial burden of cancer is huge, it’s best to focus on prevention. Phytochemicals found in our daily diet can have a significant effect on our health,” adds Rana. At the Indo-US bilateral meeting on accelerating botanicals/biologics agent development research for cancer chemoprevention held at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, government health agencies from India and US focused on accelerating development of biologic drugs. JNU Research Fisetin, a flavonoid, is found in strawberries, apples, grapes, onions and few other vegetables. Silibinin is found in milk thistle and artichoke. Decursin is found in angelica, a rare Himalayan herb. Acacetin, a flavonoid, is found in plants of the Asteraceae family which includes marigold and sunflower. Other vegetables, which are good for health, are Broccoli and Garlic.

ifesDHA, a brand of Royal DSM, a global science based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has run “Be a Hero,” India’s first multicity program to emphasize the benefits of making the right diet and lifestyle choices to support children’s brain health. The program officially launched on November 8th, 2012 inviting kids, ages six to 10 years old, to participate in a series of events on November 24th 2012 across four cities in India –Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. Encouraging children to be heroes by building strong and healthy brains, the campaign explores the extraordinary workings of the mind and body in connection with its environment. It seeks to show how healthy eating habits, staying physically fit, challenging the mind and being socially connected support overall brain health and well-being. According to some experts, these four dimensions combined with the recommended amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid and major structural fat in the brain, help to support brain development and health and children become active contributors to India’s future growth and society. “DHA is essential to the development of a child’s brain, representing 97 per cent of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. While oily or fatty fish are good sources of DHA, unless a child’s diet is rich in oily fish, they will not be getting enough DHA,” said Dr. Nandita Iyer, a Bangalore-based nutritionist. “Supplements or foods fortified with algal or vegetarian DHA, derived from the algae the fish consume, can provide sufficient levels of DHA. This, combined with the healthy, active lifestyle highlighted in the life’sDHA ‘Be a Hero’ campaign, helps children build strong minds.” Each event focused on one of the four ways to support brain health and be a hero. Respected experts and nutritionists explained how each element works together and why algal DHA in addition to other lifestyle behaviours are critical components of a child’s overall brain health.

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Govt asks SFAC to procure pulses

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Rice exporters’ profit doubles due to higher prices

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ice exporters, such as KRBL Ltd and LT Foods Ltd, saw their profits shoot up in the September quarter on higher prices and shipments. Strong demand from traditional markets in West Asia led to the rise in exports of Indian basmati rice during the September quarter. Even shipments of non-basmati were higher compared with the last quarter, on higher demand from newer geographies such as Africa among others. “Improved branding, higher exports of basmati and non-basmati varieties boosted our performance,” said Anil Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, KRBL Ltd. The company is targeting a turnover of around Rs 2,000 crore for the current fiscal and has crossed the half-way mark at Rs 1,006 crore in the first half. A 40 per cent rise in domestic sales of basmati also contributed to improved performance, he said. Basmati prices in the current financial year are almost twice that of last year on reduced supplies. “Prices are on a different scale this year. Besides, higher realisation in nonbasmati rice has helped the growth,” said Vijay Arora, Managing Director, of LT Foods. Total basmati exports by Indian companies in the first seven months were up about 17 per cent in the first seven months. Shipments in AprilOctober period stood at 1.92 million tonnes against 1.64 million tonnes. In value terms, the exports for the period were up 26 per cent at Rs 10,452 crore. “Strong demand and better prices helped us double our topline and bottom line for the September quarter,” said Vijay Setia, Executive Director, Chamanlal Setia Exports Ltd. The Government had lifted a fouryear ban on non-basmati rice shipments in September 2011. Since then, India has emerged as the largest exporter of rice.

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he Centre, for the first time, has asked Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), the state-owned financial consortium, to procure pulses directly from farmers' groups at the minimum support price (MSP). This will benefit 1.5 lakh farmers across seven states where SFAC has been mandated to buy pulses. SFAC becomes the fourth Central government agency after National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF) to buy pulses at MSP from farmers. "We have been appointed as the nodal agency for pulses procurement through the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), which were getting our support for years," said Pravesh Sharma, MD of SFAC. SFAC, instituted in 1994 for helping farmers to improve farm efficiencies, will focus initially on Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which have large concentration of FPOs. "Over 100 FPOs are expected to be involved in running over 200 collection centres, helping more than 1.5 lakh farmers with direct benefits of MSP through the on-spot cheque payment," he said.

The consortium aims at procuring one lakh million tonne pulses - mostly arhar, chana and urad - distributing over Rs 250 crore among farmers. The government has fixed MSP of chana at Rs 3,000 per quintal, urad at Rs 4,300 per quintal and arhar at Rs 3,850 a quintal. "After the procurement, we will market pulses in the wholesale and bulk retail markets, to state governments, Army and para military organisations, large processors and millers. We expect to break even in the procurement operation, largely due to the lower cost of procurement involving farmer groups," he said. SFAC plans to replicate this model in other parts of the country from the next kharif season onwards. "If this model succeeds, we will extend our operations to other states as well from the next crop season," he added.

Ethiopia’s earnings from sesame, pulses, spices exports may surge up

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thiopia, the world’s fourth-largest sesame grower, may see earnings from exports of pulses; oil seeds and spices rise by a third to more than $900 million this year. Africa’s largest coffee producer and second-most populous nation is providing free land for processing and warehouses, as well as waiving related import and export duties, Haile Berhe, president of the 110-member Ethiopian Pulses, Oil Seeds and Spices ProcessorsExporters Association said. “The government is helping exporters through many incentives for each company,” he said in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa. “If the

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supply side is there, I am sure we can export that amount” in the year through July 7, 2013. If the trends continue, Ethiopia may earn $2 billion a year from seeds, spices and pulses by the end of a five-year government growth plan in mid-2015, Haile said. Ethiopia’s government is working to attract foreign investment into agricultural processing to help it diversify an economy that relied on coffee for about a fourth of the $3.2 billion it earned from exports last year. Sesame seeds accounted for around $460 million of last year’s revenue of $660 million from oil seeds, pulses and spices, Haile said.


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India raises shrimp issue against Japan at WTO

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ndia has raised with the World Trade Organisation what it calls "unscientific and unjustified" health standards imposed by Japan on its shrimp exports. The move comes as more than 140 containers of frozen Indian shrimps await clearance at Japanese ports. Japan, which has recently lowered the acceptable level of ethoxyquin in shrimps, has since August rejected seven Indian consignments of the seafood. Ethoxyquin is an anti-oxidant widely used in shrimp feed. "We have raised the issue with the sanitary and phytosanitary committee of the WTO. We believe the new standards that have been imposed are unscientific and unjustified," a commerce department official said. According to industry estimates, export of shrimps from Odisha and West Bengal has fallen by up to 50% in the last four to five months due to the Japanese restrictions. In 2011-12, shrimps accounted for half of India's total seafood export of $3.5 billion. While India is not immediately filing a case against Japan at the WTO, it hopes that discussing it at the SPS committee will generate pressure on Japan to respond positively. "There are other countries like Vietnam that are facing similar entry barriers in Japan for their shrimps. We hope to generate enough pressure at the WTO forum to force Japan to reconsider," the official said. "If this doesn't work, we could consider a formal case against this restrictive measure." The commerce department has also sought a clarification on why the testing procedures were institutionalised

selectively only in 2012, despite the notification being made in 2005. Japanese authorities rejected shrimps from India in August after the level of ethoxyquin, an anti-oxidant, in some shrimps was found to be in the 0.02-0.04 ppm range. Japan's newly introduced health standards tolerate ethoxyquin levels up to 0.01 ppm. "Figures supplied to us unofficially by the marine products export development authority reveal that more than 140 containers that have reached the Japanese port face the risk of rejection," the official said. New Delhi's primary concern is that Japan has not carried out a risk assessment for setting the tolerance limit for the chemical and the extremely low default level of 0.01 ppm has been set without any scientific justification. "Most of the countries, including the US and the EU, and international bodies like Codex have not prescribed any limit for ethoxyquin in fish and shrimp. So far, there is no evidence to prove that ethoxyquin at a level above 1ppm is injurious to health," MPEDA chairman Leena Nair said.

Polluted water fish may contain mercury

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he next time you go to a nearby fish markets to buy fish, beware. Many studis conducted by NGOs show that several varieties of fish sold have an alarmingly high mercury content. Some time back, NGOs Toxics Link and Disha undertook a study to assess the extent of mercury contamination in fish in Kolkata and some other parts of West Bengal. Five big markets Gariahat, Sahababur bazar, Manicktala, Sealdah

and Behala were selected and 60 samples, including fish and different varieties of crab, were studied. Methylmercury levels in 18 of the 60 samples exceeded the level permitted under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act by over 50%. The methylmercury level in another 24 samples also exceeded PFA stipulations. Only fish samples collected from Sahababur Bazaar had mercury levels within the permissible limit.

China’s fisheries output to increase by 15%

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hina's fisheries output will top 1.73 trillion yuan ($273.89 billion) this year, up 15 percent from 2011, a senior fishery official said. Fishermen will harvest 59.06 million tons this year, up 5.4 percent year-on-year, said Zhao Xingwu, head of the Bureau of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture. He was speaking at a national fisheries work meeting in Beijing. Aquaculture will yield 43.05 million tons this year, up 7 percent year on year and domestic fishing will provide 14.83 million tons, almost the same as 2011. Finally, distant fishing will bring in 1.18 million tons, up 2.8 percent year on year, Zhao said. Annual income for fishermen will average at 11,256 yuan per capita in 2012, up 12.4 percent year on year, Zhao said. Niu Dun, vice minister of agriculture, said the government has been mapping out policies to support fisheries, including 8.01 billion yuan of investment this year to boost fishery infrastructure, Niu said. This year fishermen have received 1.35 billion yuan in compensation for a number of oil spills that occurred in north China's Bohai Bay from June 2011. This is a historic breakthrough to explore the compensation mechanism on fisheries resources, Niu said. Oil spills in the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay have polluted over 6,200 square kilometers of water since June 2011, an area about nine times the size of Singapore. They have hit the aquatic farming industries of Liaoning and Hebei provinces.

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Hatsan Agro to raise capacity

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Surge in milk production force dairies to go for capacity addition

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atsun Agro Product Ltd is set to expand milk processing capacity and more than double the production of branded curd , according to reliable sources. The company, the largest private sector dairy, handles about 21-24 lakh litres of milk daily which just about matches its installed processing capacity. This is about one-third of the 70 lakh litres procured in Tamil Nadu by the organised sector, including the cooperatives, which procure and sell processed, branded milk and milk-based products. R. G. Chandramogan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun Agro, said the company will add about 70,000 litres of curd production and packaging capacity which will take its total daily output to 1.20 lakh litres. The facility at Palacode, coming up with an investment of about Rs 33 crore, will commence production in February. However, he declined to comment specifically about the milk processing capacity expansion. Reliable sources said the company is in the preliminary stages of expanding processing capacity by about five lakh litres a day. The details of the investment are not available. The added capacities will come up in South Tamil Nadu. The company sells liquid milk in South India under the brand name ‘Arokya’ and a range of milk-based products under the brand name Hatsun. The other major product line is ice creams under the brand ‘Arun’ and Ibaco, a chain of exclusive ice cream parlours. About 13 lakh litres of milk procured from dairy farms is processed and sold as branded, liquid milk, ice creams and curd. The balance goes as milk ingredients including butter, ghee, skimmed milk powder and dairy whitener under the brand name Hatsun available nationally.

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ith a rise in milk production and the availability of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and whole milk powder (WMP), dairy cooperatives and private players are in an expansion mode. Cooperative major Amul is seeking government support for funds to expand its processing capacity while private players are entering liquid milk business and adding new products to their baskets. The Rs 11,668-crore Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets dairy products under the Amul brand, is procuring roughly 15% more milk at 120 lakh litre, compared to the previous year. Similarly, in Karnataka, the country's second biggest milk producer state, the Karnataka Milk Federation is procuring 54 lakh litre milk daily. "Looking at the increased intake of milk by the cooperative, we are focusing on expanding the current processing capacity across various milk plants in the country by 30% at 200 lakh litre milk per day," said GCMMF chairman Vipul Chaudhary. After getting a slew of incentives such as interest subsidy of 4% towards working capital loans, the Karnataka Milk Federation and Milk Producers Unions (13 unions) is looking to expand capacity of 7-8 dairies in the state by 35%. This will increase milk processing

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capacity of the co-operative to 60 lakh litre per day. From supplying SMP, north Indian player SMC Foods has entered the liquid milk chain. "The country's image in the export market has been hit with its adhoc export policy. We realised that fresh milk product was the future for domestic players like us," said Sandeep Aggrawal, director, SMC Foods, which sells milk in the Delhi region under the Madhusudan brand. After SMP exports resumed in June this year, prices have been bearish and ruling between Rs 130 a kg and Rs 150 a kg depending on bargaining power and volume purchased, traders said. Rajendra Singh, MD of the Delhibased VRS Foods, said rising milk production will be advantageous to milk companies as cost will be low and companies could deliver products at competitive rates. "Milk consumption will also increase and prices will remain stable in 2013," he said adding that players will launch new products in the market. Hatsun Agro Product is expected to soon launch its ready-to-eat curd rice in the market. The company has seen a 30% increase in milk production daily at 21.5 lakh litre and has 5,000 tonne export orders for SMP. But a spokesperson for GSK Consumer Healthcare, which makes Horlicks milk food drink, said, "there is no change in our procurement pattern. We continue to buy as and when there's a requirement and are maintaining our seasonal cycle." But a spokesperson for GSK Consumer Healthcare, which makes Horlicks milk food drink, said, "there is no change in our procurement pattern. We continue to buy as and when there's a requirement and are maintaining our seasonal cycle."


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Tamil Nadu now No. 2 player in dairy

DIVERSIFICATION R. G. Chandramogan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun Agro, says, diversifying the product base by expanding market geographies are the only option for sustained growth. Dairy output is growing with farmers seeing an opportunity for weekly, assured income from milk supplies while agriculture is

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Himachal milk co-op enters skimmed milk powder

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ith nearly 70 lakh litres of milk being handled daily by the cooperative and the organised players in the private sector, Tamil Nadu has emerged the second largest dairy player after Gujarat. Though a far second, with cooperative in Gujarat alone handling 1.2 crore litres of milk, two of the largest players in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and the private sector Hatsun Agro Product Ltd together procure nearly 50 lakh litres of milk directly from dairy farmers. According to industry sources, on going flush season is seeing a rapid increase in milk production and the co-operative and private sector has managed to keep procurement going even as in neighbouring States the dairy industry is declaring a ‘procurement holiday’. Following a review last week, the Dairy Development Department had announced that co-operatives in Tamil Nadu were procuring about 27 lakh litres of milk daily. The milk is sold as liquid, packeted milk and processed into various dairy products. In the private sector, Hatsun Agro procures about 21-24 lakh litres of milk daily and according to the Tamil Nadu Dairy Association, which represents over 100 small dairy companies that sell branded milk in packets, some of them procure up to 25,000-50,000 litres daily. While for the large players this is an opportunity to expand their procurement base to grow the business, the smaller players are also growing though there is some short-term pressure on maintaining procurement.

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a seasonal operation. But the increase in milk procurement needs to be utilised. While farmers’ income is protected, the surplus has ensured there is no ‘inflation’ in milk while prices of dairy products have dropped. While Hatsun Agro’s margins are squeezed it is an opportunity to expand procurement in the long-term, he said. The company’s presence in a diverse base including, milk powder exports, countrywide marketing of branded products including ghee, dairy whitener and milk powder is enabling milk absorption. Nearly 13 lakh litres of milk is processed into branded milk, ice-creams and related products while the balance is converted to dairy ingredients. The company’s veterinarians carry out over six lakh artificial inseminations annually, which will maintain availability of about one lakh additional female calves to keep the production pipeline going. R. Rajasekaran, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Dairy Association, said the wide industry base is helping in keeping the procurement going. Even if some small players stay away, the produce is absorbed by the larger players. Deficient monsoon, agri-labour shortage is driving farmers to dairying as there is assured and regular income. Typically, production increases by 4-5 per cent annually but this year the growth is set to double. Deficient monsoon also means that from January when the dry fodder availability goes down, output could drop. Also fodder concentrate prices are increasing with prices going to Rs 19 a kg from Rs 12 kg previously.

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tate-owned Himachal Pradesh State Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd has forayed into the market of skimmed milk powder, an official said here on. The milk co-operative has already made its presence felt in the Northern region with the supply of dairy products, mainly milk and ‘desi cow ghee.’ “We have started the marketing of skimmed milk powder which has a good market in the State particularly during the lean winter months,” co-operative managing director, A. K.Thakur, said. ‘Him Ghee’, ‘Him Milk’ and ‘Him Butter’ are the flagship brands of the milk co-operative and caters to about 50 per cent of their demand in the State. He said skimmed milk powder under the brand name ‘Him Milk Powder’ was available in the market in the packing of half kg at a rate of Rs 90. Thakur said the co-operative had got an order to supply 750 tonnes of milk powder in a year to over 18,000 Anganwadis in the State. For the production of milk powder, the federation has installed a unit at its plant near Rampur, some 120 km from here, with a capacity to produce five tonne a day. The co-operative procures 60,000 litres milk daily on an average.

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Agri Business & Food Industry- January 2013  

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