Transforming The Food Economy
3-5 November, 2017 | Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, India

Conferences at WFI 2017

World food India (WFI) is an opportunity for Indian and international businesses, investors, and government bodies to showcase, connect and collaborate. The conference will consist of various sessions aiming to share understanding and opportunities across the food economy to facilitate partnerships and propel growth.

  • Partner Country Session
  • Partner State Session
  • India – The Preferred Investment Destination
  • Ease of Doing Business – Policy, Fiscal and Regulatory Transformation
  • Sectoral Opportunities - Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy
  • Sectoral Opportunity - Poultry and Sea food
  • Positive Nutrition – Nutraceuticals and Fortified Products - The Health Transformation Opportunity
  • Skilling - Leveraging India’s Human Capital Quotient
  • Technology and Equipment – An Opportunity to ‘Make in India’
  • Retail Revolution – A Billion Consumers Await
  • Food Safety and Regulatory Regime – Enabling Business Environment
  • Innovative Financing Solutions to Unleash Growth
  • Research & Innovation in Food & Nutrition
  • Organic and Traditional Foods - Next Big Investment Opportunity
  • Farm to Firm Linkages – Building Sustainable and Inclusive Business Models
  • Infrastructure and Logistics – Integration Opportunities for Supply Chain Transformation

World Food India 2017 proposes to have one Partner Country. The Partner Country is expected to bring a high level Ministerial as well as business delegation to the event. Additionally, the Partner Country will also put up a vibrant exhibition at the country pavilion.

An exclusive session will be organized for the Partner country to showcase its strength in food processing, present opportunities for India to leverage, explore complementarities for partnerships through JVs or collaborations and also highlight specific requirements for sourcing, import etc from India.

World Food India 2017 proposes to have Partner States. The Partner States are expected to bring a high level Ministerial as well as business delegation to the event. Additionally, the Partner State will also put up a vibrant exhibition at the state pavilion.

An exclusive session will be organized for the Partner State to showcase its strength in food processing sector in terms of production base, policy environment, fiscal incentives, infrastructural support etc. The Partner state will also get an opportunity to showcase ready investable projects in the states, progressive farmers / FPOs who can be tapped to meet sourcing requirements on the companies etc.

India one of the fastest growing economies in the world is today emerging as a top FDI destination. A large consumer base, growing disposable incomes and improvement in the ease of doing business are key drivers for the emerging global preference for investing in India.

For the food processing sector in particular, the large and diversified production base, nascent level of processing (at 10%), conducive policies including liberalized foreign investment rules, readymade infrastructure, changing consumer preferences & increasing expenditure level on food etc build a very strong case for global companies for stepping up investments across the entire value chain in the food processing sector in India.

The session ‘India- The preferred investment destination’ will see established MNCs in India as well as established Indian brands sharing their perspective on - doing business in India - investment opportunities in India and policy changes needed to further step up investment in the Indian food processing sector.

India with a population of 1.3 billion, 30% of which is middle class having growing disposable income, is poised to be one of the largest markets in the near future. Clear insights of the on ground policies and practices can be a strategic competitive advantage to unlock the huge market potential on offer by India. Given this background, the exclusive session is designed to provide potential investors a holistic overview of the Indian context as well as specific insights into policy and regulatory issues as required. The session will include· 

  • Introduction of the Government agencies established for investor facilitation and also a brief on the role they can play in planning and hand holding foreign entities for their India foray
  • Showcase various EoDB initiatives

India offers the largest diversified production base which is the key advantage of the Indian food processing sector.

  • India is the 2ndlargest producer of fruits and vegetables and produces approximately 13.6% of fruits and 14% of vegetables produced in the world .
  • On the dairy front India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 % of world production . Indian dairy sector is amongst the largest and fastest growing markets in the world and is expected to grow by 13-15% CAGR in the coming years .
  • Indian Poultry Industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the agricultural sector today with annual growth rates of 5.57 percent and 11.44 percent in egg and broiler production, respectively .

These production advantages put forth massive opportunities for industries engaged in food processing, equipment manufacturers, service providers like aggregators, financial institutions, as well as small and large entrepreneurs. Advantages in segments such as dairy, meat & poultry also put forth huge opportunity for automation, integration etc.

To build on the India opportunity an exclusive session on sub-sectoral opportunities will be organized to highlight specific opportunities for processors, sourcing teams, technology and service providers etc as well as policy and fiscal incentives (center as well as state) for the various sub segments viz Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy, Cereals, Poultry and Sea Food.

Infrastructure and logistics sectors are important to fostering growth of the food processing sector. Given the importance of the sector, a number of schemes have been approved for strengthening food processing infrastructure in the country viz mega food parks, cold chains, value-added centres and modernization of abattoirs. The idea is to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link agricultural production to the market to as to maximize value addition, minimize wastages and improve farmers’ income.

The cold-chain sector is emerging as another thrust area that finds support from the Government in the form of various fiscal incentives. Post the GST regime in India, the whole logistics chain (intermediaries, aggregators, etc.) will have a uniform operating environment resulting in reduced variability in the costs incurred. This will make the investor potentially be free to design their logistics network.

Though India is a leading producer of food in the world, we are yet to tap our export potential. To enable export options, India’s greatest need is for effective infrastructure and logistics solutions that will integrate the supply chains for agri commodities from their production centres to multiple consumption centres. Secondly, there is need to set up the right infrastructure at port gateways. These gateways in turn need to be directly linked via rail, road or waterways to farm-gate collection and packing houses.

In light of the above developments in the country, the session on ‘Infrastructure and Logistics - Integration opportunities for supply chain transformation’ will highlight investment opportunities available in the Indian market and present the interventions needed to strengthen the supply chain, policy and fiscal incentives offered to the sector and other specific Government interventions to strengthen supply chain management in the country, international best practices on the logistics and transportation front, among others.

The growth in the Indian food processing industry coupled with the recent issues of food quality, safety and hygiene are pushing the demand for more sophisticated machinery and equipment.

In 2013, India imported food processing and packaging machinery worth EUR 53 mn. According to the German Engineering Federation, in 2013, out of the total import volume of food processing and packaging machinery from Germany to India (estimated to be EUR 132.4 mn), the highest share of machinery import was packaging machinery, with a total volume of EUR 79.1 mn.

Given the dominance of small and medium players in the food processing segment, cost of the machinery also becomes a critical factor. Given that a large number of specialised equipment is being imported, the cost becomes high so there is scope for establishing manufacturing base for the machinery and equipment within the country.

Further to increasing the technology uptake, the Government is providing specific incentives to the sector in terms of duty reductions, tax exemptions etc. The session will discuss the technology and equipment appetite of the Indian food processing industry in detail, favourable incentives available to the importers as well as manufacturers and the scope for future growth.

The Indian food retail market is expected to reach Rs 61 lakh crore (USD 915 billion) by 2020. Top countries investing in FDI in the food processing sector are US, Germany, UAE, UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, Italy etc .The rising FDI in the Indian food sector from food giants across the world in different sub segments is a testimony to the global interest in the Indian markets.

Allowing of 100% FDI through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India is a path-breaking initiative that has opened up vast opportunities for international companies to invest in India in the food processing supply and marketing chain.

The session ‘Retail Revolution’ will discuss opportunities offered in the food retail sector and benefits for different stakeholders; Key issues and suggestions for the integration of the supply chain and backward integration needed for the retailers. The session will also include a presentation on the experiences of the national and international retail chains in India, and how they have gone about creating private label brands.

An enormous amount of work is being done in food regulatory in India by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Specifically the harmonization of the food additives standards with Codex, formulation of new regulations on nutraceuticals and food recall guidelines will go a long way in creating an enabling environment for food businesses.

New initiatives have been launched to promote safe food practices across the board by bringing about social and behavioral change, training and certification, consumer education and robust consumer redressal. In order to combat malnutrition, FSSAI is driving large- scale food fortification across the country. FSSAI has also initiated work to address the problem of obesity by taking up work towards reduction in intake of high fat, salt and sugar foods. Several new regulations have been finalized in this regards and food testing laboratories are being strengthened across the country.

In addition, to boost trade, regulations have been defined for import of food products in India with specific provisions for risk based sampling procedures to reduce the current turnaround times at ports. This is helping enormously to streamline the process of imports in the country, thereby ensuring inflow of safe food for consumption.

With changing consumer’s preference towards nutritious and healthier diets, a framework has been laid down to regulate the fortification and enrichment of food with vitamins & minerals through comprehensive regulations. FSSAI has also introduced a logo for consumer awareness. This creates opportunities for the food industry to invest in product innovation and research and development to strengthen their portfolio of healthier choices.

The session will provide an update on all the initiatives undertaken to develop science-based globally compatible regulations and to encourage a culture of food safety in the country, thereby enabling an environment for investment in the food processing sector.

Access to affordable credit is a key requirement to boost growth in various sub segments of the food processing sector. Recognizing the catalytic effect of food processing upstream to farmers and downstream to consumers, the Government is trying to open up various credit avenues to food processing.

Inclusion of food processing under priority sector lending for banks, establishment of a special venture fund under NABARD are some examples for easing the credit flow. In the private sector, institutions like IFC are developing creative models for closing the credit gap for formal and informal micro, small and medium enterprises.

Sovereign Wealth Funds are also closely following the sector as concerns about stable food supply across countries rise against sustained demand. These funds are looking at partnering with Government as well private sector to fund the food sector and its infrastructure. Given its large agricultural production base, semi-skilled and skilled labour force and growing consumerism, India is the most unique market for these Sovereign Wealth Funds.

All in all the financing sector is diversifying with alternative channels of financing. The session will focus on the financial needs of processed food and beverage manufacturers, and the various financing options available to fund this growing demand.

A dynamic consumer base with a changing dietary preference, rising awareness about sustainability and food safety concepts like natural preservation of processed food, alternative sources of protein and energy, extending shelf life, are all gaining grounds.

As a result, a more focussed approach is needed to boost investment for impactful nutrition and food systems research breakthroughs, creation of new markets, innovation and a multi-actor engagement. Building up capacities and skills and strengthening global collaboration for improved research policy alignment are well recognized today.

The session will focus on how research and innovation across the food system can help find the solution to improving food quality, safety, and security, in a sustainable manner. The session will review the ongoing initiatives to identify lessons learnt, challenges faced, and resources and new approaches needed for future advancement in the domain.

Niche segments like organic and traditional food items and ingredients etc are gaining traction amongst a larger population these days. India has the potential to progress in these segments in a big way.

For example it is estimated that the domestic organic food market would touch the USD 1.36 billion mark by 2020 . As per Government data, organic farming is practiced in 12 States in about 4.72 million hectares. In 2013-14, organic food production was 1.24 million tons. The current growth in the organic food market is driven by rising health consciousness, changing lifestyles, mounting disposable spending and growing availability of organic food products. Similar growth is forecasted for other niche segments as well.

The session will highlight specific opportunities, policy and fiscal incentives (center as well as state) for the various niche segments. Focus will also be on identifying specific demands for these products from across the globe and specific sanitary phytosanitary requirements needed to grow this market.

Development of food processing fosters agricultural growth and helps farmers with a better price for their produce and also gives them a sense of income security. Processing linkage with agriculture becomes all the more important given that processing can substantially help control post harvest wastages.

By collaborating through farmer groups and FPOs, farmers have better access to technical know-how on crop planning and management, inputs (including seed production), credit, post-harvest management, value addition, marketing infrastructure and better market linkages. Aggregation is evolving as one of the most effective means of reducing the risk in agriculture and strengthening the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers. The aggregation approach also helps small and marginal farmers in accessing various benefits of Government schemes for rural development. India is picking pace on this front and the progressive FPOs can be connected to international buyers with demand for Indian ingredients viz- spices, tea, coffee etc.

Given the critical role that food processing can play in achieving the vision of doubling farmers' income, a match making between productions and processing clusters can be of great help.

The session will focus on highlighting the strong FPO network, geographical distribution and sourcing capabilities to help foster international tie ups. Focus will also be on how to further strengthen and scale up the model.

Due to an evolving lifestyle, a growing awareness of quality, and the increasing incidence of food-heart-related diseases, consumers worldwide are showing an interest in a preventive lifestyle rather than a curative approach. In a huge and diverse country like India, this trend is relevant in two radically different ways.

While a large part of rural India suffers from malnutrition and seeks foods that supplements basic minerals and nutrients, people in urban India suffer from lifestyle-related disorders and seek solace in low fat, low sugar, and low cholesterol products. Nutraceuticals, given their nutritional value, have gone from relatively unknown research breakthroughs, to becoming a regular part of diet of the ever increasingly health conscious consumer.

The Nutraceuticals (including Dietary supplements) market of India was estimated to be around USD 2.4 bn in 2015 and projected to grow at a CAGR of 17%. Given the above background, the Indian health food sector, though at a nascent stage, is strongly positioned for growth and offers huge potential for both the nutraceuticals as well as the fortified food market. India is well positioned to become one of the nutraceuticals hubs given its ideal location for manufacturing nutraceuticals products due to the immense wealth of biodiversity as well as availability of medicinal & herbal plants and good quality produce for fruits and vegetables.

Fortification is another aspect on healthy nutrition, offering the key advantage of making frequently eaten foods more nutritious without relying on consumers to change their habits. Given the need to ensure availability of nutritious food to the large population scope for growth of fortification industry is also huge.

The session will discuss the opportunity in the health food segment. Focus will also be on discussing industry issues vis-a-vis availability of processable varieties, organized farming etc and further expectations. On fortification, the discussion will be on showcasing initiatives taken in terms of staples, and the opportunities available.

Food processing is one of the major employment intensive segments, employing more than 60 lakh in the country. However, availability of skilled manpower has been identified as one of the major challenges of the Indian food processing industry. There is a need to determine what skills are required in different parts of our country with respect to food processing. The need of the hour is to design specific skill sets for these jobs. Food Industry Capacity and Skill Initiative (FICSI), the Sector Skill Council (SSC) in food processing in coordination with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has initiated work on these aspects.

A lot of efforts are also put in on the food safety front in capacity building across the system and demonstrating shared responsibility between the regulator and businesses.

Building on the work already done, the session will discuss a roadmap for creating a robust and vibrant eco-system for quality education and skill development in the food processing sector in the country.

Driven by technology start ups are the new buzz word today and the food sector is no exception to this. India is also experiencing rapidly expanding ecosystem of food and beverage startups, and the list also includes a great number of food-tech startups that are using technological innovation to solve the major problems that are existing in the F&B industry.

The session will essentially be a pitch session where start ups get a chance to present their projects / ideas to Venture Capitalists and the winners will be awarded funding at the event

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