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EVENTS

WFI ’19 to begin on Nov 1; Bring food processing stakeholders together
Tuesday, 18 June, 2019, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
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World Food India 2019 (WFI 2019) will be the biggest gathering of all global and domestic stakeholders in the food processing sector. The event, which will be held at Vigyan Bhawan and Rajpath Lawns in New Delhi between November 1 and 4, 2019, will position India as the food processing destination of the world.

This was stated by food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that a meeting with the various stakeholders of WFI 2019, including the associated ministries and departments, chief executive officers of major food processing companies and industry associations.

This meeting, which Badal chaired, was followed by a second meeting with the ambassadors and high commissioners of leading food processing and retailing countries.

These meetings were held to discuss the investment opportunities available in India in the food processing sector and to sensitise the gathering about their participation in WFI 2019. Rameshwar Teli, minister of state for food processing industries, and senior officers of the ministry, were also present at the meetings.

Badal informed the gathering that WFI 2019, the second edition of the event, shall consist of several top-level seminars, investment opportunities, exhibitions, high-level CEO roundtables, country sessions, B2B (business-to-business) and B2G (business-to-government) networking, etc.

For the year 2019, the ministry is targeting partnerships with at least 15 countries and participation from at least 80 countries. The tagline of the event will be Forging Partnerships for Growth.

Badal informed that preparations for the World Food India 2019 have already begun. Over 11 international and eight domestic roadshows are planned.

The roundtable with top CEOs and ambassadors today was one such high-level event showcasing the intent of ministry to engage with the industry (both domestic and global).

In the next few months, the ministry will reach out to all the states and other players in industry, in particular the MSMEs (micro-, small and medium enterprises). The minister also invited suggestions from the industry on the four-day event.

The event has already received interests from several countries and industries interested in becoming a part of the event. Badal invited the ambassadors and industries to be a part of this mega celebration of food and witness the immense opportunity that India provides for growth and prosperity.

Addressing the gathering, Badal said, “Food processing is one of the six superstar sectors under the Government of India’s Make in India initiative, and has the potential to transform India as a leading food processing destination of the World.”

She added that food processing was critical to achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling the farmers’ income in India and reducing food wastage, and that the ministry was making several efforts to ensure that this vision is realised.

The minister said, “The Indian food processing industry has grown tremendously recording 11 per cent growth rate, which is twice the pace of the global industry. The sector has recorded double-digit growth rate across all major sub-segments of the sectors both in terms of value and volume.”

Badal informed that despite huge domestic market of 1.3 billion customers with the youngest population globally and an abundant agricultural base, the processing levels in India remain low at 7.7 per cent behind several economies, such as China, Malaysia and the United States.

India’s share in global exports of processed food is only two per cent. Besides, India also has a high share of harvest and post-harvest losses from major agricultural produces on account of poor storage, transportation and logistics to the extent of Rs 92,651 crore ($13 billion) thrice the agricultural budget.

Background
The government initiated a biennial event. World Food India to promote food processing sector at global level. The first such event was conducted in 2017 and received wide success.

The event created Brand India by positioning India on the global food map as a world food factory. It was for the first time in India that all major policy-makers and top industrialists across the globe in food processing industries were together under one roof.

World Food India 2017 had witnessed presence of India’s top political leadership, including the President of India, the Prime Minister, the finance and commerce and industry ministers.

The CEO roundtables with the Prime Minister, the finance minister, and the commerce and industry minister were the key highlight, covering various aspects related to business, be it strategic, finance/investment or trade.

World Food India 2017 witnessed the participation of 61 countries, ministers from several countries and India, the chief ministers of various Indian states, 60 global CEOs and eminent academicians attended the event.

The event witnessed a footfall of over 75,000, over 8,000 B2B meetings and signing of MoUs (Memorandums of Understanding) worth $14 billion.
 
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