Wednesday, January 22, 2020


FSSAI conducts workshop on social mobilisation for safe, nutritious food
Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
In a bid to provide safe and nutritious food to the citizens, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) organised a workshop on Social Mobilisation for Safe and Nutritious Food: A Way of Life recently.

Over 100 corporates, including Indian food companies like Dabur and Britannia and multinationals such as Nestle, Mondelez, Pepsi, participated in it. There was a consensus among them that investing in food safety and nutrition was the smart, right and sustainable thing to do.

A perceptible and fundamental shift in corporates’ thinking about the social impact of investment in food safety and nutrition was noted during the workshop, which was organised under the broad theme of Corporates for Safe and Nutritious Food. It focused on building a coalition of corporates and design-specific interventions that corporates can take up.
In his keynote address, Lawrence Haddad, executive director, Global Alliance for Improvement of Nutrition (GAIN), said, “It is in the interest of businesses to invest in food safety and nutrition. It is the smart, right and sustainable thing to do. It is sustainable and helps in building people’s trust in corporates and chief executive officers (CEOs).

To scale up the efforts, Haddad said, “Corporates should work as a sector and should involve social goals in their corporate strategies.”
Santosh Desai, managing director, Future Brands, described how there has been a fundamental shift in the thinking of corporates about corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Earlier it was seen as charity, and then it became a defensive mechanism. Now, it is marked as the beginning among the corporates to be proactive in implementing idea of integrating social impact and profit,” he added.

Siraj Chaudhry, chairman, Cargill India, stressed the importance of consumer education to make them aware about food safety and nutrition. He explained the manner in which the corporates could integrate simple messages in their mainstream marketing campaigns.
On this occasion, an online citizen community on food safety was launched by Sachin Taparia, chairman and chief executive officer, Local Circles.

He informed that in just five days of its initial launch, 30,000 people had already registered as members.

ITC announced its plans to reach 10,000 schools and children promoting food safety. ITC will be driving the Safe & Nutritious food at School initiative by incorporating messages related to it through Classmate notebooks as well as building a programme which ensures continuous engagement with the children over a substantial period of time.

The programme will have multiple elements to engage with children and schools through interactive training modules, an interactive voice response- (IVR) led quiz, on-ground theme-based activities, city- and national-level finals and many more events to sustain the buzz and participation which will be aimed at building and enhancing awareness on various aspects of health and nutrition.

In his closing remarks, Ashish Bahuguna, chairperson, FSSAI, conveyed his appreciation over the corporates’ overwhelming response to the workshop and urged them to get actively involved in the efforts to spread the message of food safety and nutrition. He hoped that this was just the beginning of long-term engagement between FSSAI and food businesses for social mobilisation.

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, elaborated on the various initiatives of FSSAI to spread the message of food safety and nutrition at different places like home, schools, workplaces, eateries, etc.

He pointed out that the workshop was unique in the way it helped marketing heads of various companies to sit together with FSSAI to identify the ways that they can work towards social cause rather than competing with each other.
The participants had detailed discussions in nine groups where they deliberated in detail on how to scale up the initiatives and spread the message.

Each group presented a specific action plan, which will be rolled out soon pan-India. Activities taken up by corporates would be measured on a matrix that would soon be developed and FSSAI is planning to institute safe and nutritious food awards for corporates based on the same.
Representatives of the ministries of urban development and health and family welfare were also present to explore possibility of developing convergence model for social mobilisation around food safety hygiene and nutrition across the country.

On this occasion, FSSAI also launched its new website, a water portal and food safety connect for an integrated complaint redressal system.
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