A Full Paper on Food Safety and Quality Standards – The Indian Scenario Authored by: VM Sai Kamalesh Edida, PGDM

, Mats, Bangalore. Co – Authored by: Rudra Swati, PGDM, Mats, Bangalore. 1. Global Perspective of Agriculture Industry: In recent years the growth rates of world agricultural production and crop yields have slowed. This has raised fears that the world may not be able to grow enough food and other commodities to ensure that future populations are adequately fed. However, the slowdown has occurred not because of shortages of land or water but rather because demand for agricultural products has also slowed. This is mainly because world population growth rates have been declining since the late 1960s, and fairly high levels of food consumption per person are now being reached in many countries, beyond which further rises will be limited. But it is also the case that a stubbornly high share of the world's population remains in absolute poverty and so lacks the necessary income to translate its needs into effective demand. As a result, the growth in world demand for agricultural products is expected to fall from an average 2.2 percent a year over the past 30 years to 1.5 percent a year for the next 30. In developing countries the slowdown will be more dramatic, from 3.7 percent to 2 percent, partly as a result of China having passed the phase of rapid growth in its demand for food. 2. Agriculture Sector of Indian Economy: India remains an agricultural economy in many important respects. The share of agriculture in the country’s GDP constitutes about 18%. Agriculture provides a livelihood for approximately 600 million citizens, at least indirectly. However, Indian Agriculture is not very efficient, and the sector continues to limit overall economic growth. 1

India is endowed with rich land, water, and labor resources, although water resources are overexploited is in some states due to non-economic pricing of irrigation, water and power. Indian agriculture is characterized by low productivity, with average crop yields for most crops well below world levels. The average farm size is 3.3acres and getting smaller as farms are broken up as they pass from one generation to the next. “Large” farms (>25acres) account for only 1.0% of the total of 119.2million farms in India. State land-ceiling laws restrict farm size to 10 to 20 acres (irrigated, double-cropped) and 15 to 60 acres (non-irrigated) in various states. Only 35% of the net cropped area (141million ha) or partly irrigated; 65% depends on monsoon rains. With the beginning of economic liberalization in 1991, the Indian Government (GOI) encouraged foreign direct investment in agriculture and food processing. Although the GOI banned 100% foreign direct investment in the retail sector, there are opportunities for foreign retailers to enter India through “Cash & Carry” (Wholesaling) and franchising routes where 100% FDI is permitted.

3. Present Scenario in Indian Agriculture:
India has achieved a major breakthrough in agricultural production as a result of technology evolved by Indian scientists and its wide adoption by the farmers. India would need to increase the food production to 240 million tons. Therefore, there is a need for critical appraisal of the post-green revolution technology to draw up a balance sheet so that strategies are evolved for achieving sustainable agriculture. "The intensive agriculture in India has caused widespread changes in the agroecosystem. The insect pest, disease and weed complex has undergone a tremendous change. There is an overall depletion in soil fertility as a result of intensive cultivation of crops. The underground water resources are facing grave danger. The yields of improved crop varieties have shown a plateau. The new technology has caused great impact on the quality of our environment. The present book is an attempt to critically analyze the benefits and maladies of post-green revolution era to pave the way for 2

second green revolution. The future strategies have been proposed for new approaches in crop improvement, energy, insect pests, diseases, weeds, nutrients and water management. The challenges to meet the changes in climate, transfer of technology, new requirements in agricultural machinery and agro forestry have been discussed. Finally, strategies for achieving sustainable agriculture with least disruption to ecosystem have been outlined.

4. Food Safety & Security in India:
Food security has been a major developmental objective in India since the beginning of plan. India achieved self-sufficiency in food grains in the 1970’s and has sustained it since then. But the achievement of food grain security at the national level did not percolate down to households and the level of chronic food insecurity is still high. Over 225 million Indians remain chronically under nourished. In 2000-01, about half of the rural children below five years of age suffered from malnutrition and 40% of adults suffered from chronic energy deficiency. Such a high level of wasting away of human resources should be a cause for concern. In recent years, there has been a shift in policy focus towards household level food security and per capita food energy intake is taken as a measure of food security. The government has been implementing a wide range of nutrition intervention programmes for achieving food security at the household and individual levels. The Public Distribution System (PDS) supplies food items, such as food grains and sugar, at administered prices through fair price shops. There have been a range of food-for-work and other wage employment programmes. Another approach adopted by the government is to target women and children directly; this includes mid-day meal programme for school going children and supplementary nutrition programme for children and women. According to NSS, per capita cereal consumption has been declining since the early 1970’s despite a significant rise in per capita cereal production. This can be attributed to changes in consumer tastes, from food to non-food items and, within food group, from coarse to fine cereals. The decline in cereal consumption has been greater in rural areas, 3

where the improvement in rural infrastructure has made other food and non-food items available to rural households. The reality is that the bottom 30% of the population has not shown any improvement in cereal and calorie intake in the rural and urban areas despite a significant improvement in their real per capita expenditure. Their per capita calorie intake (1600 to 1700) falls short of the required norm. Intra-family food distribution is also inequitable in the rural households and the pre-school children get much less than their physiological needs as compared to adult males and females. Micronutrient deficiency is common among people. Diets of about 80% of the rural population contain less than half of the normal requirement of vitamin-A. This deficiency leads to preventable blindness. Iron deficiency is widely prevalent among pregnant women. This results in a high incidence of low birth weight children, which in turn contributes to malnutrition. The most important challenge is to increase the energy intake of the bottom 30% of the population and at the same time facilitate diet diversification to meet micronutrient deficiency. The food gap can be met from the existing food grain stocks in the medium term and by increasing their purchasing power in the long run through increasing job opportunities. The micronutrient deficiency can be rectified through supplementary nutrition and supply of fortified food. There is also a need to improve the efficiency of the various food schemes initiated by the government and make it more available and free of corruption and urban bias. Food security has three components: 4.1 Availability of food in the market, 4.2 Access to food through adequate purchasing power, and 4.3 Absorption of food in the body.


4.1 Availability of Food: This is a function of both home production and imports. There is no time to relax on the food production front. The present global surplus of food grains is the result of inadequate consumption on the part of the poor, and should not be mistaken as a sign of over-production. 4.2 Access to Food: Lack of purchasing power deprives a person from access to food even though food is available. Inadequate livelihood opportunities in rural areas are responsible for household nutrition insecurity. For example, India today has over 30 million tons of wheat and rice in government godowns; yet poverty induced hunger affects over 200 million persons. It is endemic in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (Ramalingaswami et al. 1997; WFP 2001). Macro-economic policies, at the national and global level, should be conducive to fostering job-led economic growth based on micro-enterprises supported by micro-credit. Where poverty is pervasive, suitable measures to provide the needed entitlement to food should be introduced. The State of Maharashtra introduced, nearly 25 years ago, an Employment Guarantee Scheme to assist the poor to earn their daily bread during seasons when opportunities for wage employment are low. 4.3 Absorption of Food: Lack of access to clean drinking water, poor environmental hygiene and poor health infrastructure, lead to poor assimilation of the food that is consumed. Nutrition security cannot be achieved without environmental hygiene, primary health care and clean drinking water security. Culinary habits also need careful evaluation as some methods of cooking may lead to the loss of vital nutrients. As a step to ensure Food Safety, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has implemented certain regulations in the Act. They are as follows:  Vegetables Oil Products (Control) Order, 1998. 5

 Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998.  The Solvent Extracted Oil, Deoiled meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967.  Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA).  Fruit Products Order, 1955 (FPO).  Meat Food Products Order, 1973 (MFPO).  Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 (MMPO).

5. Food Security Management Systems Certification Schemes: 5.1 Food Safety Management Systems: International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management Systems – Requirements for any Organization in the Food Chain, with a view to provide framework for internationally harmonized requirements for systematically managing safety in food supply chains. Consequent to publication of ISO 22000 on BIS has adopted this International Standard as IS/ISO 22000:2005. This standard integrates the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system developed by Codex Alimentarius Commission and combines the HACCP plan with Prerequisite Programmes (PRPs) and is fully compatible with Quality Management Systems (QMS) as per ISO 9001: 2000.

BIS has launched Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) Certification IS/ISO 22000:2005 scheme which envisages grant of FSMS Certification license to organizations according to IS/ISO 22000.


5.2 FSMS for Safe Food Supply Chains: Food Safety is related to the presence of food borne hazards in food at the point of consumption. Food reaches to consumers via supply chains that may link many different types of organizations. One weak link can result in unsafe food that is dangerous to health. As food safety hazards can occur the food chain at any stage, adequate control throughout the supply chain is essential. Therefore food safety is a joint responsibility of all organizations with in the food chain including, producers, manufactures, transport & storage operators, sub contractors, retail and food service outlets and service providers. Recent studies have shown that there is significant increase of illness caused by infected food in both developed and developing countries which give rise to considerable economic costs besides being health hazards. This has necessitated the need for establishing a food safety management system by all types of organizations within the food chain. 5.3 Highlights of IS/ISO 22000:2005: Following are the highlights of the IS/ISO 22000:2005 certification:  Integrates the principles of Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system developed be Codex Alimentarius Commission. It combines the HACCP plan with prerequisite programme (PRPs) and operational PRPs.  Requires that all Hazards that may be reasonably expected to occur in the food chain are identified, assessed and controlled.  Can be applied independent of other management system standards or can be integrated with existing other management systems.  Allows even small, tiny scale organizations to implement as externally developed combination of control measures.  Intended for organizations seeking more focused, coherent and integrated food safety management systems. 7

 Emphasis on preventions of food safety hazards of all types.  Ensures compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.  Provides for management of potential emergency situations & accidents that can impact food safety.

5.4 Key Elements to ensure Food Safety: The key elements of FSMS for managing & reducing the risk to health resulting from operations across the food chain to final consumption are:  Interactive Communication.  System Management.  Prerequisite Programmes.  HACCP Principles. 5.5 Benefits to Customers: The following are the benefits to the Customers. They are:  Increased international acceptance of food products.  Reduces risk of product/service liability claims.  Satisfies customer contractual requirements.  Ensures safety of food products.  Greater health protection.  Demonstrations conformance to international standards and applicable regulatory requirements.  Helps to meet applicable food safety related statuary & regulatory requirements.  Ensures to compete effectively in national and international markets. 6. Food Standards, Implementation and Quality Control: 8

Food is one of the essentials for maintenance of life and is embedded in cultural and social habits of people. It is very important that the food available is safe/hygiene, wholesome with right nutritional content, free from infection/bacterial contamination, intoxication, contamination and adulteration. Changes have been brought about habits-resulting due to developments in technology and for socio economic reasons; food is in increasing demand for a range of food products. Therefore Food Regulations and standards have become a sensitive subject and the regulation of the quality of the food products the object of an increasing public interest. Quality being the first consideration for the Consumer acceptance, which in turn is linked with recognized national and international standards, reflecting the national and international markets which are essential for the manufacturer to be able to design, produce and market products embracing the Consumer's needs of quality features and using up to date technologies. Compliance with these standards is ensured through the use of regulatory standards and quality assurance systems. 6.1 Standardization Systems in India: In the food and agriculture sector there are number of organizations responsible for the formulation of Standards and monitoring their quality. These can be generally classified in two systems as under. A. Compulsory Legislations. B. Voluntary Standards. A. Compulsory Legislations: 1. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954: The most important compulsory legislation in our country in the area of Food Products is the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. (PFA-1954). The PFA-1954 Act is the basic 9

statutory regulation is intended to protect the common Consumer against the supply of adultrated food products. The Act makes provision for prevention of adulteration of food products and lays down that no person shall manufacture for sale, store, distribute any adultrated or misbranded food products not conforming to the Standards laid down under the Rules. These Standards are of minimum quality and are intended to ensure safety in the consumption of these food products and safe guarding against harmful impurities contaminations and adultration etc. Provisions of this act are mandatory and contravention to these rules leads to both fine and imprisonment. The Central Committee for Food Standards (C.C.F.S.) and its various Subcommittees under the Directorate General of Health Services (D.G.H.S.) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for operation and enforcement of the Act. Various interests concerned with Food Standards including consumer interests have representations in this Committee. 2. Essential Commodities Act 1954: A number of Control orders have been formulated under the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act. The main objectives of the Act are to regulate manufacture/production, Commerce/trading and distribution of the essential commodities including the food products. Some of the important orders of the act are enumerated below:  The Fruit Products Order (F.P.O.-1955).  Solvent Extracted Oils, De-oiled Meal and Edible Flour Control Order, Vegetable Oil Products Order, Meat and Meat Products Control Order. B. Voluntary Standards: 1. Bureau of Indian Standards: The main functions of the Bureau of Indian Standards the national standards Organization of India are formulation of Indian standards for food and food products and their 10

implementation by promotion and through voluntary and third party certification systems. These standards in general cover raw materials permitted and their quality parameters, hygienic conditions of manufacturing and product safety with respect of microbial Contaminations. 2. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (D.M.I.): Directorate of Marketing and Inspection formulates grade Standards known as "AGMARK" with relevant quality definitions and grade designation marks in respect of various agricultural, horticulture, live stock, dairy and forest products. The quality of the product is assessed and determined with reference to various factors like different areas of production, variety, shape, weight, color, moisture, fat content and other relevant chemical and physical parameters. 3. Eco-Mark: The Ministry of Environment and Forests have instituted on labeling of environment friendly products, on a national basis. With the consciousness of environment conservation growing day by day the adoption of ECO-MARK in different categories of food products will become necessary. The products will have to carry ECO-MARK a new standard certifying them environment friendly. The scheme provides to indentifying, accreditation and labeling of consumer products which do least damage to the environment and also meet the quality standards/requirements of the relevant Indian Standard for the product. Some of the food products identified under the ECO-MARK Certification Beverages. 4. ISO Standards: With the increasing focus being given to the management of quality worldwide, the International Standards Organization has introduced the quality system standards ISO 9000 series. These Standards provide guidelines and criteria for the formal control of 11 are Tea, Coffee, Refined Vegetable oils, Vanaspati, Food Additives/Preservatives, Processed Fruits and Vegetable Products, Infant Foods and

products and services by the manufacturing company and assure the purchaser/consumer a consistent acceptable standard of products and services. ISO Standards reflects a long term concepts and terminology, quality systems and supporting technologies. 6.2 Implementation of Standards/Quality Control: For effective implementation of the regulatory standards and monitoring the quality of the graded and certified foods and food products made available by the manufacturers requires a net work of Testing/Analytical Laboratories with basic modern analytical facilities and technical manpower. The functions of these laboratories will be:  To carry out/undertake the testing of the food products as per various regulatory standards and ascertain their compliance to the relevant standards.  Undertake Research and Development (R&D) investigations, Collaborative Studies and generation of data for evolving new standards and revising the existing standards and quality assessment studies.  To identify and take corrective actions on non-conformities observed by quality assessments. 6.3 Quality Control: Before undertaking the testing of Food Products it is necessary to classify the Foods Products and the quality tests to be undertaken. Food and Food Products are classified as under:  Sugar and Honey products.  Edible Starches and Starch Products.  Food Grains and their Products.  Bakery and Confectionery.  Protein Rich Foods. 12

 Spices and Condiments.  Fruits and Vegetable Products.  Stimulant Foods like Tea, Coffee, Cocoa Powder.  Alcoholic Drinks and Carbonated Beverages.  Dairy Products.  Meat, Fish and Poultry.  Oils, Fats and Oil Seeds.  Food Colors, Preservatives, Additives.  Snacks, Fast Foods, Cooked Foods. 7. Suggestions to ensure food safety: After getting a thorough knowledge about the food safety and quality standards in India, we understood what Indian agriculture need. Following are some of the suggestions to see greener India in the future.   food.  Constant and rapid change in the agricultural methods which meets global There is a need to shift from the existing expensive, inefficient and standards should be implemented.  corruption ridden institutional arrangements to those that will ensure cheap delivery of requisite quality grains in a transparent manner and are self-targeting.  future.  Farmers should be aware of the quality standards to be followed which will lead them to better yield of crops. 8. Conclusion: 13 Government should attract students to take specialized agriculture courses wherein they will gain knowledge about the importance of agriculture in the near Use of advanced biotechnological methods in agricultural production. Ensure proper implementation of Quality Standards to maintain quality in

As awareness grows about food safety issues, the need for countries to provide greater assurance about the safety and quality of food also grows. The increase in world food trade has raised interest in food safety requirements. India should realize the need to meet these challenges and keep pace with international developments. So in order to ensure Food Safety and Security in India, the Government should take necessary measures for proper implementation of the Quality Standards in place. The Consumer is primarily interested in his health being protected from the hazards of consuming contaminated/adultrated food than the legal action". So, in order to safeguard the consumer interest the Food Standards must be adopted and implemented. Bibliography: 1. Websites: www.ideas.repec.org/p/ags/iaae06/25746.html www.pfionline.com/quality/quality1.html www.theviewspaper.net

2. Reports:  Case Study: India responds to International Food Safety Requirements, International Food Policy Research Institute.  Economic Survey2004-05.  India – Agricultural Economy and Policy Report - January 2009.  Science and Shaping our Agricultural Future, M S Swaminathan.


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