India is fast becoming one of the most sought after destinations for food investments. As per a finding by the Government of India—the Indian food industry is currently growing at an annual rate of 13 percent and is valued at US $135 billion; this number is estimated to reach US $200 billion by 2015. This growth will solidify India’s position as a key player in the global food ingredients market. At the helm of this development is—Fi & Hi India, organized by UBM India. Fi & Hi India is a three-day B2B event where participants get to connect and do business with top global suppliers of food, health and natural ingredients. The 2013 edition of this event was held Oct. 5 to 7, at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai.
Fi & Hi India 2013 had its grand inauguration by Shri. Tariq Anwar, Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Processing, Government of India. Also, part of the ceremony were dignitaries such as Shri. Ajit Singh, chairman, ACG Worldwide; Shri. Piruz Khambatta, CMD, Rasna International; Shri. Chitranjan Dar, CEO, ITC Food; and Dr. Kalyan Goswami, secretary general, AIFPA.
During his inaugural address to the audience, Shri. Anwar said, “In the emerging global scenario, to meet the needs of the booming food processing sector, it is important that India gears itself to meet the domestic as well as international standards. The Indian food industry is currently employing 13 million workers and the companies in the food sector contribute 13 percent of country’s exports. The Government of India is setting up food testing laboratories, storages etc. for processing food ingredients to ensure food safety. Fi & Hi India 2013 is giving companies a platform to showcase their innovative techniques and solutions in the food processing industry.”
Launched in 2006, Fi & Hi India has been a major driving force behind India's processed food sector. The 2013 edition of the event boasts of several features that provide both regional and global food professionals with an opportunity to learn about the latest industry developments, meet new business prospects, and launch new products in a bid to gain a competitor’s edge. This edition presents three days of premium onsite seminars, addressed by internationally renowned industry gurus such as Prabodh Halde (Marico), Dalbir Wariah (ITC Foods), C.M.Reddy (British Biologicals), and Vijayabhaskar Reddy (Dabur India). Also part of the lineup is a series of free one-on-one interactions with experts from the industry renowned Leatherhead Market Research.
Present at the event were a rich mix of leading local, national and international industry players such as BASF India Limited, Cargill India, DKSH India Pvt Ltd, Fuerst Day Lawson India Pvt Ltd, Glanbia Nutritionals Singapore Pte Ltd, Mintel (Consulting) Singapore Pvt Ltd, Prova S. A., Rikevita (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Roquette India Pvt Ltd, Synthite Industries Ltd.
Mr. Joji George, managing director, UBM India said “Fi & Hi India the exclusive food ingredients event held in India, showcases top suppliers of health, natural and food ingredients from all over the world. This specialized food ingredients event focuses on innovation and consumer trends, providing a platform for key professionals from around the world to link to this exciting Indian market.”
After witnessing such a grand opening it can definitely be said that Fi & Hi India 2013 will not only prove to be effective in addressing some of the major issues and challenges faced by the industry, but will also live up to its reputation of being the most sought after platforms for creating new and unique business opportunities for the food industry today.
The highlights of Fi & Hi India 2013 were its impressive lineup of premium onsite seminars, series of free one-on-one interactions with experts from Leatherhead Market Research, and a panel discussion signifying the importance of packaging and labeling in the food sector. This discussion was presided over by Mr. Prabodh Halde, Head Technical Regulatory, Marico; Mr. Nilesh Amritkar, Director, Envirocare Labs; Ms. Shobha Hegde, Lead Assessor, NABCB; Mr. Sukh Gill, Head of Global Regulatory Services, Leatherhead Food Research, UK; Mr. A. Sivakumar, Regulatory Affairs Director, Global Home Care and South Asia & Africa Regions, Hindustan Unilever Limited; Mrs. Rini Sanyal, Head Worldwide Regulatory Government & Industry Affairs, Herbalife India; and Mr. MM Chitale, Member, AFSTI (Association of Food Scientists and Technology India).
Building in European Union Food Labeling Legislation in context to the Indian food processing industry, Mr. Sukh Gill, head of global regulatory services, Leatherhead Food Research, said, “It’s always good, when you are interested in global regulations, to hear perspectives from the industry in different jurisdictions and India is clearly very interesting. There are a lot of challenges in the industry and it’s great to network and discuss and at least appreciate the challenges as part of finding solutions to them.”
Fi & Hi India 2013 highlighted the value of medicinal herbs and functional ingredients which help bring innovation in the formulation of food products. Mr. Prabodh Halde, head technical regulatory, Marico said, “Today there is a need of awareness and UBM is fulfilling that need and it is a privilege for us to be associated with them.”
There is a high demand for “natural” food and beverages in the market which has led to great competition in the FMCG sector. The USP for FMCG companies, is to emphasize more on natural ingredients, since the consumer these days, is more aware of the ill effects of artificial preservation.
The Fi & Hi India 2013 on its second day, delivered on its promise of addressing the challenges faced by the industry with respect to the safety norms and standards as well as innovation brought about in the food industry by use of medicinal herbs and natural ingredients and at the same time bringing the buyer and seller communities closer.
Apart from receiving record participation from industry leaders, the event has enjoyed tremendous support from key associations like All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA); the Health Foods and Dietary Supplements Association of India (HADSA); the Society of Indian Bakers (SIB); the Mumbai chapter of the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India (AFSTM), and the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil).