Cargill launches Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan a nationwide initiative on food safety awareness in India
Cargill India in association with CII launches the national campaign today at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution
New Delhi - July 21, 2015 - Cargill India in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and support from national partners National Association of Street Vendors (NASVI), Voluntary organization in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) launched today the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan™ at the Office of Hon'ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan at the Krishi Bhawan. In line with Cargill India’s goal to provide safe food every time, everywhere, the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan™ is Cargill’s stance towards promoting awareness around food safety for all. Cargill believes that food safety is a shared responsibility of farmers, the food industry, regulators and consumers.
The Hon’ble Minister, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, inaugurated the ceremony by unveiling the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan™ website and presented the 'Pledge Scroll' which displayed the 'Safe Food for All' Pledge endorsed by the various partners.
Elaborating on the several initiatives for improving food safety by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Hon'ble Minister, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan mentioned that food safety is an inseparable part of food security. The department of Food and Public Distribution’s role is to address food security, however, no food security measures can help the nation if food in not completely safe. Foodborne diseases outbreaks, which can be prevented by hygienic and food safety practices only, have severe health and economic consequences in both developed and developing countries. The strength of Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan as a pan India drive lies in the model of involving stakeholders as partners to strengthen connect and outreach to consumers, street food operators and industry across the country. The initiative complements the widely popular Multi media campaign by the Ministry under the brand name of Jago Grahak Jago which empowers the consumers on its rights and demands.
Referring to the necessity of shared responsibility for Food Safety, Mr. Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill India stated that access to safe food is a basic human right. As a company dedicated to nourishing people, our goal is to provide safe food every time, everywhere. We believe, in today’s complex and interdependent food supply chain, food safety is a shared responsibility of the farmers, the food industry, regulators as well as consumers. We are glad to join hands with CII as National Industry Partner and be a catalyst to improve food safety awareness in the country as well as drive the agenda of ‘safe food as everyone’s right’ through the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan.
Giving an insight into changing consumer trends, Shri C Viswanath,IAS, Secretary Ministry of Consumer Affairs mentioned that India is the Food Basket of the World which never diminishes. While the food processing sector is evolving with focus on packaged food and a growing supply chain, the Indian consumer is also changing. India has the world's largest youthful population with 65% below the age of 35.There is also a clear trend on experimentation with new products, shift of consumption from In- home to out of home and a growing awareness on Health and Hygiene among the consumers. Street food of India is also integral to the eating habits of Indian consumers due to its wide ethnic and multi-cuisine spread.
The campaign “Jago Grahak Jago” has today become a household axiom. More recently, joint publicity campaigns have been launched in partnership with related Government Departments / Organisations that deal with mass consumer clientele. For instance on Food, the Ministry is focussed on educating the consumer on possible adulteration, good hygienic practices and information on labels through various electronic and print media such as TV, Radio, Newspapers and outdoor advertising, During the year 2014-15 a significant budget for Consumer Education was allocated. The Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan is an initiative which compliments the consumer movement of the Ministry.
“With heightened consumer demand for safe food and new product innovations from the industry, India has moved yet another step to be at par with global standards of food safety and quality “said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII .Mr Banerjee added that”the Abhiyan is designed to become instrumental in triggering the continual and breakthrough improvements required to achieve Food Safety Excellence in the years to come.”
Food Safety is a prime concern today said Mr Ashim Sanyal, COO, VOICE. Healthy Consumers can make a Healthy Nation. To meet this need of the hour Consumer VOICE has joined hands in “Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan” and will make consumers aware through dissemination of knowledge on the importance of Food Safety and Quality as their basic right. Food Business Operators across all sales counters have to abide by hygiene and safety norms for health of the consumers.
Mr Arbind Singh, NASVI stated that theMunicipal Authorities must understand that security at workplace will lead to food vendors focusing on hygiene and safe food and food vendors must appreciate that hygiene and safe food will enhance their business.
The Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan would include a series of campaigns towards sensitizing consumers, Street Food Operators and Industry on their Roles, Rights, Importance of Hygienic Practices and Systems for Food Safety Risk Mitigation. In order to enhance involvement of people from all walks of life including general consumers, schools, colleges and street food operators, Safe Food Walkathons and Interactive sessions, would be organized across Metros and 2 tier cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Jamshedpur, Ahmedabad, Mohali, Pune Siliguri, Haryana, Jaipur and Chennai. Other Events like Food Summits, Round Tables and Workshops would be aimed at upgrading supply chain participants across the food industry to best in class levels of Food Safety. Mass dissemination of Food Safety practices would also be organized by strategically leveraging Print, Electronic and Digital media.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 152,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.
In India, Cargill’s operations started in 1987. It has businesses in refined oils, food ingredients, grain and oilseeds, sugar, cotton, animal feed and trade structured finance ..Cargill markets leading consumer brands of edible oils such as NatureFresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo Olive Oil, Rath and Sunflower brand of hydrogenated fats in India. Cargill also markets NatureFresh brand of packaged wheat flour. It employs more than 2,300 employees working across offices and plants and a network of warehouses and depots.