Report by Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (FACE), CII National Cold Chain Task Force:The cold chain industry in India is growing and will treble its size by 2015, due to rapid changes in consumption patterns. This rise is fuelled by modern trade, along with the growing food, dairy and pharmaceutical industries in India. India needs an effective and economically viable cold chain that will integrate the supply chain for all commodities, reducing waste and loss of value ofperishable commodities. Inaugurating the 5th National Cold Chain Summit 2014, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister for Food
Processing Industries (MoFPI), stated, “Cold chain plays an integral part in the development of our nation. In spite of all the challenges that we have faced, we are the second largest producer of fruit and cereal, third in marine production and have the largest livestock in the world. But in spite of growth in these sectors, the disparity with growth in the food processing sector is amazing. There should be zero tolerance towards waste. Currently, there is Rs.44,000 crore of wastage and unless we work towards removing that, our growth story cannot be complete. The cold chain capacity of the country is 30 million metric ton, whereas it produces around 200 million metric ton of products.” The summit, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly with the MoFPI, Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD) in New Delhi had the theme: Enabling Innovations, Integration and Investments Across the Food Value Chain. Talking about the challenges the industry faces, the Minister said, “The biggest challenge is power, without which the cold chain cannot be successful. States need to invest in renewable energy and provide solar energy at subsidized rates.” She also released a report, Study of Post Harvest Value Chain Management and Plan for Future Development: A CII Study of Pomegranate in Karnataka, during the event. Siraj Hussain, Secretary, MoFPI, said that online retail stores can give a huge fillip to the cold storage industry. They can not only improve the supply chain but also delivery. According to Dinesh Rai, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), warehouses have a crucial role in cold chain development. Pawanexh Kohli, CEO and Chief Advisor, NCCD stressed consistent supply of goods across the country. Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, MoA mentioned the need to innovate, create awareness and integrate different skill sets and competencies, and that only regular sustained supply of goods can reduce price fluctuations. P. Ravichandran, Chairman, CII National Task Force on Cold Chain Development and President, Danfoss Industries Pvt. Ltd., while sharing the Charter and the initiatives of the Task Force, mentioned that it is fully aligned with the vision of creating a robust cold chain by instituting a national farm-gate to market infrastructure, catalyzing investment through state and commodity specific intervention, developing a concrete action plan for Private Public Partnership towards skill enhancement, examining reasons for slow adoption of cold chains and enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability. B. Thiagarajan, Immediate Past Chairman of the Task Force and Executive Director and President, Blue Star Ltd., said that the food processing ministry and agriculture ministry, with whom CII has shared a relation over the years, have seen a lot of successes and setbacks, and each time we have come out with innovations and reinvented ourselves to take the journey forward. He added that the Clean India campaign can be linked to the development of cold chain, for example by recycling bio waste. The summit saw participation of over 150 delegates from Government organizations like National Horticulture Board, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Indian Council for Agriculture Research, National Centre for Cold Chain Development, National Productivity Council, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority, and from organizations in the private sector like Blue Star, Bayer Material Sciences, Danfoss Industries, Frick India, Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation, Lloyd’s Insulation India, Yes Bank, Pluss Polymers, Marfin Projects Ltd. And Promethean Power Systems Inc.