-Visit aimed at strengthening cooperation and exchange of best practices between India and Sweden in the area of dairy production and food safety –
-Visit is a follow up to the joint statement by Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén and Prime Minister Modi and its implementation in the areas of innovation and reserach –
-Explore areas for collaboration in the dairy sector and food safety –
Pune: Mr. Sven-Erik Bucht Minister for Rural Affairs from the Ministry Of Enterprise And Innovation Sweden arrived in Pune today and met with Swedish companies followed by a round table discussion led by Alfa Laval, DeLaval and Tetra Pak on food safety, the challenges and opportunities of dairy sector and the export potential. Minister for dairy development and animal husbandry Mahadev Jankar , Kantilal Umap, Commissioner Animal Husbandry Government of Maharashtra, Rajiv Jadhav – Commisionar Dairy Government of Maharashtra were present .
Sweden has always been in the forefront for healthy dietary habits, safe foods and fair practices in the food trade. India today faces the problem of providing sufficient food to a large share of population, primarily due to significant level of food wastage caused during transportation, lack of storage because of poor infrastructure and absence of cold chain facilities. Swedish food regulations and recommendations are looked upon very highly and have a leading edge for strong supply chain management with a well-founded framework to reduce food wastage. India has potential to increase the export of dairy and dairy products but productivity is low primarily due to poor genetic potential, lack of veterinary services and nutritious feeds. Commercial and small scale dairy farming in India is no doubt playing an important role in the total milk production and economy of the country, to the point where it now tops the milk output of all the European Union countries combined. Dairy farming in India has evolved from being just an agrarian way of life to a professionally managed industry with exports of dairy produce being averaged at 185.92 USD Million. Hence there is a large potential for both India & Sweden to share their best practices and collaborate to create solutions that suit India’s specific needs.
It is essential that the environmental performance of food production is improved, with regards to its impact on the climate, pressures on the terrestrial and aquatic ecological systems, utilization of natural resources such as land, minerals, water, and the protection of public goods, for example bio-diversity.
Sweden’s comprehensive food policy enables a national food strategy which generates more jobs and enables sustainable growth throughout the country which involves the entire food supply chain.
The strategy lays the foundation for long-term development – from the crops in the fields to the dinner tables in homes, to school meals, restaurants and world-wide. This strengthening of the competitiveness throughout the food supply chain creates more jobs, sustainable growth and values such as open landscapes and lively rural communities.
The national strategy stresses on an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable production which enables the country to leapfrog to a cleaner and a more resilient economy.
To increase sustainability and food safety, the whole complex food chain, including primary production and the processing, packaging, transportation and storage of products as well as the treatment of food waste must be looked at the systemic level to minimize waste.
Speaking about the visit, Consul General for Sweden Ms. Ulrika Sundberg said “India has drawn the world’s attention in recent years with its impressive economic growth, large demographic of young people and its shift from an agricultural to a more manufacturing and service-oriented economy. Our rules and recommendations for food safety hold the strength to guide India’s consumers towards healthy dietary habits and combat problems associated with processing and packaging technologies, cold chains, transportation and warehousing solutions, poor diet, physical inactivity, and unsafe food related issues affecting most population segments. In Sweden, we ensure that goods and services produced and consumed should have as little negative impact as possible with regard to human health and the environment. Producers are responsible to make sure that food and food production are safe and do not pose threats to the environment, people’s health or the well-being of animals. Further to this delegation visit, I hope that it will lead to a two- stream exchange of ideas that would help stimulate the topic of food safety and synergies between the two countries at both business and cultural level. I am sure that in the long run Sweden and India can join hands for a better future in eco-smart food choices and minimizing food waste.”
Commenting on food safety, Minister Sven-Erik Bucht said “Together, we need a broader approach to address the challenge of climate change and we would like to share our experiences, and best practices so far on how to promote a circular bio economy, which will help us assume our common responsibility for the environment. My visit to Pune is a part of the bilateral ambition to increase cooperation and trade as well as create synergies and partnerships between the two countries. Sweden has always been a frontrunner in the areas of food safety, dietary habits, safe foods and fair and equitable practices in the food trade. We are keen to explore further collaborations in this field and also support additional development in the sector. India’s manufacturing infrastructure and capacity for innovation is poised for phenomenal growth and Swedish companies are looking at raising their investments and their manufacturing units here. This is an occasion for us to exchange ideas and solutions within areas where Sweden stands strong. I hope this visit will lead to a higher degree of awareness of India’s opportunities and what Sweden and Swedish companies can offer and Make in India”
In the evening Mr. Bucht attended a networking dinner hosted by the Consulate General in Pune.
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