New packaging regulations based on categories

Packaging, labelling & advertisement, and claims

114
packaging
FSSAI informed that food labelling norms are ready

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator, will release the drafts on three separate regulations on packaging, labelling and advertisement, and claims in a few months from now. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI says, “FSSAI has completed the review of the standards and is currently revising the existing Food Safety Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. It has been decided that these standards will be divided into three sections, namely regula­tions for packaging, labelling and advertisement, and claims.”

He adds, “All the three areas are significant. Earlier, there was a single inclusive regulation for all the three sections. Also, we have been using the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for the packaging.”

The regulator and the industry believe that a lot needs to be discussed and done in this regard. With several industry-regulator meets and talks held with the stake­holders representing various sectors like packaging, food and other industries, the inputs will be compiled and forwarded to the stakeholders for a discussion.

Agarwal says, “Virtually there were no regulations for claims and advertise­ment. Since all three aspects are vital, there will be separate regulations now. On the labelling front, the work has been completed. Meanwhile, packaging regula­tions are weak and consultations are underway.”

According to Joseph Lewis, advisor to FSSAI, “The FSSAI will finalize the draft and put it up for consultation considering and including recommendations from the expert group and stakeholders.”

Lewis adds, “The laws under FSS Act are evolving and the regulator is working on the same to make it easier to understand, thereby making it easy for compli­ance. The law structure is quite complex and difficult to understand. Recently, the FSSAI review panel came up with some standards which were overlapping and single aspects covered under multiple laws. Interlinking horizontal laws with vertical ones is the need of the hour and FSSAI is doing the same.”

Traffic light labelling suggested by many for norms on labelling
Traffic light labelling suggested by many for norms on labelling

The scientific panel at the FSSAI believes that the laws which were derived from some other law books like legal metrology department and environment protection act or Animal Welfare Board order must be included in the FSS Act. Also, the new law on packaging will be clean and a structure which will have all regulations from all the lawbooks. This is the reason behind dividing the three categories into different sections. These packaging regulations will include most of the packaging materials that come in contact with food, such as aluminium foil, laminates, aluminium sheets used for cans, plastics, glass, paper, tin, etc. Also, the principal material, printing and pigments and colorants that may come in contact with foodstuff directly or indirectly will be included.

Considering other perspectives of suggestions from the expert groups in the food industry, many had upheld to include ‘Traffic signal’ labelling on the food package, which is rampant in the European nations. This labelling style enables the buyer to decide and select healthier options upon viewing the color code. These color codes will be based on evaluating the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of the food product. In 2014, the prospects for inclusion of the same were studied but due to unorganized market up to 70%, the proposal stands stalled.

Lewis informs, “The regulations will feature a suggestive list of packaging ma­terials based around different categories.” The new regulations will take a while to finally roll out, as they will be subject to scrutiny and consultations by scien­tific panels, the expert group and the stakeholders, including the industry and legal lobby.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia.is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here