The 4th annual InnoPack Food and Beverage Confex

Food safety and environment compliance need scientific ecosystems

Prabodh Halde, president AFST Mumbai and head Technical Regulatory at Marico

On 12 and 13 April the UBM organized packaging conference and mini-expo took place at the Leela in Gurgaon. The conference attracted around 180 participants on the first day and somewhat less on the second day with a considerable increase in sponsors and exhibitors.

The Innopack conferences are good events with a strong component of business networking and  generally interesting and informative content. With many presentations packed into a short time, the interactive technical and experiential discussions get left out. All speakers including salesmen are treated similarly and discussions with the live and keen to learn audience do not happen.

The highlight of the Innopack event this year were the presentations on food safety regulations and compliance by Raghu Guda of i2i Management Consultancy Services and the update pertaining to FSSAI/LM and plastic regulations by Dr Prabodh Halde who is the global head of regulation compliances at Marico. While both presentations covered some of the legacy legislation and standards, the current ecosystem for food processing and packaging regulation dominated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was discussed in some depth considering the time constraints.

A significant point that came out in these presentations and in some later talks discussing the use of particular polymers is that on 4 May 2016 new standards pertaining to the use of only single polymer films and laminates will go into ‘surveillance and enforcement mode.’ There are also new regulations banning the use of polybags made of films below 50 microns and others with regard to the primary display panels (PDP) of packaging. Dr Halde pointed out that in the last three months 22 new regulations and amendments have been passed and 30 more are in the pipeline. He suggested that for industry, this is the “time to engage. What is needed is for the industry to give feedback with technical reasons.”

Dr Halde said that there is a huge thrust and reliance on surveillance-based regulation rather than a risk-based system. Apart from giving scientific feedback to the regulator, he suggests that all the stakeholders must look at the entire ecosystem and not merely their own individual interests. The responses and inputs to the regulators must not simply focus on growth but must also be sensible in terms of the environment and food safety keeping in mind practical timeframes needed to effect desirable changes.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.