Where, what and how is food produced and wasted in India?

Save Food from farm to fork – a modest proposal

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Where, what and how is food produced and wasted in India?

An IppStar Research project again attempts to look at an issue with facts instead of the erratic cut and paste numbers and information available on the internet. We believe that there is no short cut to investing in real primary research – face-to-face interviews with farmers, food traders, food processors, retailers and consumers.

The retail food and restaurant industry as well as the food waste collection systems will also have to be considered. As will the important input and ancillary industries of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation pumps and pipes and farm equipment.

One reads headlines in the better daily newspapers proclaiming that ‘Agriculture in India is suffering while agricultural startups are blossoming.’ The scale of Indian agriculture is said to be Rs. 24.42 lakh crore (US$ 370 billion) out of a total GDP of Rs. 113.5 lakh crore (US$ 1.7 trillion) or approximately 21.5% in the 2015-16 financial year.

It is reported that the total Indian food market in 2015 was of the order of Rs. 13.3 lakh crore (US$ 200 billion) of which about US$ 25 billion is imports according to our guesstimate based on partial data from the Indian Ministry of Commerce. (According to Vinod Kotwal, director, CODEX, 8.42 million tonnes of food were imported in 2012-13.) The level of food export and its trends also need to be quantified.

We do not have an estimate of the food processing industry in India. However, one current estimate puts the level of the processed food market at Rs. 4.9 lakh crore (US$ 74 billion) or 37% of the total food industry in 2015. A serious aspect of our research is to merely put all the secondary data on the same page – that is to say to match the currencies, exchange rates, units and even the calendar and financial years.

According to Arvind Singhal of Technopak, the packaged food market in 2015 was approximately  Rs. 1.8 lakh crore (US$ 27 billion) implying that packaged foods are 38% of the total processed food market and 13% of the total food market in India. However, Singhal points out that the packaged ready-to-eat food market is currently about Rs. 3,000 crore (US$ 450 million) that is 1.6% of the total packaged food market in India.

What are the various points of wastage from farm to fork and how can we determine these with primary research, secondary data and by working with the numerous expert and concerned  informants and agencies in industry and government? What are the wastage points apart from seed, water, fertilizers, produce loss in transplanting, loss to blight, loss to drought, flood and storms. Losses throughout the food supply chain from planting, cultivation, harvesting, transport, slaughter, disease, storage, distillation, processing, transport, retail and consumer waste.

IppStar is undertaking a multi-client study on food wastage in India. This study will examine food production, processing, packaging, distribution, retail and export and import in the country in order to establish the key leakages and wastages in the circular economy of food. We are calling on experts to contribute their knowledge and for sponsors to support the project.

Many of the results of the food wastage in India report will be presented at the two-day IppStar-Packtech India Conference on Packaging Design, Innovation and Technology on 16 and 17 December 2016 in Mumbai. It is also hoped that some of the data will be presented at the Third Save Food Congress at interpack in Dusseldorf in May 2017.

– Purva Dwivedi, research@ippgroup.in, www.ippstar.org

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.

What’s hot at drupa?
You have heard it before: packaging will be centre-stage; sustainability; automation and industry 4.0; Print 4.0; machines will talk to each other; machines will talk to the cloud. 3D printing. And lastly digital printing.

Digital print will not take the place of offset at this drupa. Digital inkjet is coming in a big way with at least three or four B1 (40-inch wide) inkjet presses at the show but they will all be talking future, future, future. The talk will be of 2017, 2017-end, 2018 and there will be many riders in terms of speed and capital and consumables cost. So digital will again threaten but it will fail to click in our market which is happy with the cost of offset printing at 40-inch widths at a speed of 10,000 to 18,000 sheets an hour; or the cost of wide web gravure and flexo printing of laminates at speeds from 150 to 450 metres a minute.

I hope to see many of you at drupa and for the rest of you, if you are not there you have missed it – it’s almost impossible to bring the complete excitement to you in our reviews of the event although our fabulous four team and friends will try in our review issues of Indian Printer & Publisher and Packaging South Asia.

– Naresh Khanna, editor@ippgroup.in

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.