Indian food industry to see 8.5pc growth

New Delhi, February 5:

Led by processed foods, wine, ice cream and edible oil, the $80 billion food and beverages industry is poised for a 8-8.5 per cent growth during the 2005-06 fiscal, said an industry study.

The semi-processed/co-oked ready-to-eat foods and wine are slated to grow at 22 per cent and ice cre-am and edible vegetable oil at about 20 per cent, according to the ‘Food And Beverages Survey’ report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The FICCI report released today has projected ‘a growth rate of between eight and 8.5 per cent in 2005-06, compared with a growth of eight per cent in value terms during 2004-05’. Based on interaction with industry and government organisations, the report projects 10-20 per cent growth this year for products like branded flour ‘atta’, bakery items, culinary products/snack food, fruit juices, pulp and concentrates, sauces/ ketch-ups, milk products, chocolates, beer, spirits/liquors and edible oil.

FICCI has urged the government “for more pro-active action for helping the industry to achieve lower cost, improved quality and better performance in a competitive environment”.

Released ahead of the general budget for 2006-07, the report seeks more government action for “ensuring adequate land for large-scale farming/contract farming by introducing necessary amendment in the existing laws and in the Land Ceiling Acts.”

“Further,” it says, “harmonisation of multiple food laws by integrating into one common food law is an urgent necessity.”

“The proposed Food Safety and Standard Bill-2005, with penal provisions requires a review as the same gives huge powers to the inspecting officers to seize the food articles without authorisation and may create unwanted confusion to detriment of the industry,” the report stated.