Sunday, December 13, 2009


Global trends vis-à-vis food industry developments is a window for any country to understand the trend in various countries regarding the future of this sector. Of course each country has its own specific food preferences and purchasing power which may not be strictly comparable but still some lesson can be gleaned from the experience of others. Look at the UK food industry trend being projected by the concerned government agency, predicting a marked shift from processed foods based on animal sources because of various factors.

"These are the three priorities identified in a report by the government's independent advisory body on sustainability, the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), which calls for radical changes in patterns of consumption.The report – which will dismay many in the livestock and processed food industries – will feed into all government departments and procurement agencies. Well-placed sources say it has created tension between Whitehall departments and advisers over its potential impact. The study acknowledges that cutting processed food and reducing consumption of intensively-produced meat and dairy foods could lead to a shrinking of the UK food and drink industry. The UK's retail supply system would also be affected – the SDC report recommends that people reduce energy consumption by shopping more on foot or over the internet and that they replace bottled water with tap water. While about 18% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions are related to food and drink consumption and production, the industry is the single biggest manufacturing sector in the UK, accounting for 7% of GDP and employing 3.7m people".

How, the desire to expand food processing which is considered crucial in the economic landscape of the country and the need to reverse the present scenario regarding deteriorating health status of the population, is going to be balanced remains the biggest challenge. Can India learn a lesson or two from the experiences of the UK and take appropriate course correction in the development chart of the food industry to prevent a similar situation developing in future?. It is time the National Planning Commission(NPC) spares a thought on the issue for evolving necessary guidelines for the "healthy" development of food industry in the country.


No comments: