Guwahati: A day long awareness programme on Packaging for Export of Food and Handicraft Products of Assam by Indian Institute of Packaging, Kolkata was conducted at hotel Nataraj in Dibrugarh on Friday.
More that 200 participants from Dibrugarh and the neighboring districts of Dhemaji, Tinsukia , Sivasagar, Jorhat and Arunachal Pradesh participated in the programme.
Speaking to reporters, Morgan Meston , General Manager, District Industries and Commerce Centre, Dibrugarh said that the entrepreneurs of the above districts are manufacturing quality products –specially tea and other food products, ethnic dresses etc. but where they are lacking is proper packaging.
To substantiate his claim he told that in the month of July, 2022 his office had invited few importers from Indian Embassy New York .
Products like hand made tea, pickles, bamboo products, ethnic dresses etc. were showcased before them.
Upon having inspected the products the importers told him that quality wise the products are good but not export ready in terms of packaging .
The quality of packaging needs to be improved a lot if the industries are to capture pan Indian and export market.
Meston said, “ This made me think to explore ways to solve this packaging related problems of the entrepreneurs. I contacted Sri Bidhan Das, Deputy Director and Branch Head ,Indian Institute of pacakging, Kolkata immediately. He told me that to conduct such one day awareness programme for 150 plus participants an amount of Rs.6.00 lacks would be required. Indian Institute of Packaging , Kolkata, being an autonomus body conducts such programme throughout the Country by charging the consultation fees as it does not receive any fund from the Govt. of India and the salary expenses of its employees are taken care of from this consultation fees”.
“As the fund could not be arranged from any other source by the General Manager, District Industries and Commerce Centre, Dibrugarh, Bidhan Das, Deputy Director ,IIP, Kolkata took initiative and got the programme approved from the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry,Govt.of India under the Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI)”.
“The US Food and Drug Administration and Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), as the case may be. I would like to point out here that recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance on 22nd February,2022 on how company should identify plant based milk –almond,soya and oat milk .A plant based milk product with the word “milk” should include a statement explaining how the product compares with milk. Ms Susane Mayne, Director, FDA’s Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition says,” Food labels are an important way to help support consumer behavior, so we encourage the use of voluntary nutritional statement to better help customers informed decisions,” he stated.
Meston further said that ,” In his 75th Independence Day Speech ,the Hon’ble Prime Minster of India, Sri Narendra Modi Ji declared that by 2047 India will become a developed country. It is already the 5th largest economy in the world. By Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) it is the 3rd largest economy after US and China. Even though the declaration took all the economists by surprise, yet it is realistic because India’s demography of 140 crore is its strength. The perentage of working age population of most of the developed countries will decline below 58 by 2100 but for India it will be hovering around 63%. This will give demographic dividend to India for 37 years from 2018-2055.
At the export front,India has surpassed previous export records touching 50 lakh crore for the FY 2022-23.Our merchandise export has crossed Rs.31 lakh crore. India is well placed to achieve its dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy.He further added Indian Rupee is inching towards replacing US$ ; as on 2022 almost 35 countries have shown interest in trading in INR.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given permission to open almost 60 Special Rupee Vostro Account (SRVA) for transaction of export and import from India in INR. The exporters and importers ,to and fro, will no longer be required to convert their currency in to US$ as vostro accounts, maintained both at purchaser’s and seller’s end , will be debited or credited in INR henceforth”.
Besides Bidhan Das , Dr.Asitava Sur, Technical Consultant and guest faculty of IIP, Kolkata, Viplav Jhamta, General Manager, Parksons Packaging Ltd.,Kamalpur, Kamrup also participated in the programme as resource persons.
Das said, “Packaging gives informed decisions to the customers and hence should be taken care of as per the extant govt. rules and regulations, specially those mandated under Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) for food products. Further , packaging adds respect and grandeur to the products which entails the manufacturer to add paramount importance to its design and description , to be inscribed on the package, keeping in mind the culture and aesthetic sense of the targeted customers”.
At the end of the programme ,each participant was given a certificate under the signature of Morgan Meston , General Manager, District Industries and Commerce Centre, Dibrugarh and Bidhan Das, Deputy Director, Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Kolkata.
Sonmoni Choudhury, Functional Manager, District Industries and Commerce Centre ,Dibrugarh ,extended the vote of thanks to all those present during the occasion.
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