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Induced by rising disposable incomes, the food sector has been experiencing the marked change in the consumption

pattern lately. India is the second largest producer of food in the world and food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India. On the scales of production, consumption, export and expected growth, India is ranked fifth in the world. According to KPMG report, Indias food industry is valued at US $ 180 billion, of which the food processing industry is estimated at US $ 67 billion. Another report by a leading industry body and technopak, projects the food industry to grow by US $ 100 billion to US $ 300 billion by 2015. During the period, the share of processed food in value terms is expected to increase from 43% to 50 percent. Exports: According to APEDA, exports of organic food products are expected to grow five-fold by 2015. The government agency expects exports to touch US$ 1.43 billion by 2014-15 against US$ 280 million in 2010-11. Food processing industry: Food processing industry is highly fragmented industry. It operates across various segments such as Fruits & vegetables, Meat & poultry, Dairy, marine products, grains and consumer foods (that includes packaged food, beverages and packaged drinking water) As per the CII report, value addition of food products is expected to increase from 8% to 35% by the end of 2025. Fruit and vegetable processing is also expected to increase to 25% of total production in 2025 from the current level of 2%. Dairy sector holds the large potential for investment. As for the investments, the amount of FDI inflow for food processing sector in India during the financial year 2010-11, up to November 2010 (8 months) is accounted at US $ 129.2 million. Quick food service restaurant chain Subway will set up 45 more outlets across the country by 2011-12, comprising investment of almost US$ 9 million.

Availability of variety of segments across the food industry has generated scope for the players to venture into diversified portfolios and avenues. Indian government has been at forefront and has taken lot of initiatives. It has approved funds for establishing 15 mega food parks across the country. The Union Budget 2011-12 has also allocated US$ 135 million to the Food Processing ministry from the previous US$ 90 million.

: Pune and surrounding districts are thriving hubs

of food processing units. It is blessed by vast tracts of arable, agricultural land and is known for its agriculture and agro-business. Proximity to urbanized markets such as Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Aurangabad etc, altering food habits, cosmopolitan nature of the city, connectivity to JNPT and hence convenience of exports are the factors that are crucial in making this segment a fast-growing one in Pune.

: The cluster produces a range of products comprising semiprocessed, ready mix products, pickles, jams, jellies, squashes and syrups, ready- to- eat, readyto-cook products, ground and processed spices and papad. The units are located in the district of Pune and others agglomerated in and around Panchagani. The products are covered under various segments for project implementation such as spices and pickles, fruit & vegetable processing, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook products etc. The total investment in plant & machinery of Pune food processing industry is to the tune of Rs. 300 crores of which 51% is in the non F & V segment.

NAFARI has been set up as an international class laboratory for providing analytical and R&D
services to Food industry. This lab is located at Pune which is a hub for agri-business. One of the prominent and world known names in Bakery and confectionary industry, Dan Cake (Portugal) is set to enter the Indian market and Pune takes the cake away with Phadnis group forming joint venture with 66:34 share. Pune also has got Danone, a French diary firm as it has introduced its range of Yoghurt and smoothie product range in Pune since last year. The food industry in India is shaping up quite well and will continue to grow, thanks to good potential in the sector. It does show a changing development pattern of the country and changing food habits of its people!

Mr. Mukesh Malhotra,

Managing Director, Weikfield Products Co. (I) P. Ltd.

1. In the growing economy of today, how far you think Food sector has contributed in this growth? While the Food sector has contributed nominally to the overall growth of Indian economy the potential for substantial and large contribution to the Indian economy is very high but it has not been fully exploited. 2. How is the Food & Food Technology sector shaping up in Pune? It is coming up well, but could do better. 3. Could you throw some light on Punes food cluster? Punes food cluster consists of large number of micro scale units which are sort of cottage industries. Then there are moderate numbers of medium size units which are active in different areas of food processing. Finally, there are few large scale units having MNC affiliation. The main characteristic of Pune Food cluster is the large variety of sub sectors within the overall food processing sector that are active in the area. These include poultry, dairy, wine, sugar, beverages, canned and bottled processed food, bakery, snack foods, cereal based products, hi-tech agro products like mushroom etc. and large number of different kinds of farsan and other indigenous snack foods. 4. How far this sector is affected by lack of quality and R&D specialists? There is much scope for improvement in the availability of quality assurance and R & D specialists in Pune area, which are certainly not adequate for the overall size of the industry. 5. Does this sector offer a good export potential? Yes, this sector does offer fairly good export potential, but a strong emphasis on food safety certification, quality control protocols and high technology is necessary to fully exploit this potential. 6. Do you think Pune is the right place for food industry to flourish? Yes

7. What do you think are the advantages Pune offers for this sector to have base here? One of the main advantages that Pune offers for the food sector is good availability of a large number of agro raw materials, within a radius of 100 kms. around the city. Furthermore, availability of educated and somewhat skilled man power is another major advantage. Setting up of support systems for eg. NAFARI, also helps the industry to grow well in this location.

8. How do you see the future growth of this sector, especially in Pune? 9. The future growth of this sector especially in Pune is quite promising, subject to better development of the required infrastructure.

10. Do you think there is satisfactory infrastructure in place for this sector in Pune? If not, what do you think, needs improvement? 11. In some areas satisfactory infrastructure does exist but there is a need for improvement in the availability of cold chain, pre cooling facilities, sorting and grading facilities and better contract farming practices to assist the growth of this sector in the Pune area. 12.