16 March 2022, New Delhi: A delegation of the newly-formed Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) met Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State For Food Processing Industries today at New Delhi. The delegation was led by the Association’s Executive Director, Mr. Sanjay Sethi who briefed the minister on the state of the nascent but rapidly expanding plant-based food sector in India.
Noting that the sector was poised for explosive growth, Mr Sethi sought Mr Patel’s guidance and support to turn it into a major industry catering to both domestic and global markets through policy changes, capacity building, enabling ease of business and other interventions. The global plant-based food market is expected to reach 77.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.
The growth of the Plant Based Foodsindustry offers a major opportunity to address climate change, food insecurity and malnutrition, and public health risk (including pandemics and antimicrobial resistance), and help India meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The industry body PBFIA suggested several steps that could be taken by the government for the sector included establishment of centres of excellence, accelerators to support innovation, tie-ups with universities, infrastructural support (food processing, cold chains), tax incentives for investors & entrepreneurs and reduction in GST rates.
The PBFIA delegation led by Mr Sethi comprised Varun Deshpande, MD, Good Food Institute India; Kartik Dixit, Founder, Evo Foods, Mumbai; Prateek Ghai, Founder, B Veg Foods, New Delhi; Pradeep Rao, Founder, Evolved Foods, Bengaluru; Amit Bajaj, Founder, Vezley Foods; Palak Mehta, CEO, Vegan First Media, Pune; Gaurav Sharma, Founder, Greenest; Priti Singh, White Cub, Gurugram; Prakarshi Pulkit of Dharmic Foods; Narhari Gupta of Snill Burger, and Satvika Mahajan, Good Food Institute India.
Mr Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State For Food Processing Industries has asked PBFIA to have a special meeting with the Ministry to discuss Cold Chain logistics and what can be done to smoothen daily parcel operations between major cities for the industry. Mr. Patel is keen to have Gaurav Sishodia, AVP, Invest India who was also present at the meeting to collaborate with PBFIA for its various initiatives.
Mr. Sethi said, “I am delighted to announce that the minister sought PBFIA’s help to organise two major events, one involving all the Indian stakeholders in the plant-based ecosystem, and another where international players would be invited as well, in order to understand and address all the challenges faced by the industry”. The Minister also appreciated the youthful energy and enthusiasm of the PBFIA delegation.
The MD of Good Food Institute India, Mr Varun Deshpande, said that his institute’s proposal seeking funding for centres of excellence in this sector at the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) had been well received by the minister.