The Association of Indian Organic Industry (AIOI), a membership driven nonprofit organization registered under Section 25 of The Companies Act,1956, had organised a Webinar on 10th January 2022, Milk Co-operatives ,Diary Industries, Farms,Farmers , Startups ,Certification Bodies and consumers participated in the Webinar.
Dr PVSM Gouri ,CEO and Executive Director AIOI in her welcome speech gave the overview of organic market and dairy in particular and stressed on the assurance mechanism for the dairy products to be sold as organic, need to be established for operationalization. She said that for sustainability and accountability, the dairy stakeholders need to follow the National Standards for Organic Production and certification norms notified by FSSAI in 2017.
Padmashri Dr. M H Mehta, Chairman, National Working Group on Ecoagriculture, in his opening remarks ,appreciated the timely initiative of AIOI and that the Webinar would help open a new chapter for healthy food and fodder system, animal hygiene and cleanliness, better nutrition, higher income for the farmers, systematic and practical standardization process and training and extension. He emphasized on the strength of India being the Largest producer of milk with Quality indigenous breeds, Tradition of Integrated small farms and growing demand for healthy, nutritious, clean milk & milk products .
Dr Mehta said that the New full-fledged Ministry by GOI –is a great step and India should achieve a Road Map for organic dairy as part of Eco Agri Revolution for Ever Green Revolution. This could be achieved through by coming
out with an action plan for standardization, Training and Start-ups for domestic and Global markets. These initiatives would give a quantum jump for being India as a leader for healthy, clean, nutritious milk and milk products.
Mr Meeneesh Shah , Chairman and Executive Director NDDB in his key note address, stated that stated that all the present activities of the Government and the efforts directly or indirectly are translated into results of Indian milk being clean and found to be safe for the human consumption . He shared his NDDB experience about the successful efforts of Sunderban Cooperative- Milk and Livestock Producer Union Limited, West Bengal wherein 5,000 woman dairy farmers are organized to only market certified organic milk and milk products and other products like eggs, pulses and rice such efforts are being planned further in developing other models like Sunderban’s for milk production through Sikkim Milk Union.
He emphasized that the lack of knowledge and awareness about critical issues of organic farming is a big challenge for promotion of organic dairy farming. There is also lack of proper training especially for organic dairy products and standards .He said that there is a need to create awareness and help farmers to meet the standards since farmers are not aware of the practices .
The Hon’ble Shri Parshottam Rupalaji ( Union Minister, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India) could not make it to inaugurate the webinar but conveyed his best wishes and desired that a set of all the recommendations along with suggested action points to be submitted to the Ministry to take further initiatives to coordinate growth in the organic dairy sector in the country.
The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion. Objective of the discussion was to deliberate on the POTENTIAL, OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES & come up with key action points for Govt’s consideration. The panel of experts comprised of Shri Sunil Bakshi, Head Regulations ,FSSAI, Shri RS Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF Ltd (Amul), Shri RS Dixit,CMD of Ananda Group, Dr.Ghanshyam Singh Rajorhia, President, Indian Dairy
Association, Dr. Mahesh Chander , Head, Division of Extension Education, ICARIVRI, Shri.Narayana Upadhyaya Managing Director, Aditi Certifications and Shri Kuldeep Sharma , Founder Suruchi Consultants
The panel discussion was moderated by Shri S Dave,former Chairman of Codex Alimentarius Commission and former Advisor to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The Concluding Remarks were given by Shri Tarun Shridhar, former Secretary(AHD) to the Government of India. He said that one should keep in mind that everyone across the organic value chain starting from the farmer should gain and the integrity should be never compromised and to take pride in our organic dairy and organic milk .
A number of recommendations emerged from the panel discussion Accordingly, these recommendations plus other suggested action points(marked as such)according to Ministries and Organisations are enumerated on the following
pages. Recommendations and other Suggested Action Points
A. MINISTRY OF FISHERIES, ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND DAIRYING, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA) ALSO MINISTRY OF CO-OPERATIVES , GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
- Evolve Action Plan for standardization, Training and Start-ups for domestic markets.
- Need for financial support programme for organic entrepreneur or startups for the first three years.
- Promote awareness programmes among consumers about benefits of organic dairy products and how the integrity can be verified for enhancing consumer trust.
- Consider not to subsidize the producer but to subsidize the produce.
- Emphasize the need to promote production of value-added processed organic dairy foods to support Govt’s wellness programmes.
- Offer special incentives for Organic Animal Feed & Fodder.
B .FOOD SAFETY STANDARDS AUTHORITY INDIA (FSSAI)
- The credibility of the organic certification system needs to be strengthened through training programmes for Certification Bodies and State enforcement agencies .
- Take measures to strengthen the accreditation and certification system for organic products for the domestic market to enhance India’s negotiating capacity for equivalence arrangements at the bilateral level.
- MoC and FSSAI may consider adopting a single accreditation body in the country to cover exports/imports and the domestic production and marketing.
- There is a need to promote production of value-added processed organic dairy foods to support Govt’s wellness programmes .
- FSSAI may revisit the NPOP standards to include the standards for the primary production of organic dairy products for the domestic market.
C MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (DOC)
- Create a Brand India for organic products and promote it for enhancing exports under the Foreign Trade Policy
2. Ministry of Commerce and Industry , in collaboration with FSSAI, may consider revising NPOP standards in line with current technological developments in food processing to include, for instance, food ingredients, food additives, processing aids, herbal, nutraceuticals and livestock based food products and inputs in order to promote value addition in organic products.
D .ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN ORGANIC INDUSTRY (AIOI)
- AIOI should submit a proposal to Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India for up-gradation of the skills of Certification Bodies and training and awareness programmes among the dairy stakeholders and consumers and [suggested action point]
- AIOI should submit a proposal to FSSAI for up-gradation of the skills of State enforcement agencies for verifying organic integrity of organic products including imported organic foods. [suggested action point]
- AIOI should develop online programmes for up-gradation of the audit skills of the assessors under NPOP accreditation. [suggested action point]
- Source : Association of Indian Organic Industry, Jan 20, 2022