NewsVoir, New Delhi, May 25: The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) came together to present the biggest 2nd Plant-Based Foods Summit organised by Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) at Hotel Le Meridien, Windsor Place, New Delhi.

The principal sponsor of the summit was U.S. Soybean Export Council. One of the highlights of the summit was the "Pitch Perfect" Investors Show, which gave companies the opportunity to pitch their brand to potential investors globally and secure funding. The show aimed to target investors and strategic partners from the plant-based foods sector.

The summit was graced by many other key dignitaries such as Mercy Eapos, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA); Jim Sutter, CEO US Soybean Export Council (USA); Jasmijn De Boo, CEO, Proveg International; Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce; Atul Mulay, President, Praj Industries, and many more thought leaders.

The summit also featured "The Live Cooking Demo" by professional chefs such as Chef Dr Gautan Chaudhry, Chef Sanjay Aarwal, Chef Anirudh Sethi, Chef Bharat Khemani, Chef Somnath Porel, Chef Tarun Kumar, Chef Dr Prem Ram, and Chef Seitu Gupta who demonstrated innovative plant-based recipes, providing inspiration and new product ideas.

In addition to this, the summit showcased an exhibition of plant-based foods from various companies and start-ups and featured a conference with immersive sessions by industry experts as keynote speakers, policymakers, the HoReCa community, academia, etc., that provided insights into the latest trends, innovations, and the future of the plant-based foods industry. The exhibition helped exhibitors showcase their products and network with key players in the industry, including potential investors and partners. It also featured the most innovative businesses, products, ingredients, and machinery from India and around the world, with a focus on promoting and celebrating the rapidly growing plant-based foods industry. The participants included Continental Greenbird, Nutricircle, Brenntag, Sanitech Engineers, Blue Tribe Foods, Vezlay, Pall Corporation, Shaka Harry, Evolved Foods and many more. Continental Greenbird, Nutri Circle, Sanitech Engineers, Brenntag, Norex, Blue Tribe, Novozymes, Praj, Shaka Harry, Evolved Foods, Celcius Logistics, Plantaway, Vezlay, Pall Corporation, Soupherb, Marine Hydrocolloids, Relsus, Hello Tempayy (Vegolution), Lorigine Foods, 1ness, White Cub, So Good, India ExpoMart, Seaspire, Veganta, Odd burgers, Symrise and more.

"India's plant-based foods industry is experiencing rapid growth and transformation. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious, and environmental concerns drive the shift toward plant-based diets. The growth has positive implications for the economy, environment, and public health. The industry has the potential to create new jobs and increase revenue streams for small and medium-sized enterprises, one such projects being India's First Plant Protein Cluster at Bhiwadi. Additionally, plant-based diets have been shown to impact the environment positively," said Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA). Commenting on the success of the event, he further added, "The plant-based foods industry has reached a pivotal moment, standing at a crossroads of tremendous opportunity and responsibility. Events like these only encourage us to do better. We must navigate this path with integrity, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to creating a better food system for both the planet and the people."

Additionally, PBFIA Awards Ceremony recognized the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals and companies to the industry. This ceremony provided an opportunity for participants to gain recognition for their hard work and celebrate their success.

The event provided a platform for stakeholders to explore the potential of the Plant-based foods industry in India, discuss ways to promote its growth and development along with creating new companies and entrepreneurs in the rising Plant-based foods sector.

It continues to live up to its promise of being a game-changer for the industry and an excellent forum for exhibitors and attendees to network and form new business relationships.

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The Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) is an ever-growing CEO-led body established by industry leaders to expedite the advancement of the plant-based sector in India to create a healthy and sustainable future for consumers, farmers, food industry personnel, investors and civil society. PBFIA is a founding member of The International Plant-Based Foods Working Group (IPBFWG).

Currently, PBFIA has more than 100 plant-based food companies as its members, and we work on four workstreams Policy Advocacy, Innovation, Investment and Supply Chain.

Plant-Based Foods are those that replace animal-based foods/ingredients such as plant-based meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Experts mention that animal agriculture causes around 14% of greenhouse gas emissions and it is the primary driver of accelerating methane, as well as deforestation and loss of carbon sinks. Methane emissions from India also rank in the top five globally. Shifting to plant-based foods is the way forward to adhering to the Paris Agreement and commitment to a "Net Zero Target" by 2070. Scientific consensus and evidence show that livestock husbandry causes at least 14.5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and greatly contributes to environmental degradation, including biodiversity loss and deforestation.

Plant-based alternatives are gaining immense popularity over the years, owing to the rising concerns over animal welfare, lactose intolerance, zoonotic diseases, chronic lifestyle diseases, and sustainability. To meet the demand from the growing segment, plant-based dairy alternatives like milk, cheese, butter, etc. are widely available in retail, e-commerce, hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Industry Challenges PBFIA Aiming to Solve

To fast pace the growth, the industry needs to overcome several hurdles, some of which are mentioned below

1. Plant-based food products are subjected to a higher GST rate (on an average of 15%) in comparison to animal-based counterparts (subjected to an average of 6%).

2. Lack of processing facilities for the value-addition of locally available raw materials makes startups dependent on imports, which are in short supply and exorbitantly priced, making the final products expensive. This creates a need for a Common Services Centre. The Plant-Based Common Services Centers seek to establish India as the world's "Ingredient Hub". The cutting-edge infrastructure would primarily help the sector to solve the ingredients shortage and increase farmers' income.

3. Regulations and labelling restrictions on the usage of certain dairy-related nomenclature words.

4. Lack of established cold chain logistics makes it difficult for businesses to expand as the majority of the plant-based foods companies require temperature-controlled transportation for their products.

5. Lack of a specific start-up ecosystem that helps them during their earlier stages, especially in the plant-based foods sector which is an upcoming industry.

(Disclaimer The above press release has been provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of the same)

(ANI | Posted on 26 May 2023, 1695511948 34O204O181O91)
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