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    Food industry pioneers speak before FFI

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    With largest congregation of key, global and Indian, food retailers, manufacturers, organisations and minds in the food business to kick off after a day on March 19, IndiaRetailing brings you the expectations of the captains of food industry.

    , vice chairman, Dabur: Even in today’s turbulent times, food retail has emerged as one sector that’s defying gravity and continues to surge ahead on the growth path. What does the future hold for food retail in India? Let’s discuss with the world leaders and visionaries at the Food Forum India.

    , president & CEO, Coca-Cola India: Convenience and variety are fuelling the growth of India’s food industry. In-addition the potential unleashed by the processed food industry in terms of employment and revenue generation is also promising. At Food Forum, it will be encouraging to witness speakers and participants from various sectors debate and discuss such strategic issues.

    Gunender Kapur, president & chief executive, Foods Business, RIL: Being the key driver of Indian economy , agro & food businesses with their employment, revenue and investment potential , have a significant role to play in our continued growth. Improved infrastructure and supply chains, consumer and customer intimacy, innovation and technology will help in the development of our large food market. Food Forum India is the right platform for the world food leaders to converge and chart out strategies for healthy consumption growth of the people and continued economic growth of the country.

    Kishore Biyani, founder & CEO, : As the country braves some critical challenges in this unprecedented economic climate, the food industry – being the largest consumption category – has a special role to play. Consumption will be the key to the progress of financial health of our economy. I look forward to learn from visionaries and captains of the food world – the way forward – at the FOOD FORUM INDIA 2009.

    Dr Kristian Moeller, MD, GLOBALGAP: In 2008, Food Forum India provided the right platform for bringing key stakeholders together to initiate the process of harmonizing good agricultural practice in India. Sharing best practice with international leaders in retail, food industry, Government and supporting industries at this year`s event will further foster India`s food sector to strive for global benchmarks. This will not only help operators already in the country, but also serve as indicator for new investors into the Indian food sector. There is no better place to get the insight and network into the Indian food sector than at Food Forum India.

    Raju Shete, chairman, Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt Ltd: The Food & Beverage industry has been steadily evolving in India to catch up with the best practices that prevail in different mature markets/countries. Given the rich experiences garnered by the industry overall there could not have been a better platform than the Food Forum to share these experiences in terms of ground reality with one and all. This would help create an integrated approach rather than a “one step forward two steps backward” phenomenon. Most importantly, the industry requires the right policies and incentives, which has become all the more imperative due to the current macro and micro economic challenges. Proclamation and implementation of policy have never been synonymous and the Food Forum will help to bring into perspective the key bottlenecks which are impeding the growth of this key sector. The interaction between all stakeholders will facilitate an integrated approach to capitalize on the opportunities that exist in this key sector.

    Ravi Naware, CEO, ITC Foods: With the country witnessing a retail renaissance of sorts, sharing of views from different regions at the Food Forum India will indeed help understand consumption and buying patterns in different parts of India. This will help producers, processors and retailers to better serve consumers and also undertake specific programmes for potential markets/consumer segments.

    Sanjiv Goenka, vice chairman, RPG Group: All said and done, food continues to be the world’s biggest business and ’s greatest concern. While science and technology are adding new dimension to food production, processing and preservation, food retailing is undergoing a silent revolution across the globe. Hunger and malnutrition anywhere are real threats to prosperity everywhere. Meet the world’s food captains at the Food Forum India, avoid the pitfalls of the past and make our universe a safer place from the food security point of view.

    Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general, UNCTAD (Former DG, WTO): Given UNCTAD’s active interest in the food and agricultural sector as a pillar of development policy and practice we greatly appreciate the initiative of Food Forum India. Many firms in the food and agricultural sector are SMEs and, as such, represent the backbone of a nation’s economic life as they are important employers and contributors to the communities where they operate.

    , CEO, : Quality and Freshness are two key issues in food supply chain. I see Retail playing a major role in efficient management of food production & distribution system. There is a need to bring in customer focus in managing food supply chain and developing integrated practical approach to address food safety and quality issues along with the entire post-harvest handling chain. Join me in my deliberations with the food captains from the world over at the FOOD FORUM INDIA. Let us all share our experiences and learning and strategise collaborative industry measures that will profit all stake holders and consumers alike.

    , MD, McDonald’s (North & East India) and President, NRAI: Current economic scenario has placed tremendous pressure on the businesses. The way of managing it will have to pave way for some innovating thinking and ideas. Food sector will be one of the few sectors that would drive the economic revival. I strongly feel Food Forum India would be an ideal forum to discover and learn those creative, innovative thoughts that would build a sustainable food sector in our country.

    , president & COO, Pvt Ltd: We are in the midst of the true beginning of food retailing and value retailing in India. All players with varying footprints are beginning to understand the challenges of the front end and back end. Only those who truly apply themsleves will survive and build a sustainable retail business. There’s a lot to learn and share with the best in the business at the Food Forum India.

    — IndiaRetailing Bureau