May 6: Largest congregation of food business professionals will open

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This is expected to be the country’s largest congregation of global and Indian food retailers, manufacturers, organisations and minds in the food-and-beverage businesses. Food Forum India as a concept was launched by Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, and is scheduled for May 6-7, 2008. The minister will address forum participants with presentation of his thoughts on Food Economics: Farm to Plate.

The forum was conceptualised at India Retail Forum (IRF) 2007, which saw the participation of leading brands, retailers and retail support organisations from across the globe. Spanning the vast array of food business segments like food retail, food design, food processing, food logistics & support, food services, information & technology, a thoughtfully designed agenda of the forum has sessions touching all verticals of the food-and-beverage business in India.

The forum will begin with Food for Thought, where Ireena Vittal, principal, McKinsey & Company, will put forth the Asian experience and learnings for India on evolution of food consumption (the consumer perspective), food security challenges (the supply perspective), and implications for stakeholders (government, retailers and producers).

India Food Vision 2020 will be discussed by an expert panel comprising vision leaders and policymakers including Kishore Biyani, group CEO of Future Group; Sanjiv Goenka, vice chairman of RPG Group; Martin Dlouhy, MD of Metro (India); and
Rajiv Kumar, director and CE, ICRIER. Ashok Gulati, director, Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA, will anchor the session.

Another panel of experts starring R Subramanian, MD, Subhiksha; Gunender Kapur, president and chief executive, Foods Business, RIL; Munish Manocha, consultant chef: Breakthrough Innovations, Premier Foods, UK; and Sachin Gopal, COO, Agro Tech Foods, will talk on new ideas, products and concepts in the session titled Food Innovations – With Food Brands & Retailers. Ravi Naware, CEO, ITC Foods Division, will anchor the session, while Dr Kristian Moeller, MD, GlobalGAP, Germany, will play the role of an international observer.

Other major industry honchos at the forum include Andrew Levermore, CEO, Hypercity Retail; Einar Gústafsson, MD, Bakkavör Group, Iceland; Prof. Brenda Sternquist, Michigan State University, USA; Prof. Jürgen Bartsch, head, Key Account Management Export, Humana Group, Germany; Bernd Biehl, deputy editor-in-chief, Lebensmittel Zeitung, Germany; Henrik Andersen, CEO, SSP, Middle East and Asia; Dhiren Kanwar, chief of F&B, Operations and Design, KIAC; Omer Bin Jung, MD, Prestige Leisure;
Samir Kuckreja, CEO, Nirula’s; Ashish Kapoor, MD, Yo! China; Partha Duttagupta, CEO, Barista; Niren Chaudhary, MD, Indian Subcontinent, Pizza Hut;
Ajay Kaul, CEO, Indian Subcontinent, Domino’s; Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald’s (North & East India) and president of Restaurants Association of India; Gretel Weiss, publisher & editor-in-chief, FoodService Europe & Middle East; Sumit Saran, SCS Group; DV Ramkumar, VP, Spencer’s (Staples and Fresh); Stefano Bosco, sole director, Acanto Srl, Italy; Sadashiv Nayak, CEO, Food Bazaar; Vinod Sawhny, president, Bharti Retail; and Prof. Deepa Thiagarajan, Michigan State University, USA.

India Food Forum will also mark the launch of the first Images ‘Golden Spoon’ Awards for Excellence in Food Retailing.

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