India’s 1st Plant-Based Foods Summit — held in Delhi on May 27,2022 was inaugurated by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti. The day-long summit was marked by high-powered technical sessions, food products’ tastings and exhibition, and a dedicated B2B meet and industry networking session, and received an overwhelming response from the participants and industry.
The summit attracted over 30 plant-based food start-ups who showcased their products; it saw over 2000 registrations from industry players and an impressive attendance by some 400 delegates. Organized by the Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) and the Good Food Institute India (GFI India) acting as organizing partner, India’s 1st Plant-Based Foods Summit was supported by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries Government of India (MOFPI) and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
A white position paper titled “The Dawn of a Plant-Based Age – India to lead the way to world food security and nutrition” was released at the summit by Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA, in the presence of dignitaries, which included Sanjay Sethi, Executive Director, PBFIA; Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director, Regulatory Compliance, FSSAI; Rachel Dreskin, Chief Executive Officer, Plant Based Foods Association, USA; Abhinav Singh, Head Food Processing & CIFTI – FICCI; Abhishek Sinha, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer GoodDot; and Ashu Phakey, Head (Frozen and Fresh Foods) – ITC.
In his inaugural address, Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said: “It is indeed momentous that MoFPI, APEDA and PBFIA have come together to organize India’s 1st Plant-Based Foods Summit. I am delighted at the grand success of this event with participation from across stakeholders who are extremely beneficial to us; we are here to bring about a new revolution. Today, we are all gathered here to discuss world changing ideas. As promised, I will extend my full support to build a strong plant-based foods industry in India as it’s of personal interest to me, having distanced myself from any kind of food that includes any kind of cruelty for quite some time now…Therefore, the focus is not forcing people to give up their old food choices but providing them with better plant-based alternatives with no compromise on taste. We have the exact capacity to bring about such a radical shift in the world. By minimizing compliance, we can quickly develop this industry. I am urging the need to develop the scientific parameters and supply chains that will allow us to showcase the Indian cuisine culture that has represented us for centuries.”
Sanjay Sethi of PBFIA, and the guiding spirit behind the summit, said: “We appreciate the guidance and support from Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, and look forward to the opportunity to lead this critical task force to advance the role plant-based foods can play in India and on a global scale. We are extremely overwhelmed with the tremendous response and success of India’s first plant-based food summit organized by PBFIA along with MoFPI, APEDA and GFI. Everyone wants to invest into our plant-based food business in India because they see how quickly it is growing in importance and value in the national and worldwide markets. In the sector, there is a link amongst sustainability, nation, health, humanity, and animal welfare. We’ve got a lot of support just by suggesting such an industry, which has the advantage of being a huge draw. Plant-based eating has brought us closer to everyone’s heart and connects us to a larger audience bringing us huge hopes of immense success in promoting an emotion.”
He further added: “The release of white position paper “The Dawn of a Plant-Based Age – India to lead the way to world food security and nutrition” launched at the first plant-based foods summit in India is the first step in bringing this report to life by creating a network of organizations, food handlers, startups, scientists, and policymakers. Going forward, we will campaign for policy reforms to eliminate trade restrictions and unfair practices that restrict growth in the industry.”
The pivotal white position paper, sponsored and developed in partnership with PBFA, provides insights and an overview of the global plant-based foods market and potential opportunities, which will enable India to lead the way to global food security and nutrition. This PBFIA flagship publication aims to raise awareness among Indian policymakers about the need to support the nascent and expanding plant-based foods sector in India.
To expand the plant-based food sector in India and help it grow, the PBFIA under the leadership of Sethi, is committed to providing strategic support to the industry and help bring about a sustainable future where plant-based foods are accessible to all.