A delegation of the newly-formed Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) met Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State For Food Processing Industries, at his official residence at 7B Janpath Road, New Delhi recently. The delegation, led by the Association's Executive Director, Mr. Sanjay Sethi, briefed the minister on the state of the nascent but rapidly expanding plant-based food sector in India. Noting that the sector was poised for explosive growth, Mr. Sethi sought Mr. Patel's guidance and support to turn it into a major industry catering to both domestic and global markets through policy changes, capacity building, enabling ease of business and other interventions. The global plant-based food market is expected to reach 77.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.
The growth of the Plant-Based Foods industry offers a major opportunity to address climate change, food insecurity and malnutrition, and public health risk (including pandemics and antimicrobial resistance), and help India meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The PBFIA delegation led by Mr. Sethi comprised Varun Deshpande, MD, Good Food Institute India; Kartik Dixit, Founder, Evo Foods, Mumbai; Prateek Ghai, Founder, B Veg Foods, New Delhi; Pradeep Rao, Founder, Evolved Foods, Bengaluru; Amit Bajaj, Founder, Vezley Foods; Palak Mehta, CEO, Vegan First Media, Pune; Gaurav Sharma, Founder, Greenest; Priti Singh, White Cub, Gurugram; Prakarshi Pulkit of Dharmic Foods; Narhari Gupta of Snill Burger, and Satvika Mahajan, Good Food Institute India.
"The meeting was held in an extremely cordial and positive atmosphere and I am grateful for Mr. Patel's offer to support us and help us grow exponentially. Amazing energy was witnessed in the room, with the minister and his team praising the innovative and tasty plant-based food samples that we had taken along," PBFIA's Executive Director, Mr. Sanjay Sethi said after the meeting. 'On our part, we pledge to do everything we can to help the plant-based foods ecosystem flourish, prosper and bloom."
Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State For Food Processing Industries has asked PBFIA to have a special meeting with the Ministry to discuss Cold Chain logistics and what can be done to smoothen daily parcel operations between major cities for the industry. Mr. Patel is keen to have Gaurav Sishodia, AVP, Invest India who was also present at the meeting to collaborate with PBFIA for its various initiatives.
"I am delighted to announce that the minister sought the PBFIA's help to organise two major events, one involving all the Indian stakeholders in the plant-based ecosystem, and another where international players would be invited as well, in order to understand and address all the challenges faced by the industry." Mr Sethi said. The Minister also appreciated the youthful energy and enthusiasm of the PBFIA delegation.
The MD of Good Food Institute India, Mr. Varun Deshpande, said that his institute's proposal seeking funding for centres of excellence in this sector at the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) had been well received by the minister.
PBFIA suggested several steps that could be taken by the government, including:
- Establishing Centres of Excellence, Accelerators to support Innovation, Tie-ups with Universities
- Tax incentives for investors and entrepreneurs, reduction in GST rates
- Infrastructural support (food processing, cold chains, etc) and other capacity-building initiatives including an accelerator to support
- A joint task force to coordinate between various government ministries, departments, and agencies involved.
About The Plant-Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA):
The Plant Based Foods Industry Association (PBFIA) is a CEO-led body formed to support and help develop the nascent plant-based food ecosystem in India. Headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana, PBFIA aims to:
- Create a network connecting organisations, food handlers, start-ups, investors and consumers
- Help businesses in this sector grow through networking, collaboration, and dissemination of technical and market information and research.
- Highlight and promote the benefits of the plant-based industry as a means to improve health, food security, fair practices and meet sustainable development goals.
- Secure a plant-forward future for its members in times of conflict.
- Partner with organisations and other industry bodies with a similar philosophy and vision on the principles of cooperation and collaboration
- Advocate policy changes to check trade barriers or unfair practices which act as roadblocks to the growth of the industry