NDDB organises national seminar on challenges before cooperative dairy industry

Anand, 19 November 2014: The National Dairy Development Board organised a two-day national seminar on Challenges before the Cooperative Dairy Industry at NDDB, Anand on 17-18 November 2014. Senior officers (MDs and QA/Technical Heads) from State Dairy Federations and prominent milk unions/producer companies participated. The seminar provided a platform for meaningful deliberations among the relevant stakeholders i.e. cooperative dairy industry, food safety regulator (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and NDDB for a better understanding of the regulations and responsibilities/expectations of different stakeholders towards an effective implementation of the act and its regulations. In addition, the deliberations covered other challenges/opportunities for cooperative dairy sector and facilitated development of a roadmap for the sector’s sustainable growth.

In his keynote address, Shri T Nanda Kumar, Chairman, NDDB said that the dairy industry in India plays an important role in the development of Indian economy in general and rural economy in particular. He said that the dairy cooperatives have played a significant role in organising and empowering small milk producers while making optimum use of the available resources and scientific knowledge. The growth of cooperative dairy sector has contributed significantly in poverty alleviation, nutritional security, rural employment and women empowerment.

Chairman, NDDB said that NDDB is committed towards supply of good quality and safe milk and milk products by the milk unions to the consumers. Shri T Nanda Kumar said that quality could at times be relative but food safety is absolute. He said that there is a need to understand the nitty-gritty of Food Safety Act and educate all concerned in the cooperative sector.

While addressing the participants, Shri K Chandramouli, Chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)acknowledged NDDB’s contribution in the areas of Food Safety and CODEX matters. He gave a background of Food Safety Act and the enormity of the task ahead to implement the Act. Shri Chandramouli said that implementing the provisions of the Act in the unorganized sector is a real challenge. He informed that the authority is trying to harmonise the standards with that of CODEX.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Shri Dilip Rath, Managing Director, NDDB said that the seminar on quality and food safety is part of the on-going initiatives to work with the milk unions and federations to ensure all round efficiency in dairy operations. The overall business environment is changing rapidly, both globally and domestically. The emerging free trade and food regulatory environment is posing a number of challenges to our cooperative dairy sector. At the same time, consumers not only expect adequate availability of dairy products at fair price, but also rightly yearn for their safety and quality. In such a situation cooperative dairy industry is required to put in concerted efforts for improving its operations by adopting modern management approach and making use of newer technologies and techniques.

The topics deliberated during technical sessions: Main elements of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and related Regulations; Compliance to the Food Safety Regulations by dairy industry: Experience sharing – problems and issues with special reference to milk and milk products; Licensing and registration of dairy businesses including requirements on hygiene and sanitary practices; Packaging and labelling of dairy products; Quality Mark - an initiative to enhance consumer confidence in cooperative and allied dairy sector; Possible areas of cooperation between NDDB and dairy cooperatives in the area of food safety and quality; ERP system for dairy cooperatives – Alternatives available; Ration Balancing Programme – Expanding coverage for benefit of farmers; Mapping of villages and dairy infrastructure in the Internet based Dairy Geographical Information System (iDGIS), use of remote sensing in dairy sector; Upgradation/modernisation of existing processing facilities for improved efficiency; Strengthening of Cooperatives – technological up-gradation, increased women participation and financial inclusion; Internet based platform for semen stations; national platform for e-auction of dairy commodities, possibilities of a national milk grid; Human resource in cooperatives – Future requirements and challenges – Indication of gaps.