The first ever Fresh India Show— a two-day event with over 300 participants, ranging from farmers and industrialists to entrepreneurs and policymakers, from all across the globe—was recently held in Delhi. The show comprised an international interactive conference, exhibition, networking meet and awards segment.

The major participants included Imran Hussain, Minister of Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs, and Environment and Forest, Government of NCT of Delhi; and industry stalwarts like Ashok Dalwai, Chairman, Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI), Govt. of India, M. Ariz Ahammed, Managing Director, National Horticulture Board (NHB); Pawanexh Kohli, Chief Advisor and CEO of NCCD, MOAFW, and S. Sivakumar, Group Head—Agri and IT Businesses, ITC Limited, among others.

The key areas of focus for the Fresh India Show’s international conference revolved around the further strengthening of the fresh produce business.

The exhibition at the venue featured stalls from Washington Apple Commission, Keep it Fresh, Desai Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., SFACH, Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co. Ltd, National Horticulture Board, and Seraphicb (SEDO) etc.

Imran Hussain, Minister of Food & Civil Supplies, Environment & Forests, addressed the audience about the need for food safety for various sections of people living in Delhi. He also spoke of techniques like vertical- and kitchen-gardening which can be used to grow fresh vegetables locally, while acknowledging the need for high quality fresh produce at cheap costs. Hussain emphasised that it is imperative that farmers get paid well for their efforts.

Ashok Dalwai, DFI Chairman, stressed upon the need to prioritise things so that our production, value chain, logistics and everything else is geared towards reaching out to fresh products.

Pawanexh Kohli, Chief Advisor and CEO of NCCD, MOAFW, said at the event, “We do not go around trying to disrupt and change people’s habits. First and foremost, we help organise, facilitate and align with them. 97% of our market is fresh: be it milk, meat or vegetables. Fresh means faster cash flows in the system, it means faster turnarounds.”

S. Jafar Naqvi, Chief Coordinator, Media Today Group, which had organised the Fresh India Show, talked about the objective of the event: “Delhi is the most important market and consumption centre for fruits and vegetables in India. Fresh India Show is a unique concept that endeavors to provide a networking platform to various stakeholders in the fresh food sector.”

Fresh India Show 2019 featured panel discussions on varied topics related to the fresh food industry, such as “International Cooperation in Fresh Produce Businesses”, “Success Models to Reach Domestic and Global Consumers”, “Factors Affecting Production, Supply Chain, Storage and Retailing”, “Efficient Project Management Tools for Setting up Projects supported under Government of India”, “Fresh Produce Future: Forecasting and Projection 2025”, “Creating Brand and Marketing Intelligence in Fresh Trade”, “International Trade in Fresh Produces and Allied Industries”, “Fresh Cut and Packed: Ready to Serve Business Concept and Consumer Response”, “GenX Transforming the Face of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in India” and more.

Some of the key participants at the event included Dalci de Jesus Bagolin, Agricultural Attaché, Embassy of Brazil; Michael Hawkins, Counselor, Agriculture and Processed Foods, Embassy of Canada; Khaldoon Tareq Yaseen, Commercial Consular, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq; Vijay Sardana, Value Chain Investment and Legal Expert; Amit Lohani, Convener FIFI; M. Ariz Ahammed, Managing Director, National Horticulture Board (NHB); Chef Devinder Singh, President, Indian Culinary Forum; and Mihir Mohanty, GM, Supply Chain, and Mother Dairy Fruits & Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. among others.

The first Fresh India Show successfully concluded with the announcement of the Indian Fresh Produce Industry Excellence Awards, which celebrated the success of industry leaders who have taken the fresh food revolution to new heights. Pankaj Mehta, Managing Director, Carrier Transicold, won the award for “Successfully Connecting Kinnow Farmers of Punjab with the Markets of South India through Cold Chain”; Naresh Kohli, Harshna Group of Companies, Farm2u, was awarded for “Empowering and Linking Kashmiri Fruit Growers and Adding Value to Supple Chain”; Ajit Desai, Desai Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., won the award for being the “Role Model of Pre and Post Harvest Quality Management for Banana and Supply Chain Management for Domestic International Markets” and Sahyadri Farms won it for “Setting a Role Model for Farmer Producer Company with Strong Social Responsibility, Increasing Farmer Income and Fair Price to Consumers”; Koshalendra, Kaushalya Foundation won the award “For Setting up a Successful Role Model of Social Enterprise for Fruits and Vegetable Farmers.” Pawanexh Kohli won the “Leadership Award for Contribution to National Level Cold Chain Development”.

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