Supporting Better Nutrition Labelling Awareness in India

Food Industry Asia (FIA), in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), recently completed two more workshops designed to raise awareness of Front-of-Pack (FOP) Guidelines Daily Amount (GDA) labelling.

With resources from CIFTI, FSSAI and FIA, the workshops, entitled “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling and emerging trends in food labelling ecosystem”, were held in Bangalore and New Delhi on 4 October and 6 October respectively.


  Mr Pawan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), addresses participants at the start of the “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling and emerging trends in food labelling ecosystem”  workshop on 6 October 2017 in New Delhi, India. Photo credit: FICCI.

The workshop in Bangalore was attended by over 75 food & beverage companies, many from the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, as well as larger Indian food companies and multi-nationals. The New Delhi workshop was also well-attended, by representatives from nearly 60 companies, including FIA member companies operating in India.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Bangalore workshop, Mr Shaju Mangalam, Head – Karnataka State Council, FICCI, highlighted the importance of providing consumers and industry players with details on how to implement and understand GDA labels. Mr Mangalam said that it was important to raise awareness of GDAs among SMEs in India, as they didn’t have the same kind of resources as the larger food manufacturers.

Echoing his words, Dr Satish Kulkarni, Chair of the Scientific Panel on Labelling and Claims/Advertisements, consumers, regulators and food manufacturers all needed education on nutrition labelling for different reasons. Dr Kulkarni highlighted that GDA labels would allow consumers to make more informed choices.

Delivering his opening remarks at the inaugural session of the New Delhi workshop, Mr Pawan Agarwal, FSSAI’s Chief Executive Officer, advised the participants that India would soon implement an FOP labelling scheme. He said that this was all part of the FSSAI’s plan to ensure that Indian consumers gain access to safe and nutritious food.


  Mr Pawan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), addresses participants during the “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling and emerging trends in food labelling ecosystem” workshop on 6 October 2017 in New Delhi, India. Photo credit: FICCI.

Mr Steven Bartholomeusz, FIA’s Policy Director, shared with participants at both workshops that the Indian food industry should look at how other markets in Asia have adopted GDA labelling, commending the attendance of many SME representatives at the sessions. Mr Bartholomeusz also requested that larger companies, especially FIA member companies, which have already adopted GDA labelling, to help promote the scheme and share best practices among the rest of the food industry.


  Mr Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, Food Industry Asia (FIA), speaks during the “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling and emerging trends in food labelling ecosystem” workshop on 6 October 2017 in New Delhi, India. Photo credit: FICCI.

Ms YiFan Jiang, FIA’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, delivered high-level findings from a consumer survey FIA has carried out in the Asian region, concerning how consumers understand labels. Presenting on “GDA Labelling: Principles and Best Practice,” she shared information on the introduction, history and benefits of GDAs, as well as highlights from FIA’s 2016 GDA report – “Fast Facts on Packs”, which was also carried out across Asia, including India. She then facilitated a session designed to help companies implement GDA labelling in their businesses.


   Ms YiFan Jiang, Head of Science & Regulatory Affairs, Food Industry Asia (FIA), speaks during the “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling and emerging trends in food labelling ecosystem” workshop on 6 October 2017 in New Delhi, India. Photo credit: FICCI.

Ms Ranjeet Kaur, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Mars International India Pvt. Ltd., and Mr Shaminder Pal Singh, Director - Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, PepsiCo India Region, then presented case studies on implementing GDAs in their businesses, at the Bangalore and New Delhi Workshops, respectively.

These presentations in Bangalore and New Delhi were followed by panel discussions where workshop participants posed questions to experts from the industry, FIA, FICCI and the FSSAI, on the challenges and benefits associated with implementing FOP GDAs.

Since May 2017, FIA, in partnership with FICCI and the FSSAI, has carried out four GDA awareness-building workshops in India. Over 250 participants have attended these workshops.