Second Workshop to Raise Awareness of Guideline Daily Amounts in India

As part of the overall strategy to support the adoption and awareness of Front Of Pack (FoP) Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) labelling, 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 carried out an awareness-raising workshop in Mumbai, India.

Delivered by resources from CIFTI, FSSAI and FIA, the workshop titled “Creating awareness among FBOs & SMEs on (Guideline Daily Amount) GDA labelling” was the second in a series of planned workshops, which include sessions planned for Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi across the next two months. The Mumbai workshop was attended by more than 60 representatives from India’s food & beverage sector – encompassing a large number of Mumbai-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FIA member companies operating in India, as well as representatives from the FSSAI, academia and local government.

Mr P. Muthumaran, Director of the Western Region for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), addresses participants at the start of the seminar.

Delivering the opening remarks at the introductory session, Mr P. Muthumaran, Director, FSSAI Western Region (Mumbai), spoke of the FSSAI’s various initiatives that are underway, in order to ensure safe and nutritious food for Indian consumers. Mr Muthumaran highlighted that as part of the FSSAI’s plans to introduce regulations on food high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), it would be important that these three components are included on GDA labels in India. He highlighted that the FSSAI proposal is to implement both a Back-of-Pack nutrition information panel and FoP GDA monochrome icons for sugar, fat and salt. However the proposed draft is still under consultation by internal stakeholders.

Mr Steven Bartholomeusz, Director of Advocacy & Communications, Food Industry Asia (FIA), delivers his opening remarks.

Mr Steven Bartholomeusz, Director of Advocacy & Communications at FIA, said that the Indian food industry should look at how other markets in Asia have adopted GDA labelling, and requested that businesses – especially FIA member companies that have already adopted GDA labelling – help promote the scheme and share best practices with the rest of the food industry.

Ms YiFan Jiang, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Food Industry Asia (FIA), explains Front-of-Pack (FoP) Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) labelling to participants.

Ms YiFan Jiang, Head of Regulatory Affairs at FIA, then delivered a session on “GDA Labelling: Principles and Best Practice,” in which she shared information on the history and benefits of GDAs, as well as highlights from FIA’s 2016 GDA survey, which was carried out across Asia and included India. Ms Jiang also highlighted details from the FIA GDA Toolkit, to help support the implementation of GDA labelling by Indian food businesses.

Ms Madhavi Trivedi, Associate Director, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs, Kellogg’s India, chairs a panel discussion during the seminar.

A lively panel discussion was then led by Ms Madhavi Trivedi, Associate Director for Nutrition and Scientific Affairs, Kellogg’s India. Panellists included Mr P. Muthumaran from the FSSAI; Dr Prabodh Halde, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Marico India; Ms Agatha Betsy from Mondelez; and Ms YiFan Jiang and Mr Steven Bartholomeusz from FIA. During the panel session, FIA suggested that, considering the recent evidence and ongoing consumer research being carried out by FIA, interpretive FOP logos seem to be more favoured by consumers to guide their “healthier” purchases. However, the GDA still serves a better role in providing nutrition information and dietary guidance to consumers.

Further GDA awareness workshops will take place in India over the next few months.

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