‘R&D vital for food industry’ | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

‘R&D vital for food industry’

The need for the processed food industry to engage more in research and development initiatives to go up in the value chain and be competitive in the market place was highlighted at the launch of a food and packaging exhibition last week.

“It is necessary for the processed food industry to conduct research and development activities often to keep abreast of the global industry and gain advantage of the modern technology,” President, Sri Lanka Food Processors Association, Sarath Alahakoon said at the launch of Pro Food Pro Pack exhibition in Colombo last week.

“Present day consumers are looking at product differentiation and innovation as perceived values when it comes to purchasing. Therefore, the process food industry needs to be geared to cater to this modern demands,” he said.

The 17th edition of the Pro Food Pro Pack exhibition is a platform to showcase the industry development in terms of technology, product and services.

It will serve as a catalyst to the industry to move forward. The exhibition has grown in terms of number of exhibitors both local and foreign, he said.

The exhibition has an influence on the development of the food industry. Over 30 percent of our population is engaged in the agriculture related industries. There is a need to be innovative and use technology to improve income levels and quality of lives. This will also strengthen the supply chain in terms of production, Chairman National Agri Biz Council, Rizvi Zaheed said.

“Modern technology and innovation could transform the food industry and take it to the next level. Therefore, it is important to use technology in developing the industry,” he said.

The government has considered processed food industry to be a priority sector in the economy that support to promote brand excellence. It will also help to drive the industry growth further, Minister of Commerce and Industry Rishad Bathuideen said in a message.

“The processed food industry is closely related to food supply chain of the country. There is a strong need to upgrade food quality and the profile of the industry.

The exhibition will be a platform for networking and knowledge sharing. The development of the industry will benefit the SME sector as most of the processed food companies falls in to SME category,” he said.

The exhibition has been organised by the Sri Lanka Food Processors Association with the Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (LECS). Over 350 stalls have been allocated for the local and foreign manufacturers, which can be considered as the biggest event in the country in relation to the food, drinks and agriculture sector.

The exhibition concludes today.

The exhibition, consumer fair and food fiesta expects more than 30,000 visitors.

The event also helps producers to interact with prospective buyers and also understand the new technology that is being used for the sector. Moreover, the event will feature all facets of the food and beverage industry and will include intricate details and the meticulous process that is required, for food products in order to make them available to the consumer.

This year’s expo has two separate pavilions from the largest global players in the Industry India and China. Over 120 companies from India and China participated at this year’s event. A special delegation of over 50 companies will be brought down by ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chamber of Commerce in India).

The event has attracted stakeholders from many South East Asian countries as well. The Ministry of Industries has sponsored the SME and micro sector entities pavilion.

The event is a sold out exhibition. The organising committee has taken a good decision by providing a special pavilion for University students and this is an ideal opportunity to showcase their innovative products.

Pro Food / Pro Pack exhibition will have for the first time a food fiesta carnival. A special area has been allocated as a food and entertainment zone to cater to the many visitors and exhibitors. Food stalls ranging from street food to five star hotels will dish out specialty cuisine.