India wants to meet with nutritional demands of the fast growing population and fight food waste. During her visit to Foodvalley NL on Wednesday, the Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal invited Dutch entrepreneurs to connect with Indian companies and do business in India.

The Indian Minister emphasized the opportunities in the country with 1.3 billion inhabitants. The population of India is young and middle classes are growing. India has a huge primary production but only a small part of that production is being processed. India copes with a lot of food waste. She called upon Dutch companies to deliver the technology to help preventing food waste. “With your technology and our raw material.”

Infrastructure
India stimulates foreign companies by creating ‘mega food parks’ with the infrastructure needed for their production. She spoke of “plug and play”. India invested in those parks in different parts of the country. “That saves costs. If Southern India is your market, you don’t have to produce in Central India.”

India also helps foreign companies with financial support. Moreover, there are special schemes for setting up cold chains and special subsidies for the processing of onions, tomatoes and potatoes.

Expand in India
According to Foodvalley NL Managing Director Roger van Hoesel, for the last two decades the Dutch agrofood industry was especially focussed on the US and China. “Now India is more on the map of Dutch companies.” He said he looked forward to a lot of connections between India and The Netherlands.

The meeting in Wageningen offered the around 40 participants the opportunity to speak in an informal setting with the Minister herself and other representatives of the Indian government. They could make connections to speed up their activities in India.

Some of the participating companies are already doing business in India, other want to do so in the near future. Rotterdam based Codrico, working in the fields of hydro thermal treatment of grain products and flours, is around six years active in India. CCO Bart Bischoff said Codrico wants to grow their business. “The potential is there. There is a need for functional ingredients that we provide”, he said. Nutrilab is not yet active in India but is planning to build a food lab and will also start a joint venture with the Indian company LT Foods, explained Nutrilab Director Pieter Vos.

On the other hand, Indian companies are also interested in The Netherlands. In 2017 LT Foods opened a new processing factory in Rotterdam, explained Vijay Arora, Chairman of LT Foods. The company is working together with SanoRice, based in Veenendaal.

World Food India
The Indian Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also invited Dutch companies to participate in the World Food India 2019 trade show in November in New Delhi. She stressed the position of India as a gateway to other Asian countries.