Updates on 21-day lockdown announcement
- On 26 March, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for maintaining supply of Essential Goods was issued.
- On 29 March, a letter from the Home Secretary to all Secretaries of all States was released to clarify on the revised guidelines to be implemented during the lockdown.
IMPACT ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- The Indian central government permits essential goods to be produced, transported, and sold during the lockdown. However, states and district authorities are having different interpretations on what was essential and what was not. This has further caused a mayhem in the supply chain of food items across different states and districts.
- The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India has set up a grievance cell and Business Immunity Platform for the food and food related industry to ensure hassle-free operations and uninterrupted supply of essentials for citizens.
- In addition, it is noted that the local industry stakeholders have participated in a call with the Union Minister of Food Processing Industries to raise the issues and challenges faced by the food and beverage industry, especially on the ground at state level.
- In this meeting, the MoFPI has assured industry that they will be extending all required support to the food processing industry to ensure the implementation of uniform advisory/notification dissemination across the country to address the interpretation issues which had been highlighted by the industry.
- As a next step, the participants were asked to request food and beverage companies to submit the challenges faced at district level to the local industry association Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to be shared with the MoFPI.
- Food manufacturers are facing challenges in the operation as state and district authorities are having different interpretations of essential goods that are allowed to be produced during the lockdown.
- Companies shall work closely with the local authority to obtain a certificate that will allow them to continue to operate.
- FIA is working closely with FICCI to address industry concerns to ensure food manufacturers and suppliers can continue to operate.