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Kiwi technology to solve food wastage in India

The Indian economy in general and the food industry in particular can benefit from advanced technology developed by New Zealand to prevent food wastage, the top executive of a leading manufacturing company has said.

Auckland based Patton New Zealand Limited Chief Executive Sameer Handa said food preservation was critical to the large and fast-growing Indian economy.

“Almost 40% of all food, including milk, fruits and vegetables are wasted because of lack of proper storage, preservation and related facilities.

“As the world’s largest producer of milk and second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, India would considerably gain with the introduction of appropriate preservation procedures,” he told Indian Newslink last fortnight.

He was in India as a part of the business delegation that accompanied Prime Minister John Key during his state visit from June 26 to 30, 2011.

Mr Handa said Patton was well positioned to assist the current efforts of the Food Processing Industries Ministry of the Indian Government in developing the sector.

“Patton established its presence in India almost three years ago, during which we have learnt the market needs and trends. There are substantial opportunities for milk chilling, storage, processing and preservation of all types of food.,” he said.

Mr Handa said pharmaceutical and hospital industries were also in need of preservation systems. With the demand for cold chain continuing to escalate at about 30% every year, there is immense market potential for companies like Patton, which are well positioned to offer their products and services, he said.

Immense potential

Based on the trends of discussions that Mr Key held with his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh in Delhi, Mr Handa said there was hope that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would be signed by the two countries sooner than later.

According to him, export of food items and preservation equipment should form a part of the Agreement.

New Zealand’s experience in food preservation would be useful in India, particularly in the peninsular regions he said and urged both governments to consider establishing research centres to develop new technology and processes.

Established in 1923, Patton is a leading manufacturer and supplier of refrigeration equipment. An increasing number of supermarkets, wineries, meat works, seafood manufacturers and farmers use the Company’s products and services for chilling, transportation and storage of a wide range of items including highly perishable products such as milk, fruits and vegetables and meat.

“The huge potential that India offers in commercial refrigeration has been attracting manufacturers and suppliers from the US and Europe. But as a country with the world-renowned leading-edge technology, New Zealand has a distinct advantage over the others. The visit of our Prime Minister and the emerging possibility of FTA would be beneficial to us,” Mr Handa said.

As published in Indian Newslink (June 15, 2011), Patton is in the process of establishing a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility in India. The plant may be located either in Pune or Navi Mumbai.

Mr Handa said he would announce the details of the Project in due course.

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