HACCP Certification in India

haccp-certification

India as a nation has been known across the world for its rich natural resources, spices, and foods. With the increase in global demand, the Indian food industry has taken a leap of faith to meet this increased market requirement. India’s vast population and diversity provide a strong background for the large consumption of foods. This includes vegetables, fruits, poultry products, seafood, dairy products, and processed foods. The Indian food industry has been receiving tremendous support from the government for meeting global food safety standards. In order to meet the increasing market demand, India’s food business landscape has grown rapidly with players entering various segments of food processing such as catering, packaged foods, beverages, etc.

India has 100% self-sufficiency in milk production and is one of the largest exporters of dairy products. The Indian dairy industry does not have much processing capacity due to a lack of investment, poor management, and lack of innovation. However, due to government support and initiatives by various players, the Indian dairy industry has started witnessing modernization over time. For example, Amul is known to be the world’s largest single-brand dairy product company and ranks among India’s top 5 companies. Pune-based Parag Milk Foods Ltd., a private dairy products company, has emerged as the second-largest dairy foods producer in India. It started off as a small cooperative society in 1977 by local farmers and has expanded successfully into a company producing dairy and non-dairy products. India is also the world’s largest producer of vegetables and fruits. India was one of the first countries to introduce food irradiation in order to safeguard consumer health against unhygienic and harmful practices such as storing, transporting, processing, etc.

India is an agricultural country with several agro-processing industries which cater to billions of people locally and export to several countries abroad. HACCP Certification in India sees is vital and provides advantages to such Industries.

Points to Consider for HACCP Certification in India

  1. HACCP’s success depends entirely on the involvement of stakeholders (managers, technical staff, HACCP team members).
  2. HACCP certification in India by international bodies offers several benefits.
  3. Indian regulatory authorities are assessing the suitability of ISO 22000 and are also considering accreditation for food safety systems to ISO 9001:2015.
  4. HACCP is not a substitute for GMP; they are complementary systems.
  5. Successful introduction of HACCP requires investment in training of the workforce, and training courses must reflect the reality on the ground.
  6. It’s vital to use the experience gained by companies in supplier countries for developing capability within India itself.
  7. The costs of using a third-party certification system should be viewed as an investment rather than an extra cost and standards such as BRC, IFS, and ISO 22000 should be used for certification.
  8. In the long run, it will be beneficial to upgrade to management system standards.
  9. HACCP Certification in India is going through a transition phase where there is a lack of awareness, limited availability of expertise, and several unanswered questions.
  10. HACCP Certification in India is not mandatory and it should be made mandatory in the interest of consumers and for export markets to maintain equivalency with international standards as Indian brands are increasingly being recognized worldwide.
  11. Government should also put some incentives for companies that invest in food safety programs.
  12. The future of HACCP in the Indian food industry has bright prospects with opportunities to bring new foods to market, export more, and capture a larger share of the domestic market.
  13. It is important that companies are equipped with skilled resources like QA managers, and technical personnel for process management who can manage according to HACCP.
  14. Implementation of HACCP requires the involvement of not just QA/QC/HSE & Production managers, but also Plant Engineers and Supervisors for effective implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. (HACCP)
  15. It is crucial to comply with GMP and HACCP for food safety management systems as they form the basis of food safety management.

Some Organizations Offering HACCP certification in India are:

  1. Bureau Veritas Certification (BVC)
  2. Integrated Assessment Services (IAS)
  3. Qualitop
  4. Atest Global and TUV SUD-RIA India Pvt Limited
  5. Alsbridge International Certification Services Pvt

HACCP Certification in India -Challenges in implementation

The Indian food industry has also witnessed tremendous growth due to the entry of many large players. For example, SJM Food and Beverages Pvt Ltd., one of India’s largest FMCG companies, manufactures a variety of spices, tea, coffee, cooking oil, etc. It owns brands such as Chungwa Tea Company/China (CTC) and Lijjat Papad. Other players such as CIPLA, JSW Group, and Wipro have also made their presence felt in India’s food sector.

However, the Indian food industry has been facing many challenges which prevent it from realizing its true potential. These include a lack of skilled resources like QA managers, poor quality management standards due to lack of training and awareness among employees, less investment in F&B infrastructure, low food safety standards in catering services, unorganized farmers, and lack of skilled labor force, etc.

The Indian Food Industry has limited geographical boundaries when it comes to exports though the market is huge. There is a need for more players in the market to further develop and expand.

The food industry is divided into two major segments – production and processing. The production segment comprises farms, fishermen, etc., whereas the processing segment involves cold storage units, manufacturing plants, etc. Because there are very few players involved in the processing sector with greater investment and expertise (they don’t want to venture into this sector for lack of return on investment), the production segment lacks quality and yields a lot of waste.

The Indian food industry cannot be benefited from any one player as there is competition among players who work in different segments of the F&B sector. For example, big brands like CIPLA are engaged in the production and marketing of OTC medicines, but they do not own a manufacturing plant. The other players in the market are involved in activities like processing, trading, etc.

The fragmented nature of India’s food industry also poses another challenge as it lacks a single strong voice to represent its interests at the government level. This is because there is no organization in India that can take care of the entire food chain from production to consumption.

The Indian food industry has much to gain through the effective implementation of HACCP because it will help companies achieve a good level of compliance with GMP and quality standards for the sake of consumer safety. This is particularly important in view of the increasing number of large MNCs that are entering the Indian market.

HACCP Certification in India

India has food safety regulations that require companies to undergo an inspection by a third-party organization (such as BVC or IAS) if they wish to export their products to foreign countries like the US, U.K., Germany, etc. HACCP certification is one of the conditions that companies need to fulfill if they wish to export their products.

There is a greater demand for HACCP certification in India among food processing industries because it forms the basis of food safety management systems and helps companies comply with GMP and quality standards for consumer safety. These are essential elements for success in overseas markets as there are guidelines for hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) that are to be followed in order to export products.

India is a country with diverse geographical regions where the climatic conditions vary from place to place. The food processing sector is incomplete without adequate infrastructure facilities like cold storage units, transportation systems, etc., which require huge investments. This poses a major problem as companies are not keen on investing more in the F&B sector.

Since India lacks a strong food industry organization, it has been unable to convince its policymakers about the need for investments in the industry from private players. In turn, this has made it difficult for investors to take risks with their money.

Quality Assurance Manager (QAM)

Since the Indian food industry lacks a strong voice to represent its interests, the QA manager usually takes the onus of handling relations with various government bodies and other agencies. The QA manager is responsible for ensuring that all products are manufactured under hygienic conditions following good manufacturing practices (GMP). It is also his/her responsibility to ensure that the products are safe and of good quality. The QA manager is also responsible for performing risk assessment, developing HACCP-based food safety management systems, training staff, etc.

HACCP Lead Auditor

HACCP certification is an important cog in the wheel of consumer safety. One can never be too sure of the quality and safety of products that are manufactured in India as there is a lack of strong government support. Since the Indian food industry is fragmented, it is important to have a system in place that helps the companies achieve a good level of compliance with GMP standards.

The lead auditor ensures that all areas related to food safety management systems are in compliance with the requirements of HACCP certification, which is required for export. The process includes an on-site audit to check if all standards related to food safety are being followed or not.

The management needs to provide training for employees and this aspect should be taken care of by the QA manager. However, it is important that all employees are trained as per the requirements of HACCP Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This is necessary to ensure that all products meet international standards.

The lead auditor should also be aware of GMPs, which are mostly required for the food and beverages and pharmaceutical industries.

HACCP Certification in India- Implementation

Companies in India need to implement HACCP-based food safety management systems to ensure that the products meet all international quality and safety standards. Food safety is a major concern in India because of the differences in climatic conditions which vary from region to region.

HACCP implementation requires training workers and developing SOPs for areas related to quality assurance, hazard analysis, and risk assessment. The lead auditor also has to perform a yearly audit of the quality management system to ensure that all areas related to food safety are following GMP procedures. The training should be provided by an expert who has worked for at least five to seven years in this sector and is familiar with international standards.

The FSSAI Scheme for HACCP Certification

Since food safety management systems are a must for all companies manufacturing food and beverages, it is important that they have good awareness about the same. Also, there should be enough professionals in India who can train workers.

The FSAI scheme has been introduced to provide training to Indian food industry professionals related to HACCP principles. The course will help them understand the concept of food safety management systems and how to implement it in their respective units. The training will also help them understand the issues related to GMPs, SOPs, HACCP schemes for food industries, and risk assessment.

The FSAI scheme has been started at a time when there is a huge demand for good quality products in the international markets. Companies manufacturing food products or beverages need to implement HACCP-based food safety management systems for which training is a pre-requisite.

HACCP Certification in India and its Cost

IAS provides training and certification related to HACCP principles. The registration fee for this course is Rs 12000/- (Rupees Twelve Thousand only). This fee is applicable for three years. The course can be completed within a month’s time and it covers:

  1. HACCP Introduction (theory)
  2. HACCP Implementation (maintenance of records)
  3. CCP – Critical Control Points (recognition of critical control points, their importance, etc.)
  4. Labeling, Tagging, and Marking (understanding the regulation)
  5. Sanitation Audit (importance, procedures, etc.)
  6. Customer Complaints Analysis (how to handle complaints)

To know more about HACCP Certification in India for your organization contact us! Call @+91 9962590571

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