The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) endorses The Indian Food Manifesto, officially released, by the Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium after its concluding panel discussion, which was chaired by Dr Pushpesh Pant, noted culinary historian and Padma Shri awardee, on Saturday, December 16, 2017.
Making this announcement at the Symposium last week, in the presence of the Global First Lady of Indian Cuisine, Madhur Jaffrey, Mr Agarwal highlighted that the Manifesto’s ten points may have covered a vast area of concerns, but they also represented guiding principles for action programmes. He added that the country’s premier food regulatory authority would also support two initiatives mooted by experts during the discussions as mentioned below:
- To dedicate, on the lines of Gout de France, a day every year for the global celebration of Indian Cuisine. On this day, Indian restaurants around the world would serve one menu put together by an international committee of Indian chefs (working both in India and overseas) and Indian diplomatic missions
- To develop an Indian alternative to the Michelin Guide, on the lines of the Gault Millau in France, Osterie & Locande D’Italia in Italy, and Zagat in the United States.
Talking more about the initiatives, Mr. Agarwal, today, in a press interaction with media, highlighted that “We believe this initiative will make the world not only get to sample the best of Indian cuisine, but also discover the vast variety of Indian agricultural produce and spices.” Adding further, the Chief of the Food Authority also described as how this multi-city guide will be dovetailed with the FSSAI’s proposed hygiene ratings for restaurants to enable both Indian consumers and international tourists make safe dining choices. “This would be run by an independent body of experts to insulate it against any undue influence”, added Aggarwal during an interaction with media.
Last week, the Symposium opened with the media launch of the FSSAI’s initiative against hunger — Save Food, Share Food, Spread Joy: Indian Food Sharing Alliance (IFSA) – and linking it with getting street food vendors to join this national campaign by pledging to make fresh food donations. At the Symposium, the discussions were led, among many others, by distinguished and diverse personalities such as NITI Aayog’s CEO, Mr Amitabh Kant; Karnataka’s Agriculture Minister, Mr Krishna Byre Gowda; Director-General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Mr Satyajeet Rajan; The Oberoi Group’s President, Mr Kapil Chopra; The Select Group’s Chairman, Mr Arjun Sharma; the acclaimed scientist, Dr Suman Sahai; and Asia’s single largest producer of potatoes, Mr Jang Bahadur Singh Sangha.
In addition to this, FSSAI also announced the pre-event highlights of National Street Food Festival which is being organised in association with NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors of India). The three-day long festival will be held from 12th to 14th January, 2018 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi from 10:00am to 10:00pm.
The Authority had participated last year in the National Street Food Festival organised by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) on December 23-25 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. The Festival stood out for the level of involvement of the street vending community from across the country, the compliance of the participants with safe hygiene practices, and footfalls it drew throughout the three days it was on. It has truly become a landmark in Delhi’s annual social calendar and has also raised the bar for street food vendors.
In view of its positive experience, and to institutionalize the festival, the Authority has decided to support this year’s National Street Food Festival. Mr. Agarwal further mentioned that the festival is an effort to sensitise vendors from across the country to safe food practices and to global hygiene and sanitation standards. The festival comprises of components from various sectors such as theme on Organic Food Bazaar, Temple foods of Indi, Festival Foods of India, Flavours of India and cultural and recreational activities. The festival will also be marked by presence of Street Food Legends of the country.