India is the 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world and it also produce a substantial amount of marine, meat & poultry products. With production at such high levels their utilization should also increase. However, at the same time we also experience large percentage of food being wasted due to various reasons, such as short shelf life and improper handling&inadequatetransportation facilities. There are a number of techniques to reduce these issues and one such technique is to develop cold chain infrastructure.
A properly developed cold chain system can be helpful for the farmer, whole-seller, retailer, and end-consumer, also for the food industry.
- It will reduce food wastage (as shelf life of food will increase)
- Better food prices for the consumer(as seller will have more profit by selling less because of less wastage)
- Quality of food will increase (as storage conditions will be better and regular monitoring will be there)
- Overall Availability of food will increase round the year(as food can be stored for longer time periods)
- Farmers will get freedom to sell their produce at better prices and suitable time periods of their preference.
Cold Chain & Food Industry
Cold chain plays a major role for the food industry. Many food Industry requires the use of cold chain such as Ice-cream industry, Dairy industry, chocolate industry, ready to eat and ready to cook frozen sector. Integrated cold chain facility is a key deciding factor for the success of these industry.
Also many Bakeries, Cafes and Fast Food Chainssuch as McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King etc. utilize cold chain for proper functioning by using them as procurement & distribution centres. Bakery ingredient companies and bakeries can also use cold chain for storage of butter, yeast, whip cream etc and distribution of cakes, chocolates and other baker’s confectionery items. Cafes and fast food chains use cold chain for long term storage of cheese, butter, frozen vegetables and veg. and non-veg. ready to cook ingredients.
Cold chain just not only provide a place to store goods, it also comprises of logistics services to facilitate easy, hassle free procurement and distribution of material.
On the other hand, demand of ready to eat frozen food is increasing in the urban India. It is because of convenience offered by these products to the nuclear families, young professionals living alone, the growing acceptance of Western food, and the need for on-the-move freshly-cooked foods. The changing Indian lifestyle is creating a multitude of opportunities for market players, across industries. The increase in demand for frozen food products is driving increased focus on the category by modern retail chains and standalone grocery stores that are stocking more varieties of frozen products such as peas, corn, and ready to cook and heat-and-eat packaged products. As sales increase, the category is slated to witness increased penetration and entry of more players and products.
Thus it can be said that cold chain will see a tremendous growth in the near future. Not only just to benefit the farmers but also to develop and elevate the food industry and also to the end consumer by providing quality food at lower prices round the year.
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