In order to have a more advanced system of consumer grievance redressal system, the FSSAI has leveraged enhanced technology features and integrated with ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile app. Integration with the new app will help provide consumers with a system that will work towards quick and satisfactory resolution of grievances related to food. The app will also provide smart buying tips, information and claim busters.
The ‘Smart Consumer’ app was developed in 2016 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in association with GS1 India – A standard body set up by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, along with BIS, ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, APEDA, FIEO, IIP, IMC and Spices Board. In this regard a
National Conference’ with the theme “Enabling Regulatory Compliance and Connecting with Consumers” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and GS1 India.
In the keynote address Shri Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI brought to notice the usability and relevance of channels to provide an effective mechanism for grievance so no complaints go unresolved. The integration with ‘Smart Consumer’ app will
- give consumers more visibility on FSSAI License numbers/ certificates
- view product recall alerts
- customer complaint module for reporting food quality and safety related issues directly to FSSAI by scanning of barcodes (which use GTIN – Global Trade Item Number) on consumer products with the ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile app
This mobile app will also enable consumers to confirm that the food products they are purchasing are from FSSAI registered/licensed manufacturing units.
In order to speed the redress of complaints, the mobile app connects consumers digitally by sharing the customer care contact details of manufacturers/suppliers. The app would also enable consumers to access all marking/ labeling information of products, effortlessly. When a product label is difficult to read the consumer has to just scan the barcode number (GTIN) and once entered it will display all product related information on the Smart Consumer app. The Smart Consumer app is powered by the National Product Repository called (DataKart) which is used by many of FBOs so it is useful to consumers for getting information.
During the conference, the FSSAI took the opportunity to also sensitize FBOs manufacturing foods, retailers and e-commerce platforms and online food portals about a product recall. E-commerce platforms were made aware of the guidelines which they need to comply with in order to maintain food safety.