To mark the two years of successful adoption of voluntary edible oil fortification in the country, Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC), FSSAI in collaboration with TATA Trusts and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) organised a ‘National Consultation on Scaling up Oil Fortification’ on 18 September 2018 at Vivanta by Taj – Ambassador, New Delhi.
The event was also organised as a step that would pave the way towards a fortified future and it saw participation from over 50 oil industries from across the nation. On the occasion, representatives from FSSAI, Tata Trusts, and GAIN shared their experiences and progress on edible oil fortification. The objective of the consultation was to encourage top oil players to adopt fortification in their entire portfolio of edible oil variants. Edible oil fortified with Vitamin A and D is a recognized effective complementary strategy to provide the sustainable supply of micronutrients to the population. Currently, 47 percent of the vegetable oil produced by top players, in the refined packaged oil market, is being fortified.
Dr. Chandrakant Pandav President, Association for Indian Coalitions for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) was the special guest at the consultation. In his remarks, he pointed out that the FSSAI has the technical expertise to formulate standards after careful deliberation for fortified foods. He laid emphasis on the key principles of the PPP model wherein the interest of the people must be at center-stage for effective implementation of government-led programs. Mr. Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI during his special address congratulated the oil industry for its performance in leading voluntary edible oil fortification. He also appreciated the industry readiness towards mandatory edible oil fortification. Through an open house discussion, he sought to identify challenges that the industry could face for the effective implementation of fortification.
As a part of the consultation, edible oil industries from the states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra were felicitated for their proactive adoption and sustainable work on fortification. The oil industries were selected on the basis of their eagerness to fortify, compliance to standards, high production, and high-fortified tonnage. During the open forum, the industry representatives conveyed their readiness for mandatory edible oil fortification. They brought to the notice of all, that how through innovative practices, such as making available small volume pouches, awareness campaigns and state directives, the drive can be further strengthened. The consultation paved way for a fortified future and ended with all the participating industries assuring their full support to propel and amplify the initiative and help improve the health and well-being of all citizens.