Perishable Goods Supply Cold Chain Management in India

Perishable Goods Supply Cold Chain Management in India

Anju Bharti (Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, India) and Arun Mittal (Birla Institute of Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3056-5.ch013

Abstract

India has seen a phenomenal growth and occupies the top three positions in production from last decades in production of horticulture produce, dairy and meat products over the last decade. But at present, India's share in global farm trade is still very small even with such large production volumes. This is mainly caused due to lack of cold chain infrastructure which includes both storage and transportation facilities. The cold chain industry in India is still at a nascent stage and despite large production of perishables, the cold chain potential still remain untapped due to high share of single commodity cold storage, high initial investment (for refrigerator units and land), lack of enabling infrastructure like power & roads, lack of awareness for handling perishable produce and lapse of service either by the storage provider or the transporter leading to poor quality produce. Cold chain systems are crucial to the growth of global trade in perishable products and to the worldwide availability of food and health supplies.
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Introduction

India has seen a phenomenal growth and occupies the top three positions in production from last decades in production of horticulture produce, dairy and meat products over the last decade. But at present, India’s share in global farm trade is still very small even with such large production volumes. India is also one of the world’s largest consumers of food. According to Top Markets Report, 2015, on Cold Chain by International Trade Administration, it is the third largest producer of agriculture. India is one of the largest producers of milk in the world with the largest livestock population. India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world with production of 81.3 million MT and 162.2 million MT respectively but its share in global export of fruits and vegetables is around 1.4% only. Approximately, 18% of fruits and vegetables get wasted in the country. This is mainly caused due to lack of cold chain infrastructure which includes both storage and transportation facilities.

Food processing methods refers to value addition to agricultural or horticultural produce. The food processing sector is composed of two segments:

  • 1.

    Primary food processing sector (62% in value, packaged fruits and vegetables, milk, etc.) and

  • 2.

    Value added food processing sector (38% in value, processed fruits and vegetables, juices, jam & jelly etc.).

Specifically in India, around 40% of produce gets wasted due to inadequate cold chain infrastructure, and one third of losses incur during storage and transit as it has less than half the capacity to meet its current cold chain needs(www.itln.in, 2014).

The success totally relies upon effective management of the ‘cold chain’, a term used to describe the series of interdependent operations in the production, distribution, storage and retailing of chilled and frozen foods. Control of the cold chain is vital to preserve the safety and quality of refrigerated foods and comply with legislative directives and industry ‘codes of practice’ (EU Commission).

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