The Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI), convened a significant regulatory session in collaboration with the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). This initiative came into being on the context of FIFI organizing the largest U.S. Agricultural Trade Mission to India and offering an educational platform aiming to strength trade ties while maintaining adherence to regulatory standards. This session also underscored FIFI's commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration within the food industry to ensure compliance and facilitate smoother imports.
The deliberation highlighted the proactive stance of the Government of India regulatory authorities while showcasing their openness to imports of the goods if the exporting partners adhere to the Indian regulatory requirements. Key discussions during the session revolved around technology transfer and compliance in various sectors including dairy, poultry, seafood, meat, tree nuts, dry fruits, and others. Additionally, participants explored avenues to enhance re-export opportunities, furthering India's role as a key player in the global food market.
Ms. Alka Upadhyaya, Secretary DAHD, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, highlighted the organization's existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with numerous countries and expressed openness to all product categories in the meat and dairy sector that comply with Indian animal husbandry regulations and standards. She emphasized the importance of safeguarding Indian consumer sentiments while promoting trade.
Ms. Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, echoed the government's commitment to addressing concerns raised by various trade bodies. She emphasized, "We are dedicated to enhancing India's Ease of Doing Business (EODB) environment and have undertaken significant steps to achieve this goal." Additionally, she highlighted the importance of gathering feedback from associations like the Forum of Indian Food Importers to understand the challenges faced by stakeholders. 

She further stated, "One such initiative is the proposed introduction of Basic Food Import Clearance Fees, which will subsume visual inspection and testing fees. This move aims to lessen the burden on businesses." She emphasized that such announcements demonstrate the government's commitment to facilitating smoother trade practices.

The objective of the knowledge session was to provide visiting American delegates with insights into the regulatory landscape concerning agricultural, food, and beverage imports in India. The session contributors outlined the regulatory landscape in India and provided an outstanding opportunity for participants to interact and capture tactical expertise from the regulator, importer, and facilitator under one roof about the dynamic Indian market.
Mr. Amit Lohani, representing Indian imports, praised the pragmatic approach of the DAHD and FSSAI in addressing industry concerns and fostering cooperation. He emphasized the importance of such initiatives in streamlining processes and nurturing a conducive environment for trade in the food industry. Additionally, Mr. Lohani highlighted the significance of ensuring compliance with Indian regulations while promoting trade, emphasizing the mutual benefits for both domestic and international stakeholders. He expressed optimism about the positive impact of this collaboration on the industry as a whole and reiterated FIFI's commitment to supporting initiatives that facilitate smoother trade practices.