Cold chain news: India’s growing cold chain

With a 63.5-million-tonne annual production of fruit, 105-million-tonne annual production of milk, India is the largest fruit and milk producer in the world. It is also the second vegetable producer in the world with an annual production of 125.89 million tonnes. The approx. 2-billion € cold chain industry is growing at an annual rate of 20-25% and is expected to reach 6600 million € by 2015, but over 95% of the 230 million tonnes perishable foodstuffs are transported annually outside the cold chain. The refrigerated transport business is valued at 220 million €, and involves 25000 vehicles, 80% of which transport milk, thereby leaving a mere 5000 vehicles for the transportation of all other categories of foodstuffs. In 2009, the Indian Government unveiled plans to set up 350 food processing units and the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) said it was planning to invest 14 billion € in the sector by 2015, in a bid to create as many as 10 million new jobs, treble India's food processing industry over the next five years and double its share of global trade to 3%. The policy involves attracting foreign investment. The government claims that direct foreign investment already plays an important role in developing the food processing sector and helped it increase by 175% from 2009-2010 to approx 205 million €.