The Good Food Institute India (GFI), the central expert organization and convening body in the ‘smart protein’ sector kicked off their annual flagship event, the Smart Protein Summit on the 13th and 14th of October, in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and with support from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), and India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Eat Right India initiative.
Inaugurating the event, Siraj Azmat Chaudhry, Past Chair, National Committee on Food Processing, FICCI, Former Chairman, Cargill India, and Chairman, NCML, said, “I see this as the revenge of the underdog. In India, there’s a saying, ‘ghar ki murgi dal barabar‘ and now we have dals and pulses coming back to compete with meat! The growth of this sector will allow farmers to diversify from cereal crops to diverse protein-rich crops like pulses and millets.”
Beyond producers, smart protein has the potential to improve dietary choices and nutrition for consumers as well. Following the inaugural address, Deloitte partner Anand Ramanathan and Varun Deshpande unveiled for the first time, topline numbers on the market size and export potential of smart protein from a rigorous study by GFI India and Deloitte India.
Later in the day, a never-seen-before Smart Protein Tasting Tour brought together key collaborators, value-chain partners, and media to taste and experience many plant-based products on one single platform. Innovative startups across the smart protein category, including OatMlk, BVeg, Evo Foods, ProMeat, Mighty, Evolved Foods, Funny Nani, 1ness Foods, Soft Spot Foods, and more impressed the audiences with their ‘next generation’ products.
The opening address of Dr. Ravishankar CN, Director/VC, ICAR-CIFE, Mumbai, was followed by the continuation of the panel.
Jasvir Singh from IFF said, “Tech advancements require regulations to be dynamic. As regulator maintains consumer awareness and provides with a new perspective on the advancement to impact behavioral change. The production is no longer market-oriented but consumer-oriented, so regulatory needs to ascertain consumer is able to choose the food alternatives.”
Delhi University’s Smart Protein Project (DU SPP) was another major highlight of the event as the students from DU themselves, under the guidance of their Vice Chancellor Dr. Chindi Vasudeappa, have launched a research and awareness campaigns. Their aim is to push SPP for coursework at universities and grow an active community of student leaders to generate discourse around smart protein.
Representatives from Israel, Canada and Netherlands also took part in the summit highlighting key drivers and factors for the rise of smart protein and advancements that will be made in the segment. Cameron MacKay, High commissioner of Canada said “Farming is treated as a leading business in Canada and that becomes one of the reasons. To be able to give back the land that provides us with everything, the farmers getting the best possible rates for their yield and vegan protein which is uncommon became the primary drivers of the smart protein revolution.”
In the closing address, Varun Deshpande said, “The hope is for smart protein to become primary food instead of an alternative. To ascertain health without compromise is the goal Smart Protein Summit is working towards.”