Since time immemorial, India has been one of the most preferred sources of procuring products for sale in the market worldwide. History has been a witness to the appreciation towards flavours of Indian spices, etc. which attracted numerous travelers across the globe towards its uniqueness, authenticity and credibility. India has carved out its position on the international scale owing to the rich tradition and quality of products. Likewise, a number of food items including agricultural produce which were not native to India such as tomato, potatoes were introduced in the Indian cuisine via contributions through trade channels.
With the advent of stronger legal framework and health standards coming into paly internationally, it is necessary to ensure adequate safety of the products being exported.
In order to ascertain that the food products being exported would not harm or adversely impact the health of its consumers, each country has laid down legal framework which require adherence to the same before commercialization of the said products. Some of the general principles accepted by most of the countries in respect of packaging of food being sold within their jurisdiction are laid down as under:
- Legible description of the ingredients of the product on the principal display panel
- Mentioning of place of origin
- Provision of name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.
- Stating nutrition information relating to food
- Indicating the expiry/ Best before date for consumption of the product
- Disclosure of any related information in case any claim is made based on nutrition, health, daily reference value, calorie content, etc.
- Presence of substances known for their ability to spark allergic reactions and intolerances should always be indicated;
- Describing the physical condition or the specific treatment undergone (fermented or not, etc.);
In addition to these general aforesaid packaging requirements, the food products are required to obtain appropriate import licenses/ permissions/ registrations and ensure compliance to the respective food laws and legal metrology laws of the country where the products are intended to be exported.
Owing to the sensitivity of the nature of the products being brought into its market, every country has formulated their health safety guidelines. The products being exported are mandated to abide by such laws of the country of export before they are put into circulation for consumption.