The primary goal of the visit was to increase consumption of nuts and dried fruits in India

The INC traveled to India earlier this month for an outreach visit that included a meeting with the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Minister of Agriculture, among other high-ranking officials. The aim of the visit was to present the INC dissemination campaign for India, to promote the health and economic benefits of nuts and dried fruits, to make the case for free trade, and to offer expert support for the development of the Indian nut and dried fruit industry.

The members of the INC delegation were Mr. Michael Waring, INC Chairman; Mr. Ashok Krishen, 1st Vice Chairman; Mr. Pino Calcagni, 2nd Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Sustainability, Scientific and Government Affairs Committee; and Mrs. Goretti Guasch, INC Executive Director and member of the Executive Committee. The delegation was accompanied by the INC Ambassadors for India, Mr. Pratap Nair (also a member of the INC Board of Trustees and Executive Committee) and Mr. Raju Bhatia, as well as by Mr. Rahul Kamath, member of the INC International Government and Regulatory Affairs Working Group.

The INC representatives met with Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture, as well as Shri Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture, Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Agricultural Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Shri Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary of Commerce, Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of Agriculture, and Shri Tapan Mazumder, Joint Secretary/Additional Director General of Foreign Trade – Australia Desk.

The delegation presented the INC’s mission, vision and Strategic Plan, in addition to the INC’s dissemination campaign aimed at promoting consumption of nuts and dried fruits among India’s Generation Z. They also put forth the INC’s stand on the benefits of free trade as a means of providing the best possible access of the products to the population and keeping supply and demand in balance globally. The INC also extended an offer to provide expertise and technical support to the Indian industry in terms of quality and industry statistics. Trade barriers —including both tariffs and non-tariff restrictions— were discussed as an issue of special concern. The INC representatives aimed to position nuts as an excellent source of plant protein —a very interesting attribute for the world’s most vegetarian country— as well as wholesome, disease-preventing foods with multiple health benefits. Finally, the delegation outlined the economic and employment-related benefits of nuts and dried fruits in value-added products and in general food production in India, which is one of the world’s largest producers of cashews and other nuts. The meetings yielded bilateral interest, with the Indian officials expressing interest in expanding consumption of nuts and dried fruits.

The visit culminated in a networking dinner with some of India’s most distinguished figures. The guest list included the Chilean Ambassador to India, the US Minister Counselor for Agriculture, the Iranian Trade Counselor, the Australian Counselor for Agriculture, the Turkish Commercial Counselor, the Director of Trade and Investment at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, representatives of the Almond Board of California, the California Walnut Board, the American Pistachios Growers, US Cranberries, Chilenut and the World Macadamia Organisation, key players from the Indian nut and dried fruit industry, as well as the renowned cardiologist Dr. H.K. Chopra. During the event, presentations were given by Mr. Bhatia, Mr. Waring and Mrs. Guasch. Additionally, Ms. Dinika Bhatia, CEO of DRB Foods, spoke about the importance of Generation Z in boosting the consumption of nuts and dried fruits.

During their time in India, the INC representatives visited several major Indian retail outlets, including Modern Bazaar, Reliance Retail and Haldiram’s, as well as the Khari Baoli nuts and dried fruits market. At the networking dinner, the delegation also had the opportunity to learn about India’s quick commerce sector, thanks to the presence of representatives of Blinkit and Swiggy —key players in the country’s supply chain, especially for Generation Z.

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