Food business operators have to make sure they have their paperwork in place when they are working, for the sake of protecting the people working within the company, as well as those who are interacting with the company when it comes to the purchase of the products they are selling. Food business operators are not only responsible for making food but also be involved in any part of the food process including transporting it which is a significant part of making sure the packaged product reaches the stores where they sell them.
One of the most significant bits of paperwork that they have to get through is the food licence. To get a food licence, companies have to get an FSSAI Registration. The FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act in 2006, which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through various regulations and supervision of food safety. They conduct multiple inspections to make sure that the companies that went through the registration processes are following the rules and have the right paperwork in order.
Depending on the way they are running their company, their annual turnover, the number of branches, whether they are in one state or spread across the country, and the type of business they are running all define the type of registration they have to apply for. The registration process is usually valid for a year, and they have to renew it annually if the owner is planning on continuing tier business. Furthermore, if there were changes between the documents that were submitted and the actual company, the applicant has to make sure that they make the changes when they are renewing the forms. There should be no discrepancy, otherwise, it could turn into an issue during an inspection.
Since the FSSAI is the merging of various Departments and Acts, these are the departments that come under it.
Eat Right India Movement
Regulatory Compliance Division (RCD)
Food Safety Management System (FSMS) Division
Risk Assessment and R&D division (RARD)
Information Education Communication (IEC) Division
Regulation and Codex Division
Quality Assurance/ lab Division
Another plan that the Government created was the Udyog Aadhaar plan which they put together in 2015, and it went under the radar when it came out. There were a few changes made over the years, and by 2018, there were 48 lac businesses that registered under the scheme. They were all allowed to avail various benefits from the Government. A lot of the companies might not currently be running, but the majority of them are.
While the number seems significantly high, there was a higher number of companies not registered under the scheme. Furthermore, the authorities have taken the scheme online to facilitate more application processes since it is quite convenient since the previous one was quite a time consuming and very inconvenient.
The pandemic made the present seem like a better time to get through the registration process since there were a lot of people who had ideas but did not execute them, however, with companies shutting down and people out of work, it made sense they pursue them. Furthermore, the online platform provides all the details that an applicant would need. Additionally, it understands the process that their company is going through and informs them about the registrations that they have to get through. Since the paperwork might vary from one company to the next, it only makes sense that a platform that was created by the people who made the rules assists everyone with the application processes.
People can choose to get through the process online, by uploading their details or they can download the forms and submit them in person. The Udyog Aadhaar plan is quite amazing since it is a self-declaration, so does not need any supporting documents and can be used when getting through other documentation processes.