Food, Beverage & Agribusiness


Agribusiness denotes the collective business activities that are performed from farm to fork. It covers the supply of agricultural inputs, the production and transformation of agricultural products and their distribution to final consumers. Agribusiness is one of the main generators of employment and income worldwide.

Agribusiness is characterised by raw materials that are mostly perishable, variable in quality and not regularly available. The sector is subject to stringent regulatory controls on consumer safety, product quality and environmental protection. Traditional production and distribution methods are being replaced by more closely coordinated and better planned linkages between agribusiness firms, farmers, retailers and others in the supply chains.

The food & beverage industry is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that supply most of the food & beverages consumed by the world population. Only subsistence farmers, those who survive on what they grow, can be considered outside of the scope of the modern food industry. India is the world’s second largest producer of food next to China, and has the potential of being the biggest in the food and agricultural sector.

India is one of the world’s major food producers but accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of international food trade.

Agri-business has evolved out of the new input-output matrix. Application of managerial concepts, models and strategies at both individual and institutional levels are concrete with set results. The Central Government has introduced a scheme for Agri-business development in the current Five Year Plan. Agripreuners are now realising the importance of quality changes and value addition in agriculture. Despite all these healthy trends, agri-business has its challenges for rural development in terms of resource utilisation, rural livelihood and rural ecology. Issues regarding appropriate technology, labour productivity, cooperation, credit, and marketing and extension services are crucial even in the new set-up of reforms. Risk and uncertainty, being inevitable parameters of modern business, serving farmers and saving farming has become the need of the hour. Public-private partnership and other support mechanisms will have to be strengthened to tackle the challenges.

Agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. Over 58 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Agriculture, along with fisheries and forestry, is one of the largest contributors to the GDP.

India’s GDP, during 2013-14 grew and marginally improved to 4.7 percent as compared to 4.5 percent in 2012 -13. The export of agribusiness in 2014 – 15 is 12% of the total export.
This was due to high growth in agricultural and allied sectors, which grew at 4.7 percent compared to the long run average of 3 percent during 1999-2000 – 2012-2013, owing to favourable monsoons.

The agribusiness and food production sectors are typically resource intensive and present opportunity for operating efficiency improvements. The agribusiness and food has several opportunities to manage its sustainability issues in terms of quality of the product, environmental protection, people well-being.


Key Challenges


The key challenge is the increasing cost to meet the national, international legal and standard requirements and maintaining the quality of the product. On the one hand when the former is mandatory, but the farmers are not assured of the cost benefit in return.

Sustainability issues during the operational phase of various types of agribusiness and food production primarily include the following:

• Occupational health issues
• Safety and security of the workers
• Quality of the food product and its impact
• Workers well being, social security
• Wastewater and water management
• Solid waste and by-products
• Environmental impact throughout the supply chain


Key sustainability initiatives

General standards


Different global standards like FSSC, ISO 22000, GMP, HACCP, BRC, AIB,SQF, Gluten Free Certification, Halal, IFS, etc based on food safety, IFC performance standards, IFC food safety tool kit guide us to strengthen the food safety system from firm to fork.


Industry-Specific Standards


Other global initiative on sustainable development on social, environment, health & safety including food safety in food processing sectors are the industry-specific standards like Ethical Tea Partnership (Global Standard), Trustea in Tea Sectors, RSPO at Edible Oil segments , BONSUCRO at Cane Juice Processing sectors, etc.


Legal Requirements


Local law like FASSAI has also come forward to ensure the safety of food products for human consumption.


Areas where Consultivo can Help in Food Processing Sectors


We help industries to manage their sustainability risks, to change and to inculcate continual improvement in line with the national laws as well as international codes and standards. We work together with leading companies and with others to strengthen the contribution of mining, minerals and metals to sustainable development.

We help industries to manage their sustainability challenges related to food safety considering all local laws, international and national standards and codes and also industry-specific requirements. We are privileged to be associated with the leading corporates of this sector.


Services we offer under this sector


  • Development of sustainability standards/codes and related implementation guide
  • Facilitation during the implementation stage
  • Due diligence audit on sustainability issues
  • Research and impact analysis related to community, nutrition, social and environmental issues
  • Capacity building and training programmes in the areas of quality and food safety, occupational health & safety, environment & ecosystem and social issues like gender equity, wages & benefits, social security issues, etc.

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