It seems like India government is in no mood to give any more leverage to the startup world. Barely 48 hours after issuing new guidelines for the E-commerce industry that has made Flipkart & Amazon worried, it has now issued new guidelines for the foodtech sector as well. These tough new guidelines may make life little difficult (not much) for everyone involved in the food business including the likes of Swiggy and Zomato.
According to Economic Times (ET), The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) revised rulebooks seeks to increase the scrutiny in order to keep the food quality intact. As per ET, any food products meant for sale or last mile delivery will be subjected to random sampling in the food chain.
Mentioned below are four more important rules issued by the FSSAI as part of the directive.
- All food companies, which also include BigBasket and Grofers, will now have to mandatorily offer an indicative image of the product on their platform in order to help the customers in recognizing the product before buying.
- All the information mentioned in the FSS Act should be passed over to the customer ahead of the purchase.
- Only trained & experienced personals must undertake last mile delivery job.
- Food products shelf life should not go below 30% or 45 days before the expiry date.
It is still not clear when these revised rulebooks will come into effect. However, there is a likelihood that they may come into effect in a month or so.
So how has the Industry reacted?
Although the new guidelines are expected to make things tad difficult for the foodtech sector, the industry seems to be not that really annoyed with the government. In fact, Zomato – one of the incumbent leaders in the foodtech sector – has welcomed the move.
“We welcome any move by FSSAI which will help us make the restaurant industry safer for consumers,” a spokesperson said to ET. “We provide last-mile delivery to our users and are taking stringent steps to ensure the safety of food.”
Interestingly, it was not too long ago that Zomato had blacklisted scores of restaurants from its platform owing to quality issues.
Grocery delivery startup Grofers has also responded positively to the development, claiming that they are already compliant with the new guidelines.
Other notable players like Swiggy, UberEats and BigBasket have so far declined to comment.