Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), food regulator, has now pen down new guidelines for the companies indulge in food business. According to the new guidelines released by FSSAI, the companies need to get a mandatory licence either for central or state authority. Apart from that, the companies also need to carve out the mechanisms for consumer grievance redressal and product recalls.
Earlier, the food regulator authority FSSAI had asked the stakeholders to put in their comments for its “draft guidelines for operations of direct selling food business operators (FBOs)”, by 2nd February. While issuing the first phase guidelines for direct selling FBOs to ensuring food safety, FSSAI commented, “it is necessary to address all ways in which food is supplied to consumers, including sale of food by direct selling companies. With the new guidelines, we want to ensure that direct selling FBOs contain mechanism to help the general public to address the issues to consume, safe and wholesome food supplied through operation of this model.” According to the guideline, a direct FBO has been defined as an entity selling food product directly to consumers or through network of their agents, representatives, consultants, direct distributors.
FSSAI said direct selling FBOs would require to take license from it for activities related to the business, including manufacturing, import, distribution and retailing among others. If the FBOs are operating in more than one state, then they would need to take licenses from the central licensing authority for their network of agents and salesman.
As per the draft guidelines, the FBOs would have to maintain proper records either manually or electronically of their business dealings, with complete details of their products, services, terms of contract, prices, income plan and details of direct selling agents among others. On the issue of consumer of complaints, FSSAI said the direct selling FBOs would be responsible for maintaining effective grievance redressal mechanism and will have to address issues within seven working days.