In India, food processing sector is one of the largest sectors in terms of production, growth, consumption and export. The country’s geographical situation gives it the unique advantage of connectivity to other continents and countries.

To invigorate the economy and simplify the convoluted export process, the Government of India has established the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).

To start the export business, a company must have

  • PAN card,
  • IEC (Importer -Exporter Code),
  • Current account in a bank authorized to deal in foreign exchange.

Under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985, every person exporting any one or more of the Scheduled products shall apply to Authority to be registered as an exporter of the Scheduled product or Scheduled products. The Registration-Cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) is issued once the exporter has signed up through APEDA website, filled in the basic details, IEC Code, email ID and submitted the required documents and the registration fees.

Few of the inherent steps involved in the export of food products are listed below:

  1. Selecting the product range and the international market: The first step is to finalize the product range and the international market which the exporter intends to target. A market research or a study can help the exporter to make the right decision.
  2. Contacting the prospective buyer: The complete product list along with their specifications and prices are shared with the prospective buyer. If the quotes are satisfactory, buyer asks to be provided with the sample of the product. The samples are then sent to the buyer and if the samples are approved, buyer sends a formal purchase order.
  3. Processing of order: The processing of the order involves:
  • Procuring raw material
    The preliminary step is to procure the raw materials for processing.
  • Processing the raw material and complying to the international quality standards
    For example, in case of the export of mangoes to the South Korea, the vapor heat treatment or hot water treatment shall be conducted on each consignment in a registered facility under the supervision of plant quarantine inspectors of Korea and/or India.
  • Packaging and Labeling according to the regulations of the importing country
    In case of the export of mangoes to Japan , each package shall bear a mark at easily recognized place such as on its sides:

  • Preparing the required documents for export
    During the processing of an export order, various documents might be required such as phytosanitary certificate, transaction certificate, fumigation certificate, shipping bill, bill of lading, health certificate, etc.
  • Dispatching goods
    After the final inspection by custom officers, the goods are dispatched to the importing country.

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