High-Level GCCA Delegation Launches New Cold Chain Initiatives in India

December 01, 2010

Programs reinforce commitment from President Obama to help India with new technologies to reduce post-harvest losses

WASHINGTON, DC, December 1, 2010 – A high-level delegation from the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) visited India in November 2010 to help advance new programs and technology to improve cold chain operations in what has become one of the world’s leading food-producing nations.

The delegation was led by Mike McClendon (Chairman of the World Food Logistics Organization and President of Richmond Cold Storage). Other members of the delegation included Mark Blanchard (Chairman of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and President and CEO of NOCS), Bill Hudson (GCCA President and CEO), and Neal Rider (IARW Board Member and President of Americold -- the largest public refrigerated warehousing company in the world).

Arriving just days after U.S. President Barack Obama visited India to pledge greater U.S. support for enhancing food security and technology improvements to reduce postharvest losses and strengthen the market for food products; the delegation was the first to meet with U.S. Ambassador to India Tim Roemer following the Obama mission.

"GCCA has become the premier cold chain organization in India, creating relationships with industry, academia, and government that advance the Indian cold chain," said GCCA President and CEO Bill Hudson. "Our visit was timed perfectly because the key players in India are highly focused on improving technology, training, and operations throughout the cold chain."

Key accomplishments during the visit included:

  • Meeting with leaders of India’s National Horticultural Board (NHB), which has oversight over all government cold chain initiatives in India. NHB and GCCA have agreed to work together to develop industry training.
  • Receiving a commitment from U.S. Commercial Officers in India to assist U.S.-based GCCA members interested in doing business in India.
  • Discussions with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency regarding a study mission for Indian industry professionals to the United States to see and purchase U.S. products exhibited at the IARW-WFLO Annual Convention and Expo in New Orleans in May 2011.
  • Meeting with Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, the Founder President of Amity Universities and Institutions. GCCA plans to sign an agreement with India's AMITY University to create a Cold Chain Training and Demonstration Center at AMITY, which will provide a laboratory for hands-on training in a temperature-controlled facility. The intent is to build the laboratory facility entirely with materials provided by GCCA members. The laboratory training will be complemented by a certification program at AMITY University for cold chain managers. The program will be developed with resources provided by the World Food Logistics Organization, a GCCA Core Partner.
  • Obtaining a $250,000 pledge from Dr. Chauhan for AMITY University and GCCA to jointly launch a training program in rural areas in India that will educate farmers on proper postharvest handling procedures. The program also aims to train instructors so that postharvest best practices can be shared from village to village.
  • Attending the second India Cold Chain Expo (ICE Expo) in New Delhi, organized by the GCCA India Division. The annual event was formally opened by Ashok Sinha, the Secretary of India’s Ministry of Food Processing & Industries. The New Delhi-based event attracted 1,200 attendees this year along with 46 exhibitors. The 2010 event focused on challenges in the Indian cold chain with particular emphasis on the growing temperature-controlled pharmaceutical industry in India. The ICE Expo is just one of the many initiatives the GCCA India Division has undertaken to advance the cold chain in the country.

Led by Director Atul Khanna, the current GCCA India office was launched in 2006. Since then, GCCA activities in India rapidly expanded to now include the ICE Expo, ICE Road Show, SUPCO (Skill Up - gradation Program for Cold Storage Operations) Workshop and ICE magazine, a publication solely dedicated to the cold chain industry in India.

With a growing membership and increased demand for a stronger cold chain, the GCCA India division is currently planning new ways to educate and reach members and the industry at large. This will include new technical "road shows" to be held in 2011 throughout India that will educate food supply chain professionals from every sector of the cold chain on best practices and new technologies. “These road shows will provide an effective interface between the industry and end-users,” Khanna said.

To learn more about GCCA India, visit http://gcca.in/india/ .

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Comprised of its Core Partners, including the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, the World Food Logistics Organization, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association, and the International Association for Cold Storage Construction, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) represents all major industries engaged in temperature-controlled logistics. GCCA unites partners to be innovative leaders in the temperature-controlled products industry. For more information about GCCA, visit www.gcca.org .

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