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    Sri Lanka to establish first pro food test lab Featured

    January 24, 2016

    In a new turn for Sri Lanka’s processed food sector, the first ever specialised Lankan scientific laboratory to test food products is to be unveiled this year. The new lab is expected to perform more than 500 food tests a month and more than 40% of Lankan MSMEs are involved in the food sector!

    This was revealed recently by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the launch event of “Pro Food-Pro Pack-Ag Biz” exhibition to be be held at BMICH from August 12 to 14.


    He said that Sri Lanka’s first laboratory for processed food testing is now being prepared by the Industrial Development Board (IDB) under his Ministry and it is expected to launch the lab this year. The new lab can perform many well-known processed food tests such as Microbiology, shelf life and “salmonella”. These tests are also important to obtain SLS certifications for processed foods going to the stores, he added.


    “Pro Food-Pro Pack-Ag Biz” which is one of the largest food, beverages, packaging and agri-business fairs in South Asia, will draw this year prospective agents and manufacturers from Sri Lanka and abroad along with Sri Lanka’s leading food, packaging and agri machinery suppliers, including MSMEs in attendance. The comprehensive event is expected to be a one stop shop for business, trade and also a networking platform for these sectors. Delegations from China, India, Germany, Thailand, Malaysia, and Pakistan have already confirmed their participation.

    “Since the launch of this series in 2001, there has been much progress in the processed food sector by way of improvements in technology packaging product development and marketing. It is also good to note that the local and overseas participation have been significantly improving and growing. We believe that more than 40% of our MSMEs are in food processing sector. This sector is therefore highly significant in our planning. This year’s event has a special pavilion for MSMEs. We understand that innovation, research & development are vital in the development of this sector."


    "It is also important to introduce latest global food trends such as Nutraceuticals to our sector-this is a major food trend. Therefore, there will be R&D organisations such as Universities of Wayamba Sabragamuwa Peradeniya and Sri Jayawardenepura as well as ITI Institute of Post-Harvest Technology joining this August’s exhibition. This series is only one of the initiatives by my Ministry to help the processed food and packaging sector. There are several other major initiatives to develop the food and packaging sector by us as well” ” said Minister Bathiudeen.


    Another initiative is the assistance scheme called Food Quality Certification Program. This was established to support food and packaging industry firms to receive such international certifications as ISO 22000 HACCP and GMP. With IDB we are also currently conducting a pilot project to upgrade Sri Lankan SME Food Processors to enhance their food manufacturing technology and international standards.


    The Ministry is also preparing loan facilities to the food processing sector. Loans are available upto Rs 7.5 million at 8% interest for machinery upgrade through the SMILE III project.

    The Pro Food-Pro Pack Ag Biz fair is three exhibitions in one. The series of exhibitions were first formulated and initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) in 2006 as “Pro Food Pro Pack”. This year’s event too, is endorsed and supported by MIC.

    Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 14:16

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