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Coca-Cola, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to train 50,000 Vendors in serving Safe and Hygienic Street Food

The move was also touted as a step in the direction of the central government’s flagship Skill India programme

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Street Food in India, Wikimedia

New Delhi, March 27, 2017: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Coca-Cola joined hands on Monday to train over 50,000 small-time street food vendors in hygiene and health-related aspects of food selling, starting from April.

The Coca-Cola India (CCI) and the FSSAI will, under the latter’s “Safe and Nutritious Food – A Shared Responsibility” theme, will provide training to the street food vendors, starting with Ludhiana in Punjab before moving on to other states.

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The move was also touted as a step in the direction of the central government’s flagship Skill India programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said: “Coca-Cola India is enthusiastic about partnering with FSSAI to make a significant contribution to improving the lives of the vendors and also enhancing the eating out experience for consumers. Coca-Cola India has already taken several steps towards skill enhancement, both in social as well as sporting arenas under Skill India.”

This is not the first time that the American soft drink-maker would be launching such a training drive. “Parivartan”, its flagship initiative, is in its 10th year and was launched well before the company came up with any Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme.

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“Coca-Cola India has been training ‘kirana’ (provisions) retailers for the past ten years under their flagship retailer training initiative – Parivartan. This collaboration with FSSAI provides an opportunity and broadens the horizons of Coca-Cola’s Parivartan initiative,” Kini said.

The training would be completely bona fide and there would be no compulsion to stock or sell their products, he added.

The FSSAI, which has also been training street vendors for years, has run such initiatives in Delhi and other states with help of the National Association of Street Vendors of India. During its previous campaigns, it was able to train 20,000 such vendors.

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“The idea this time is to touch the lives of every Indian, wherever he may be living, and help him get the cleanest possible food,” FSSAI CEO Pawan Aggarwal said at the event.

The training will include screening of audio-visual material and acquainting vendors on managing inventory, stock, and how to keep the water from getting contaminated further, keeping in view the role of infected water as the cause of most diseases. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Coca-Cola Retains Power to Kill some Health Research

However, while contracts show Coca-Cola does not control day-to-day conduct, the company retains various rights throughout the process

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Soda, sugar-sweetened beverages in frame.

Coca-Cola supports research in the fields of nutrition, physical inactivity and energy balance, but a contract mechanism could allow the American soft drink giant to “quash” findings from some of the health research it funds, reveals a new study from University of Cambridge.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, identified several clauses in legal documents that give the company early sight of any findings, combined with the right to “terminate without reason” and walk away with the data and intellectual property.

Taken together, these clauses could suppress “critical health information” and indeed may have done so already, according to the study’s authors.

The researchers examined over 87,000 documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

“It is certainly true that the contracts we have found allow for unfavourable developments or findings to be quashed prior to publication,” said lead author Sarah Steele, a policy researcher from Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies.

The authors argued that the clauses contravene Coca-Cola’s commitments to transparent and “unrestricted” support for science, which came after criticism of the opaque way some major food corporations fund health research.

“Coca-Cola have declared themselves at the forefront of transparency when it comes to food and beverage giants funding health research. In fact, our study suggests that important research might never see the light of day and we would never know about it,” Steele said.

“We are already hearing accusations from experts in nutrition that the food industry is copying tactics from big tobacco’s playbook. Corporate social responsibility has to be more than just shiny websites stating progressive policies that get ignored,” Steele added.

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The “soft drinks” were defined as caffeinated colas, caffeine-free colas and other carbonated beverages (such as diet ginger ale). Pixabay

Consumption of high calorie, low nutrient food and drink is believed to be a major factor in the childhood obesity epidemic.

US Right to Know, a non-profit consumer and public health research group, submitted 129 Freedom of Information requests between 2015 and 2018 relating to academics at North American institutions who received Coca-Cola funding.

The research team combed through the vast tranche of resulting documents and discovered five research agreements made with four universities: Louisiana State University, University of South Carolina, University of Toronto and the University of Washington.

The funded work includes “energy flux and balance” studies and research on beverage intake during exercise.

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Coca-Cola’s own transparency website declares that scientists retain full control over their research and the company has no right to prevent publication of results.

However, while contracts show Coca-Cola does not control day-to-day conduct, the company retains various rights throughout the process.

These include the right to receive updates and comment on findings prior to research publication, and the power to terminate studies early without reason, the study said. (IANS)