Value addition in the Indian food industry Ushering in a new Era

India, a subtropical country with varied agro-climatic conditions, is suited for the growth of varied fruits, vegetables and spices which form an integral part of the food of Indian households. The country has enjoyed enviable position in the world in the growth of many agricultural commodities. The Indian food has always been cooked in the aromas of Indian spices which are good for health, add to the taste and provide richness to it recipes.

There is a perceptible change in the way food lands up in our homes for being eaten. This change has been due to the impetus given to the growth of the agro-processing units which convert the raw food materials into processed and semi-processed foods, ready to be eaten by the people with a few minutes of preparation. This value addition in the form of packaged foods has led to some diversion of the raw materials from the markets to the industries.

This value addition has made things a lot simpler for the people who no longer have to first accumulate all the ingredients including the common table salt and then wait for the food to be cooked. This has also introduced more variety in the Indian food market, giving more choices of delicious cuisines to the consumers. The earlier versions of the packed food available in the markets were the spice blends in the form of the famous chat masala. The recent movements are not confined to the spice blends only but these are now moving towards the agro-commodities offering the ready-to-eat recipes of delicious cuisines.

The packed food is long lasting. Suitable preservatives and the climate control features of the store give it a longer shelf life than the raw or the cooked food. Further, the food can be made ready for eating within minutes. So, you can have the instant drink in the form of tea or coffee ready within minutes. Another important feature of these value added foods is that there are well defined quality norms which make this food retain its nutritional and health value. The industries are governed by the relevant laws and all the operations take place is a totally hygienic environment with full quality control measures in place. What you get in the end is a quality product having all ingredients in definite proportions and with a standard and unique taste of its own.

Earlier, the type of food which was most commonly launched in the packed form was the snacks items or the so called junk food, such as noodles. However, there has been a shift. Now, the focus of agro-processed food is turning to the main course foods as well as the desserts and the instant drink. Further, there has been an increase in the number and variety of these processed products. There has also been a growth in the number of brands available in the market. With consumers liking these products, there are likely to be many more additions in the product range in the near future.

Pros And Cons Of A Federal Auto Industry Bailout

Pro 1: Eco Cars
If the bailout money works the way it is supposed to and pulls the big three out of the hole, good things could potentially come of it. One proposal is that after being saved the automakers could be pushed to manufacture and sell cars that are both good for the environment and economy.

Con 1: Taxpayer Cash
Perhaps the most obvious con, it is no secret that we will all be helping bail these companies out. Although it is still unknown where the money may or may not come from, taxpayer cash will be included for sure. Bloggers, business leaders, and experts are expressing their frustration about this all over the Internet.

Pro 2: Recession Woes
While most are already feeling the effects of a recession on their wallets and gas tanks, it could be a lot worse if something else big happens. Some experts feel not bailing out the big three could result in a much deeper and more severe recession then we are already in. With thousands of jobs connected to the auto companies and stocks across the board, their downfall could have a large effect on our economy.

Con 2: Bankruptcy
One of the only other options for GM and the rest of the big three is to file bankruptcy under chapter 11. It is true that we have already assisted these companies financially this year and it helped them for few months. For this reason, some economists feel another bailout would just be like bailing out a sinking ship that is going to sink no matter what we do. Bankruptcy however, could be their only salvation, and many experts claim that it could be their best option. Michael Levine of the Wall Street Journal claims, the cost of terminating dealers is only a fraction of what it would cost to rebuild GM to become a company sized and marketed appropriately for its market share. Contracts would have to be bought out. The company would have to shed many of its fixed obligations. Some obligations will be impossible to cut by voluntary agreement. GM will run out of cash and out of time.

Pro 3: Prior Success
As history tends to repeat itself, I think it important to consider the Chrysler bailout of 1979. In the mid 70’s while our country was going through a gas crisis, Chrysler refused to stop making their biggest most gas guzzling luxury cars. This mistake led them to requesting a bailout in late 79. However, to the surprise of the watching country, Chrysler came out with the “K-car” that sold like hot cakes and pulled the company out of a financial crisis. Chrysler then paid off their debt to the government 7 years early, and the government made over $660 million in profit from the bailout when all was said and done. Many people claim that if given another bailout, the auto companies could pull themselves out from near bankruptcy, and the federal government could generate revenue as well.

Con 3: Private Jet-setting
Unfortunately, when the CEO’s of the big three traveled to Washington D.C. to request billions from taxpayers early this week, all three CEO’s took private jets with round trip travel costs totaling of over $40,000 per CEO. This ostentatious show of wealth was considered highly disrespectful to the taxpayers about to consider bailing them out and created tons of bad publicity for the potential bailout. If companies are going to get taxpayers money, then we need to know that they are being frugal with it.