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The Food Products Order, 1955 was promulgated under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The FPO mark full form is the Food Products Order (FPO) mark applied to food products sold in India. The FPO mark is a mandatory certification mark for all processed fruit products sold in India, such as fruit jams, packaged fruit beverages, crushes and squashes, dehydrated fruit products, pickles, and fruit extracts.
The FPO mark guarantees that the food products are manufactured in a hygienic and food-safe environment, ensuring that the product is fit for consumption. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries develops food safety hygiene standards and issues the FPO mark certification to processed food manufacturers. The FPO mark for food products was followed by the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act of 2006.
In India, the FPO certificate has been effective since 1955, but it became mandatory for manufacturers only after 2006, after the enactment of the FSS Act. FPO mark is necessary to start a fruit processing unit or industry in India. All food processors must have an FPO licence to carry out their operations and abide by the guidelines to continue their food business.
The objective of the FPO mark is to regulate the fruits and vegetable processing sector. The government introduced it to guarantee that food products are manufactured hygienically and specific quality standards are maintained.
The manufacturers must ensure that the food products manufactured should adhere to the prescribed guidelines and specifications. Thus, it ensures customers’ confidence regarding the food products’ quality.
Every food processing manufacturer should submit Form A (Application for Licence) as provided under the first schedule of the Food Products Order, 1955, to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The manufacturer must fill in the below details in the licence application:
The following documents are needed to be submitted to get the FPO certification:
The Food Products Order, 1955 stands repealed by the Food Safety and Standards (FFS) Act, 2006. FPO mark was in action since 1955 and had become a defunct order. In 2006, under the new FSS Act, all previous certificates, registrations and licences (including FPO mark and certificate) lost their legal status. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) became the sole food standard and regulatory authority for the food industries across India.
Thus, FSSAI issues the FSSAI licence for food and fruit products manufactured under the FPO certificate. After 2006, the manufacturers having FPO marks had to apply mandatorily for an FSSAI certificate and put the FSSAI mark with the licence number on their products to continue manufacturing food products. Currently, the manufacturers of food products must comply with the safety, quality and hygiene standards prescribed under the FSS Act.
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