The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has unveiled a provision called ‘Special Category’ within the online Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) portal. FSSAI has issued a press release on this category on 26th September, 2023.
The ‘Special Category’ provision is designed to empower and promote women and transgender entrepreneurs in the food industry. This initiative acknowledges the importance of creating an inclusive and diverse environment within the sector, ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds have an equitable chance to thrive in the food business.
Under this new provision, Licensing and Registering Authorities will process ‘Special Category’ applications in a manner that maintains a one-to-one ratio alongside regular applications. This means that for every standard application received, a ‘Special Category’ application will also be processed, ensuring that neither category accumulates a backlog of pending applications. The balanced processing approach will help streamline the registration and licensing process for all applicants, irrespective of their gender identity.
One of the key aspects of this initiative is the method of identifying individuals eligible for the ‘Special Category.’ This identification process will take place during the application submission stage, and it will involve Aadhaar/PAN authentication to ensure the transparency and accuracy of the categorization.
The introduction of the ‘Special Category’ provision in the FoSCoS portal is a testament to FSSAI’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and gender equality within the food industry. By creating a level playing field and actively promoting the participation of women and transgender entrepreneurs, FSSAI aims to nurture a thriving and equitable food business ecosystem in India.