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FSSAI Introduces Smart Consumer App For Better Consumer Grievance Redressal

Ministry of Consumer Affairs along with FSSAI, food regulatory of India developed Smart Consumer app. Smart app is a mobile application which is consumer friendly and will enable regulatory compliance and connect with consumers very easily. The ‘Smart Consumer’ app was developed in 2016 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs; Food and Public Distribution in […]

Ministry of Consumer Affairs along with FSSAI, food regulatory of India developed Smart Consumer app. Smart app is a mobile application which is consumer friendly and will enable regulatory compliance and connect with consumers very easily.

The ‘Smart Consumer’ app was developed in 2016 by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs; Food and Public Distribution in association with GS1 India – A standard body set up by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, along with BIS, ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, APEDA, FIEO, IIP, IMC and Spices Board. It was launched on Dec 24, 2016.

Food Safety & Standards Authority of India has established a network integration with ‘Smart Consumer’ app to provide better consumer access particularly towards quick & satisfactory resolution of the grievances. Smartapp is a robust, effective and efficient system of redressing consumer complaints relating to food apart from providing information about smart buying tips and claim busters.

With this objective, a National Conference under the broad theme “Enabling Regulatory Compliance and Connecting with Consumers” was jointly organized by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and GS1 India.

In a session  Shri Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI, addressed the need of enhancing the usability of channels as to provide an effective mechanism for grievance redress. He said- “We want to make sure that no complaint goes unresolved and hence, integration with appropriate channels is relevant. The integration will enable consumers to get more visibility to FSSAI License numbers/ certificates, product recall alerts and customer complaint module for reporting food quality and safety related issues directly to FSSAI through scanning of barcodes (which use GTIN – Global Trade Item Number) on consumer products through the ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile app”.

This consumer oriented ‘Smart Consumer’ app is intended to benefit consumers in confirming that food products being purchased by them are from FSSAI registered/licensed manufacturing units. The app provides product attribute information such as product name, manufacturer details, month & year of manufacture, sale price (MRP), net content and consumer care details to submit complaints.

The mobile app connects consumers digitally with manufacturers/suppliers using their customer care contact details for speeding redressal of complaints. The app would also enable consumers to access all marking/labelling information of products, effortlessly, which in several instances is difficult to read on the product label. When a product’s barcode is scanned or its barcode number (GTIN) is entered, it displays all product related information on the Smart Consumer App.

DataKart developed by GS1 India is an online cloud-based service. It is a standardized way to store and exchange product data. It is based both on B2B (for example, product dimensions, weights etc.) and B2C (for example, ingredients and recipes). DataKart enables seamless upload, storage and distribution of B2B and B2C information between brand owners and retailers.  This can then be leveraged to meet data needs across multiple channels.

Finally, GS1 India provided a detailed roadmap on how Indian Retail Industry could comply with Regulatory requirements and exchange product information amongst stakeholders through DataKart.

References:

  1. File No. 13 (14) 2017/Concern/Enf/FSSAI/Vol-I. Incorporation of FSSAI license number and Expiry date in “Smart Consumer” mobile app to empower consumers with Digital Product Information- reg. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Uploaded on April 12, 2017.Accessed on:06.02.2019
  2. FSSAI Press Release- FSSAI pushes for an enhanced consumer grievance redress system through integration with Smart Consumer’ app. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Uploaded on September 13, 2017. Accessed on:06.02.2019.
  3. GS1 and Public Policy Case Study. Smart Consumer app enables Indian Government to provide product information to consumers. Available at: at- https://www.gs1.org/public-policy/case-studies/asia-pacific/smart-consumer-app-enables-indian-government-provide-product-information-consumers.Accessed on Jan 22, 2019
  4. National Conference on Enabling Regulatory Compliance & Connecting with Consumers. 12 September 2017. Available at: at https://gs1india.org/content/national-conference-on-enabling-regulatory-compliance-connecting-with-consumers. Accessed on 22 January 2019.

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