Cold Storage License, Permission, Guidelines in India

How to get license for setting up a cold storage in India: Before going into the subject actually you need to know the details about the agricultural production, its fresh produce and its export, amount of the product getting rot, etc. Why the sudden raises in the prices of vegetables and the greenery etc. Coming into the point lots of agricultural production is damaged due to the lack of proper cold storage especially in India.

A guide to getting a cold storage license, permission in India

What is cold storage: Cold-storage is the place of availability where you can walk-in and use the freezer space for storing your food products as well as pharmaceuticals. A cold storage unit is a setup of refrigeration system maintaining or regulating temperatures at controlled level. The purpose of the cold storage is to retard the level of microbial growth and for storage commodities.

Principle in setting up a cold storage unit is of two types. This includes Vapour Absorption System-VAS and the Vapour Compression System –VCS with facilitating the three types of cold storage units like modular refrigerator rooms’ industrial rooms and combination refrigerator rooms.

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How to Apply for Cold Storage License.
How to Apply for Cold Storage License.

Cold storage units are essential for storing, protecting and preserving the fresh r perishable food products along with the dairy products.

Why is cold storage essential in India

There are large numbers of varieties of vegetables and fruits are grown in India. Over the number of years India progressed with a great success by increasing the number of exports such as ready-to-serve beverages, fruits juices, fruit pulps, vegetable products and other processed fruits. Even though we have progressed enormously but one third of the horticultural products which makes up to 500 billion every year are getting wasted due to the unavailability of proper storage facilities in India. Improper harvesting also adds to the wastage of the products.

Is agricultural marketing directly linked with cold storage

Yes, this absolutely right and the increase in number of cold storage units increases the potential agricultural outputs in India. But the post-harvested management should be maintained properly. Increase in the number of cold storage units increases the cold chain management which in turn can manage the fruits and vegetable production and storage efficiently.

Why to start a cold storage business

Recently you might have observed the sudden rise of the vegetables and fruits in the market. This is due to the lack of proper storage capacity which makes the price increase to its higher and unexpected levels. To maintain a proper gradual rise in the market cold storage are required which can store the vegetables and fruits without getting damaged.

Hence, in this point of view the cold storage makes a profitable business with bright growth prospects as the demand for the perishable food products such as vegetables, fruits and dairy products are increasing day-by-day. Rather there are few issues in this sector as there is a little difficulty in infrastructure as well as in managing the fresh produce.

How to start a cold storage unit

Cold storage units comes under the small scale sectors, where you can avail the guidance from the Horticulture Board or other related local IAS office department. You can avail the license for cold storage unit in FSSAI online. The FSSAI license is sanctioned based on the type of the registration needed. You can note the following example to get the simple registration, Form A or Food License Form B is necessary to apply license depending upon your annual turnover where as for the tiny FBO it only requires Food authority registration.

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Guidelines to setup the Cold Storage Unit in India

These are the important points which will guide you to make a perfect cold storage unit in India. These include-

  1. Make sure that the doors of the unit should be insulated in an adequate manner so that it should be maintained air tight.
  2. Storage racks should be constructed in such a way that they should never harm the workers working under it.
  3. For the proper distribution and circulation of air, the following directions has to be followed accurately. These includes passage between the rows of the racks should not be less than 0.76 mts, whereas the racks should be placed 20 cm apart from the walls of the floor in the unit.
  4. A gap of at least 30-40 cm should be maintained between the top level and the ceiling of the top most most shelf of every rack.
  5. The distance between the succeeding shelf should be at least 7.5 cm.

Food Safety License requirements

Food safety license is mandatory for all the food business operators under the section 92 belonging to the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and more importantly for Food Safety and Standard Regulation, 2010. This license meets the terms in accordance to safety, hygiene, and sanitary conditions as per the rules and regulations of the Act.

Application for permission to construct a cold storage unit in India

  1. First of all you need to download the Form-B from FSSAI website fill all the details and you can submit online after completing the form correctly.
  2. Personal E-mail ID which should be active along with the Mobile Number is compulsory.
  3. While applying check twice before entering the name of the FBO’s as it may create few disturbances and may delay your permission.
  4. After submitting the application online note the reference id carefully.
  5. Submit the license to the State Authority where you are planning to setup the cold storage or in the Regional office of FSSAI, which should be submitted within 15 days from the date of application submission.
  6. Documents includes Acknowledgement copy, online application form, fees payment in the form of Demand Draft or online payment proof, license copy and other supporting documents that are required.
  7. Proper temperature has to be maintained in the diffuser pipes. It should be +/-1°C, whereas the percentage of relative humidity should be around 5% in every place of the cold storage especially where the food stuffs are stored.
  8. The unit should also have the reading thermometers where the temperature can be known by dry bulb or the wet bulb. The number of thermometers in a unit will depends upon the size of the unit.
  9. All the moving parts should be provided with proper belt guards. Check for the proper insulation in the suction pipe.
  10. An alarm bell for emergency purpose should be placed in each room for safety measures.
  11. Always maintain a first aid box in machine room to treat the immediately if any sudden accidents occur.
  12. The pressure gauge with suitable range has to be provide in the receiver at the condenser of the refrigeration system. Construction of the cold storage meeting all the guidelines mentioned in the Annexure I to this schedule.

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Types of Licenses and their criteria

The criteria for registration or to avail the licensing for a cold storage unit are based on the storage capacity and the turnover of the unit.

  1. If the turnover of the unit is up to 12 lakhs per year then you need to obtain only the FSSAI certificate.
  2. If your annual turnover exceeds more than 12 lakhs and reached nearly 30 crores then you need to get the license from State Licensing Authority.
  3. If it crosses 30 crores per year then you need to avail license from Central licensing authority.
  4. If you have multiple units in different state or the same state at different places then you need to avail the license from the State or Central license for each unit meeting the above criteria and the main central license for your head office setup where you are planning for.

Factors considered for granting permission for construction of proposed cold storage

For granting the permission to get license in construction of proposed cold storage, the following factors has to be taken into consideration-

  1. The number of cold storage units operating the area where you are planning to start the unit.
  2. The availability of food stuffs for storing in cold storage units.
  3. Submission of the blue print of the cold storage units as per the specifications given in the Part C of Form B.
  4. Checking for the proper maintenance such as refrigeration, electrical, insulation, safety measures, and proper sanitary measures as per the Schedule.
  5. Qualification and the experience of the staff that you have employed for the cold storage unit and for maintaining the plant.
  6. Other documents which are requested by the Licensing officer during hi visits.

License Fee for Cold Storage Unit in India

  1. A unit with capacity exceeding 10,000 cubic metres costs around Rs. 5,000.
  2. The unit with 2500 cubic meters but not exceeding 10,000 cubic meters costs Rs. 2,500.
  3. The unit having the capacity in between 25 cubic meters to 2,500 cubic meters but not exceeding more than them includes Rs. 1.000.

Government Support by providing Subsidy

Government is supporting by providing subsidies to setup the cold storage chains nearby the agricultural farm itself for preservation of the food products. This is taken care by the MOFPI-Ministry of Food Processing Industries in India. Government is providing 50-75% of the total setup cost of the plant including machinery installation technical works, civil works etc. based on the geographical location where you wanted to setup the unit. The maximum amount to be sanctioned is Rs. 10 crores.

India is striving for improving the preservation of agricultural products at a higher production rate and it is also successfully implementing few subsidies for encouraging the entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the  nation’s economy and mainly t overcome the malnutrition in our country.

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