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Cold Storage: A Step by Step Guide for Setting Up A Cold Storage Facility and Government Subsidy

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Cold Storage

Cold storage refers to a freezer area where you can store your products. Products can be food items, pharmaceutical medicines etc. The entire setup of cold storage is used as a refrigeration system for a controlled and regulated temperature space. The main aim behind a cold storage is to not allow growth of microbes and for storing commodities which require a cold environment. Basically there are 2 types of cold storage facilities namely, VAS (Vapour Absorption System) and VCS (Vapour Compression System). Similarly, cold storage units can be differentiated into 3 types namely, industrial rooms, combination refrigerator rooms and modular refrigerator rooms.

Why and how to start a cold storage facility:

In recent times, lack of cold storage has led to abundance of fruits and vegetables in the market. In order to maintain a steady inflow of food items into the market without being damaged, there is a need for cold storage in India.

Therefore, venturing into the cold storage business can be profitable in current times. Cold storage facilities fall under the small scale sector and the Horticulture Board and other related office departments provide guidance to any interested parties. The license for the cold storage facility is provided by FSSAI depending on the type of registration that is required. The application for the license is available online on the FSSAI website.

Cold storage facility setup guidelines:

Major points to keep in mind while preparing for setting up a cold storage facility:

Facility doors should be air tight and proper insulation has to be maintained.

- Workers working in the facility should not get harmed in any way. - Passage or space between the rows of the rack should be atleast .76 mts. Also the racks placement should be 20 centimeter apart from the walls of the floor in the storage unit. This will result in proper circulation of air in the unit. - 30 to 40 centimeter gap has to be maintained between the ceiling and the top most shelf of the rack.

- The space between every succeeding shelf has to be 7.5 centimeter. Requirements for Food Safety License:

Under section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, every food business operator requires a food safety license. The same goes for the Food Safety and Standard Regulation, 2010. This certificate depicts that all the regulations and norms with regards to hygiene, safety and sanitary conditions are met according to the act.

Process and requirements of application for attaining the permission for setting up a cold storage facility in India:

- Download the Form-B from the FSSAI website and later fill in all the required details and submit the same online after filling up.

- Make sure that the email ID that you mentioned in the form is active and the same applies for your mobile number.

- Check the name of the FBO several times as any discrepancy will lead to delay in permission.

- Keep hold of the reference ID that will be generated while submitting the online application for further use.

- License has to be submitted to the state authority where the planned cold storage facility has to be set up or you can submit the same in the regional office of FSSAI. The license has to be submitted within 15 days of submission of application.

- Major required documents will include online application form, acknowledgement copy, DD for offline payment or online payment proof, license copy and few other supporting documents.

- Temperature in the diffuser pipes should range between plus or minus 1 degree Celsius and humidity should be maintained at around 5 % all around the storage unit.

- Reading thermometers should be present in the storage facility and their numbers will depend on the size of the facility.

- Proper belt guards should be present with moving parts and insulation in the suction pipe should be up to the mark.

- Alarm should be present in all rooms. Machine room should have a first aid kit for emergencies.

- Pressure gauge should be present in the receiving end of the condenser of the refrigeration system.

License types and their criteria:

The registration criteria and license for the cold storage facility is based on the storage capacity and the total turnover of the storage unit.

- Only FSSAI certificate is required, if the turnover of the storage unit is under 12 lakhs per annum.

- License from the State Licensing Authority license will be needed in case your turnover for the storage unit is more than 12 lakhs and up to an upper limit of 30 crores.

- License from the Central Licensing Authority will be needed in case your turnover for the storage unit is more than 30 crores.

- If there are multiple units in several states or in the same state, then you should possess a separate license for each unit from the state or central authorities. Also a central license has to be obtained for the head office.

License Fees:

- Cold facility unit with a capacity more than 10000 cubic meters will cost around 5000 rupees. - Cold facility units with a capacity between 2500 cubic meters and not exceeding 10000 cubic meters will cost around 2500 rupees. - Cold facility units with a capacity between 25 cubic meters and not exceeding 2500 cubic meters will cost around 1000 rupees.

Government subsidy schemes for cold storage:

Government provides subsidies for setting up cold storage facilities near agricultural farms for the conservation of produce. Ministry of Food Processing Industries in India (MOFPI) takes care of the subsidy part in India.

A total of 50 to 75 percent of the total setup cost of the facility is covered under Govt. supported schemes. Setup costs include cost related to machinery installation, technical and civil works etc. The location for the setup of the facility is important and the maximum amount that can be sanctioned is 10 Crores.

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