India's Lockdown Halts F&F Ingredient Production

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The Government of India has issued a 21-day lockdown order for the entire country. Prime Minister Narenda Modi made the announcement on March 24, 2020 and the lockdown went into effect at 12 a.m. on March 25, 2020.

While the order makes mention of exemptions for “Manufacturing units of essential commodities” there is no clear-cut list of what that entails1.

Perfumer & Flavorist associate editor Alex Mackenzie was able to gain some insights into the matter from the president of the Fragrances & Flavours Association of India, Rishabh Kothari.

Alex Mackenzie [AM]: Are flavor and fragrance manufacturers permitted to continue production as they are necessary elements in essential products such as cleaning products and food? 

Rishabh Kothari [RK]: As of now all such manufacturing units are shut down. As these permissions are to be taken at the State Government level, companies are approaching the authorities seeking permission for the same. The challenge is not just continuing with production, but all related activities necessary to maintain the supply chain from labor, logistics and paperwork. Even essential services are facing the same challenge for if pharma production is considered essential production, the consequent packaging material required including PET bottles, or even printing labels, becomes a part of the activity and the authorities are hard-pressed to allow everyone for eventually such permissions make the lockdown meaningless.  

[AM]: Have the restrictions on travel been impacting the ability to receive raw materials?  

[RK]: Absolutely. All surface, rail and air transportation is suspended, almost all logistic companies have their offices shut down, so there is little or no opportunity to receive or send raw materials.

[AM]: Do you foresee the travel restrictions causing issues with distribution and export of flavor and fragrance ingredients and/or finished products? 

[RK]: Yes, with permissions to operate likely to be hard to come by, and arbitrary in any case, production as well as exports are likely to be adversely impacted. Extraction, production and processing of natural ingredients including essential oils and spice oils have come to a stand-still and will adversely impact supply.




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