India Food & Wine Show Coverage: French Embassy’s Perspective

ifows_francea.jpg Minister Counsellor, Marc Fonbaustier from the French Embassy said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be here at the inauguration of the 5th edition of “India food & Wine Show 2007”, an event that has certainly come a long way since its inception in 2002. When Rajiv Malhotra, Director of Lotus Exhibition, presented his salon project in 2002, specially focusing on wines and fine food at the Embassy of France in India, the market was far different from what it is today.

When Rajiv Malhotra, Director of Lotus Exhibition, presented his salon project in 2002, specially focusing on wines and fine food at the Embassy of France in India, the market was far different from what it is today. This was five years ago. And yet, the Embassy believed in this innovative project because it concerned a category of products that had never found a place in an exhibition of this kind , because it was to take place in a great country, India, whose refinement needs no proof.
Today, from the perspective of foreign companies, it is by all means a landmark event in the fine food and wine business in India- a gold mine of opportunities for those who are eager to venture into this market.
Thus, France is the present for the 5th consecutive years at this salon. 20 companies from major regions in France are participating to help you discover their specialties. Why?
– It has become imperative for all Indian professionals, who must meet domestics demands that are increasingly higher and more sophisticated. This is in the context of the rapidly growing economy of India and its 300 million –strong middle class that events such as the India Food & Wine Show are indispensable to test the waters of success.
– But IFOWS is not just an economic stake, the reflection of a quantitative growth. It is also a cultural challenge. This is the sign that India’s expansion is also qualitative, that India produces goods and services, creates wealth, while opening herself to world. She is tasting its pleasures, discovering diversity and new sensations, and attaining vast horizons
– IFOWS, is at heart, the meeting of all countries which ascribe great value- a social, aesthetic and hedonic value- to the act of eating and drinking. India and France, two countries with old gastronomic traditions, could not but meet.
France is therefore happy to participate again this year in this odyssey of taste. She does so with the diversity of her regions, her territories, and her productions.
– As you are aware, France is the world’s largest producer of wines. For centuries, she has enjoyed the status of being the benchmark for wines, albeit a legacy of the Romans during the time of Julius Caesar. As the famous French lawyer, magistrate and politician, Jean Anthelme Brillat- Savarin, perhaps better known as the greatest food critic ever, wrote in his book “Physiologie du gout” (The Physiology of Taste), and I quote, “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine”. It demonstrates most aptly the importance of wine in French culture, cuisine and way of living. The consumption of wine has become a veritable societal phenomenon in India. Persuaded perhaps- as the Nobel Laureate Louis Pasteur said in the last century- that wine is the healthiest and most hygienic of beverages, the Indian consumer has voted overwhelmingly in favour of this beverage. In 2003, the market stood at 3 million litres. In 2005, it was evaluated at 6 million . In 2006, and in the period of one year, more than 10 million litres would have been consumed. France accounts for almost half of India’s wine imports, and our market share has not stopped growing, while local production had witnessed a meteoric development. 15 French wine exhibitors are representing here the majority of French wine-producing regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy, but also Languedoc-Roussillon, which participated in a major way last year, and has come back this year with several producers.
– The rest of French gastronomy, represented in the current edition, is no less significant. Our offer is ever-increasing. This provides great satisfaction to our Embassy. You will find syrups, chocolates, bakery products that you may taste at our stands today, and tomorrow in the numerous shops in India, which will henceforth stock our products.
– French cuisine will also be well-represented during this edition with the presence of Cordob Bleu, which will sponsor, for the second consecutive year, the Culinary Cup which gathers India’s most talented Chefs from across the country. Chef Fabrice DANNIEL, one of the most gifted Chefs of France with formidable, long- established international experience, will be the president of the Cordon Bleu/ IFOWS Culinary Cup jury. The winner will go to Paris to attend the prestigious Cordon Bleu programmes, which have 30 schools all over the world, and has already trained more than 20, 000 students of 70 nationalities.
French wine and food are probably amongst the best Ambassadors of France in the world, far more convincing than what humble diplomats can be. After you will have tasted our products and listened to this brief speech, I’m sure that you will not disagree with me.
Anyway, IFOWS has certainly set the trend for India palates to explore all new tastes. I would like to congratulate the organizers, Rajiv and Vandana Malhotra, for the huge effort they have put in to make this possible. I also wish , for the French side, to thank deeply SOPEXA, which has once again played a major role to set up the French team. I congratulate all the French participants in particular for their decision to come to Delhi and show their art and skills. I would also like to wish all the exhibitors and visitors a very successful and fruitful participation in IFOWS 2007. Let it be an occasion for business as well as personal discovery of all these foods and wines, which are very seductive face of global economy.
Thank You.

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