First Edition of National Spice Conference: 6th and 7th October 2022

09 Oct, 2022

GIZ DPP spices project in collaboration with World Spice Organization (WSO) and IDH - the sustainable trade initiative of Netherlands, organized a two-day National Spice Conference on 6th and 7th Oct in Mumbai to tackle the challenges regarding overall food safety. The conference witnessed the presence of over 300 delegates, including 100 farmers, along with other key government and industry stakeholders. The theme for the conference was “Food Safe Spices: Getting the Basics Right" and it consisted of FPOs, farmer groups, retailers, traders, exporters, and other service providers. The conference discussed emerging trends in food safety regulations, changing consumer and demand patterns, ground-level challenges for sustainability and biodiversity, innovations, and new trends in value chain partnerships.

Presentation on DPP Spices Project, ©GIZ/Dr. Rajpurohit

Key Highlights:

  • The Conference was attended by 300 delegates, including farmers and FPOs
  • Spice exports contribute around 10% of agricultural exports and 40% of horticulture exports
  • The Indian spice sector's contribution to the forex earnings through export has grown over 100 times in the last 35 years

Highlighting the spice industry's growth during the conference, D Sathiyan, Secretary of the Spices Board, said, "Indian spices exports crossed 4 billion US dollars in the last 2 years, covering more than 180 countries. The spice exports make up around 10% of the Agri exports and about 40% of the horticulture sector exports. India’s exports form only 15% of total spice production and the balance is consumed in the domestic market." The Spice Board Secretary highlighted that developing harmonised global standards for spices through the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) will make it easier for spices to be traded around the world. The spice industry needs to evolve to keep up with the international market practises and preferences. Several experts stated during the conference, that the supply chain must be strengthened by the participation of Farmer Producer Organisations.

Inoshi Sharma, Executive Director- Regulatory Compliance, FSSAI, said, “Conferences like this are extremely important as it provides an important platform to discuss grievances. For instance, maximum residue limits (MRL) are one of the primary concerns in the industry and FSSAI. The Ministry of Agriculture is the right entity to address complaints and suggestions/recommendations pertaining to the MRL setup. The role of industry players in checking adulterations is also very important, and this can be done by promoting rapid testing of products.”

The two-day conference with the theme "Food Safe Spices: Getting the Basics Right" covered important aspects like quality and food safety, innovations in the value chain, and sustainable and biodiversity-friendly practices; and facilitated discussion on challenges and ground realities in the presence of FPOs. The conference was attended by FSSAI, Spice Board and National Research Organization -IISR, and senior executives from leading spice-related firms.

Director FSSAI and Chairman WSO, ©GIZ/Poonam Pandey

Participants for National Spice Conference, ©GIZ/Poonam Pandey


About the project

The ‘Enhancement of Smallholder Spice Farmer’s Capacities in Sustainable Farming’ aims to strengthen the production of cardamom, cumin, and turmeric in four states of India - Kerala Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan - to increase the capacities of spice farmers to make production practices more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

The project is part of the Programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The lead executing agency for this project is AVT McCormick. develop.PPP was set up by BMZ to involve the private sector in areas where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap. Read More

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