Apart from traditional sectors, the ‘nutraceutical’ and medicinal properties of spices should be explored, said J S Deepak, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He was delivering the inaugural address at the 12th World Spice Congress (WSC) 2014, here on Sunday. He said processed, packaged and branded spice products should be exported from the country more.
“The government wants the next World Spice Congress to be held in a global platform wherein we will seek active participation from global spice associations from other spice producing countries like the Sri Lanka. India exports only 10 per cent of the total production of spices, yet we hold a business share of 45 per cent in the global spice market. This clearly indicates the magnitude of the opportunity and for this value added products are the key,” he said. While mentioning the importance of maintaining quality standards, Deepak said the private sector can play a role in this regard.
“Once the harmonisation of global quality standards for spices and culinary herbs as envisaged by Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) becomes a reality, India has a better chance in the global market. This in turn is expected to facilitate international spice trade through better transparency. The government expects that this will come into effect soon,” he said.
CCSCH was set up by Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), the influential body that sets global food standards. Deepak further said spices are not only a business but it affects the livelihood of many people in the country. Hence the government is committed to extend its full hearted support to the sector. Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak said the World Spice Congress looks forward to threadbare deliberations setting up a momentum for action to raise food safety and maintain sustainability.
“The congress will set up a forum for discussion on crops, markets and recent trends in this industry. The event will explore methods that can be implemented practically. The Spice Congress is an opportunity for the global community to come together,” he said.
All India Spice Exporters’ Forum chairman Geemon K Korah spoke. Over 700 delegates from 40 countries are participating in the congress, which will conclude on February 19.