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Spices Board pushes exporters to use GI tags.


Date: 21-07-2016
Subject: Spices Board pushes exporters to use GI tags
KOCHI: In an effort to ensure  Indianess and supply authentic Indian spices, the Spices Board is making deliberate efforts to give them the Geographical Indication (GI) status. Now, eight different varieties of Pepper, Cardamom, Chilli and Ginger have received the GI status and the board is pushing exporters to slap the tag before exporting these spices in order to prevent foreign exporters take advantage of the ‘Indian Spices’ tage, which many have been doing thus far.

Spices and spice products exported from India declined by six per cent to 843,255 tonne in 2015-16 as against 893,920 tonne in the previous financial year. Mint products, cumin, coriander, ginger and large cardamom exports have registered a decline in volume terms.

A circular from the Spices Board has requested exporters to include Geographical Indication (GI) registration details on all branded spice products exported from India.

“As a measure to assure Indianess and supply authentic Indian spices, the board is proposing to include GI registration details on all the branded spices products exported from India,” said the circular.

A GI tag is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that place of origin, helping brand spices as premium products that cannot be matched by similar crops grown in other parts of the world. Several countries are importing pepper from India and re-exporting it as Malabar pepper, it is learnt.

“This is a welcome move and would help exporters. The initiative should be expanded further and an awareness should be created among exporters,” said Gulshan John, Chairman, All India Spices Exporters Forum.

A Jayathilak, former Chairman, Spices Board, said that Guatemala cardamom in the global market is being sold as Indian cardamom, a sign that major challenges in the field  need to be addressed. “In order to face competition from countries like Guatimala, Vietnam (pepper) and China (garlic, ginger), India has started focusing more on quality,” he pointed out.

Source : newindianexpress.com

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