Kochi: Spice traders, regulators and government bodies of 35 major markets will discuss the need to have a common food safety legislation across the world at the World Spice Congress in Goa.
The three-day event, which is the ninth edition of the congress, will begin on 28 January under the theme of “Harmonization: the emerging global trend.” India accounts for 44% of the 850,000-tonne global spice market in terms of volume and 36% in terms of value (Rs8,646 crores).
Indian traders plan to showcase some initiatives at the congress to attract visitors from outside India, says V.J. Kurian, chairman of the government trade promotion body Spices Board. “The idea is to help the foreign markets get a clear picture of the initiatives that the Indian spice industry has been taking,” says Kurian.
The congress, organized jointly by the Spices Board and the All-India Spices Exporters Forum, will have about 150 international delegates from outside India, besides 225 delegates from within the country.
Sushma Srikandath, chairperson of the exporters forum, says the industry must be equipped to address the growing food safety awareness across the globe.
There is no common quality standard and each country fixes its own standard while importing spice. Mike Leavitt, US secretary of health and human services, recently visited two Kochi-based spice products exporting firms, Synthite Industrial Chemicals Ltd and AVT McCormick Ingredients Pvt. Ltd, for a first-hand account of the food safety standards adopted by Indian spice traders.
The US Food and Drug Administration is considering setting up an office as well as a few laboratories in India for quality control, says Kurian.