Kochi: Spices Board of India, a government body that promotes spice cultivation plans to float a company that will market branded spices under the Flavourit brand in an effort to ensure cooperatives and farmers that grow these spices get a good price for their produce.
This is the board’s second attempt to popularize spices under this brand; the first, where the government-run State Trading Corp. of India Ltd (STC) marketed the brand, was not very successful. This time around, the board said its new company will launch a marketing blitz in India and in other countries. The new company, according to Spices Board chairman V.J. Kurian, will involve farmers and cooperative organizations, with the board holding a majority stake of 51%. He declined to give any more details, including the name of the company.
“Spices will be sourced directly from the farmers and their cooperatives. This will not only ensure that the growers get a good price for their produce but also help empower them and ensure a regular market for them,” said Kurian, explaining the rationale behind the creation of the company. The board said the company would also look at sourcing organic spices and selling them at a 50% premium.
Flavourit spices: This is the Spices Board’s second attempt to popularize the brand; the first, where STC marketed it, was not very successful
“Once registered, the company will have to ensure that its products reach the shops in three months. A separate team of professionals will be employed to look after the affairs of the new company,” Kurian said.
India’s annual spice production is estimated to be four million tonnes. Of this, nearly 32,000 tonnes is exported, earning a revenue of around Rs3,500 crore.
The new venture will initially source only cardamom and pepper to be sold under the Flavourit brand directly from farmers. It will gradually expand this to other spices and even spiced teas and coffees.
The company will start off by selling small packs of cardamom and pepper, said Spices Board marketing director S. Kannan. This decision would appear to be driven by the Board’s previous experience where it launched 50 products under the Flavourit brand, only to see them fail. The Spices Board is also in talks with the National Dairy Development Board to use its outlets for marketing the brand within the country, said Kurian. He added that it would also talk to major retailers to ensure a shelf space for the brand.