With eye on Gulf, India to host World Spice Congress

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The 14th edition of World Spice Congress (WSC) is to be held at Mumbai from 16-18 February 2023 on the sidelines of the G20 summit, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

 India will host the three-day 14th World Spice Congress – world’s largest exclusive business platform for the spice sector – from 16th February 2023 as part of its upcoming presidency of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries.

The Congress is being planned with an eye on the Gulf and Arab markets which are popular destinations for Indian spices.

“This time, the Spices Board of India is organising the World Spice Congress as a G-20 event on the sidelines of India’s G-20 presidency for the period from December 2022 to November 2023. The Congress will focus on further strengthening India’s trade ties with the G-20 countries,” said D Sathiyan, Secretary of the Spices Board of India.

“Interaction with the regulatory authorities of the major importing countries, ministers of trade and industry associations of the G-20 member countries are expected to take place at the World Spice Congress 2023,” he added.

The theme chosen for the next edition of the Congress is “Vision 2030: SPICES.” The acronym is a pun of the sub-themes of the Congress – Sustainability, Productivity, Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence and Safety.

The congress will discuss on customised production of quality spices to meet the requirements of the consumers, thrust on organic production, ways to arrive at a consensus on the wide and varied trade and quality regulations, value addition, product innovation and new initiatives, integrating the supply chain for better output and better understanding of the challenges and prospects of the industry, etc.

The February 2023 event will be the 14th World Spice Congress. The first Congress was held in 1990. Since then, it has become a biennial event.

Saudi Arabian participation has been a consistent feature of every such Congress. The organisers want to expand their focus for the next Congress to include the UAE, Egypt and Oman. All these are growing markets for Indian spices, which are integral to the culinary traditions of the Gulf and Arab regions.

Over 1,000 delegates from more than 50 countries are expected to participate in the next Congress, which will take place at the CIDCO Exhibition and Convention Centre, Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra state.

“The World Spice Congress has been benefiting the spices stakeholders across the globe. It remains a much sought-after event amongst the global spice community. It will foster new business opportunities and strengthen trade connections,” according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

In addition to the business sessions, the event will have an exhibition demonstrating the strengths and capabilities of the Indian spice industry, including the product range, applications in the medicinal and health areas, innovations and cutting-edge technologies.

“World Spice Congress (WSC), the conglomeration of the global spice industry, has become the most apt platform to deliberate the concerns and considerations of the sector over its three decades long presence,” said an official statement.

“Trade, sustainability, quality and food safety initiatives, recent developments, concerns and future prospects are discussed and deliberated in detail by the key players of the industry- the producers, traders, processors, exporters and regulators from across the world,” it added.

Double output: Minister urges spice farmers

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash had asked the spice farmers to double their output and urged exporters to increase trade with other countries to help India reach the $5 trillion economy goal and become a global powerhouse by 2024-25.

“We are in discussion with all stakeholders to achieve the $5 trillion goal. The Centre will extend all help to farmers and exporters. We will have to work hard to make the dream come true,” he said.

He stressed formation of farmers’ clusters for all crops and spoke about a new agriculture export policy for integrating farmers and farm products with the global value chains. It would help in achieving the set goal for agriculture exports, he added.

“India is one of the largest producers, exporters and consumers of spices. Every state is producing spices and its value-added products come to around 900,000 tonnes a year,” he said.

India produces around 180 spice products that are exported to 160 countries.

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