The biannual World Spice Congress has grown every year on a platform of business, leisure and new learning, becoming the single most important event in the spice industry. Co-hosted by the Spices Board, the premier government body responsible for Indian spice exports, and the All India Spices Exporters Forum, an industry-constituted organization representing the spice exporters in the country, this year’s event featured 500 delegates from more than 50 countries, uniting farmers, ingredient manufacturers, food processors, equipment manufacturers, scientists, regulators and government representatives.
Food Safety and Sustainability—Global Initiatives
Food safety and sustainability formed the theme of the congress, providing an opportunity to deliberate on the future of the industry. Tomorrow, delegates noted, routine buying and selling might not be sufficient. Rising demand, coupled with a dearth of spices that meet regulatory and quality standards, will soon be a common industry paradox. For now, agriculture, supply chains and the environment are not geared to meet these new challenges.
Calls for help can already be seen in the industry: decreasing productivity, rising costs of production, increased numbers of product rejections, confusing and disharmonized regulations, and so on. The congress discussions highlighted the anomalies of food safety policies, while also strategizing across the supply chain to ensure food safety. The deliberations were represented by different industry stakeholders: regulators, major buyers, exporters, farmers and sustainability enthusiasts.