By Devika Jyothi
SITA attended the fourth edition of International Spices Conference (ISC 2019), facilitating the participation of East African spices companies and sector associations. Over 800 delegates representing more than 50 nationalities participated in ISC 2019.
Held at the Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre in Telengana from 28th to 31st January, ISC 2019 was hosted by the All India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) which represents 80% of spices export from India. Mr. Raman Ramachandran, Chairman and Managing Director of BASF India Limited inaugurated the conference themed, ‘Challenges of Change-Redefining the Value Chain.’
‘With the boundaries of the nations steadily fading, the cultures of the world gradually merging and the flavours constantly evolving, the global spices industry is faced with the challenge of meeting continuously changing consumer needs,’ said Mr. Rajiv Palicha Chairman, AISEF. Newer effective distribution systems have compelled governments to intervene with new rules and regulations. The conference will examine all these changes, closely evaluate them and find ways to effectively adapt our value chain to these changes, he said. The 2019 conference included discussions on how the Indian and global spices industry can address challenges to create sustainable businesses, and the impact of emerging digital technologies and farm-tech on agricultural value chains, among other cutting edge topics.
Since its inception in 2016, the International Spice Conference has provided a platform for all stakeholders of the spices industry to interact on topics of interest. SITA has been participating at ISC annually since 2017, with more and more African companies seeing the value of joining the SITA faciliated delegation every year. From SITA’s first seven member delegation in 2017, seven more participated in 2018, with 16 representatives from African companies joining the delegation in 2019.
At an interview at ISC 2019, Mr Govind Venuprasad, Coordinator, SITA said, “SITA has been participating at the International Spices Conference since 2017. We have seen a positive evolution. In 2017, African suppliers were a novelty at ISC. I must thank the organizers of ISC for giving us the chance to present East Africa as not only a location for sourcing for some of the inputs that India’s spices industry requires but also as an investment destination.”
SITA rented three booths for the companies to showcase their products to buyers in India and across the globe. Participants were able to establish and expand business networks with numerous orders placed for a range of spices including coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and clove. “ISC is a great platform for companies to have B2B meetings. For some of the companies, it’s their first exposure. We find that they are very excited about the results of the B2B meetings,” said Ms. Anda Valla Efendija, Task Team Leader – Spices, SITA.
‘ISC 2019 was an opportunity to understand the spice market dynamism and the role of policy makers to deal with challenges associated with the changes in consumers preferences. Thanks to SITA for the support to both farmers and NAEB staff,’ said Mr Jean Marie Vianney Munyaneza, National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), Rwanda.
The expo helped the companies to establish and expand business networks swith over USD$430,000 worth of orders being placed for a range of spices including coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and clove. In addition, over USD$2 million worth of orders are under negotiation.
‘It was my first time interacting with the Indian business community in the spices sector. It was a great occasion and provided a lot of exposure not to mention several business contacts established,’ commented Mr. Musoke Tamale Ahmed, Padron, Uganda National Vanilla Association.
In order to facilitate interactions beyond the conference, SITA participants have formed a WhatsApp group – Eastern Africa Spices Network – to exchange useful business information.
‘Thank you, ITC, for an incredible trip to ISC 2019. The trip was very successful, opening a lot of new trade and business opportunities with companies in India. We look forward to enhancing our strong ties with ITC which have helped take our company to the next level,’ said Mr. Georgie Ferreira CEO of Agri-Ventures Tanzania Limited.