The sixth edition of the International Spice Conference (ISC) organized All-India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) featured discussions on problems faced by the spice industry in the post-Covid era, adapting to the emerging consumer behaviour trends, product innovation and digital technology-assisted transformations in the sector.
“Reboot and Rebound”
The Covid pandemic and restrictions had a catastrophic effect on different sectors of food, agri-business and spice trade. It manifested in many forms such as disruption of the market and supply chain, the financial impact on firms, tighter global market, limited crop supply, commodity price rise and trade imbalances. The conference is held on the theme ‘Reboot and Rebound’ chiefly with the objective to devise time-bound and tailored solutions since the problems faced by the spice industry are heterogenous, Emmanuel Nambusseril, Vice Chairman, AISEF said.
Logistical challenges within supply chains, particularly cross-border and domestic restrictions of movement, as well as labour issues, led to disruptions in the food supply. Overall, exports of spices from India to China, West Asia, and the EU have been greatly affected.
Stringent regulations to curb adulteration along with increased buyer requirements for sustainably sourced spices call for sensitizing unorganized sectors about regulatory compliance and building capability to produce food-safe spices.
ISC special sessions on consumer behaviour and needs focused on unlearning inertia, achieving product compliance and steering the digital transformation.
Consumer preferences are also shifting towards a digitalized approach to their food choices. Most spice companies still use online/digital platforms for domestic sales, rather than for export shipments, Prakash Namboodiri, Commercial Director, AB Mauri India said.
The discussions offered some finest solutions for the spice industry, like e-commerce for exports, building the right infrastructure and intensively managed agro-ecosystem to adapt and succeed in the new world order.
The scientific session on advanced digital technologies provided a range of solutions for spices and herb producers, such as remote measurement of soil conditions, better water management, forecasts of pest and disease emergence, and crop monitoring.
Exhibitors from the spice industry across the world are showcasing their products and services covering all facets of the industry in more than 125 Booths at the exhibition held as part of the event.
Source: The Hindu Business line