Kochi, Jan 16: 'Harmonization - The Emerging Global Need' will be the key theme of the 9th World Spice Congress, which will be held in Goa from January 28 to 30, Spices Board Chairman V J Kurian said here.
Addressing a press conference last night, Mr Kurian said a need was being felt for uniform standards, specifications, trade practices and quality assessment and validation norms in the international spices trade and the biennial meet will address this.
The three-day Congress, being jointly organised by the Spices Board and the All India Spices Exporters Forum, will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.
Nearly 150 foreign delegates from 33 countries and 225 Indian delegates will participate in the meet, which has emerged as one of the key networking and brainstorming fora for the international spice industry.
Nearly 70 per cent of the overseas participants will be from the US and Europe, which account for nearly 75 per cent of Indian spice exports.
All India Spices Exporters Forum Chairperson Sushama Srikandath said the overseas delegates will include customers, leading buyers, brokers, regulators and suppliers.
Speaking on the importance of the 'Harmonization' theme, Coordinator of the Congress Sanjay Mariwala said that uniformity of standards was necessary in view of significant changes in the legal and regulatory environment in most countries, which were bound to have a far-reaching impact on the spices trade.
On the inaugural day, Mr Larry Keener, co-founder of the Global Harmonization Initiative, will speak on the need to harmonize food laws around the world while CII representative D S Chaddha will focus on the new 'Common Food Law' being enacted in India.
Issues of trade and commerce, crops and markets and trends in consumption and prices would be the other key subjects of discussion during the meet, Mr Mariwala said.
India occupies a prominent position in the world spice trade, accounting for 44 per cent of the quantity and 36 per cent of the value of the international spice trade, which was estimated at 850,000 tonnes and valued at US$ 2,200 million, Mr Kurian said.