Latin American countries raise food safety concerns with India

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New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2019 6:11:23 PM

The delegates have requested the Indian authorities to approach the issue of seed based and leaf based spice rejections to the food safety authorities of Colombia and Peru since Indian spices has a huge market in the region.

Latin American countries, food safety norms, india, food and beverage, Technical Barriers to Trade, indian spicesThe countries in the region are keen on importing food and beverage products from India including- Tea, Spices, Rice, Ethnic Indian food e.g. Indian cookies, namkeen, spices and preparation agents, Edible oil: Castor oil from there. (Representational)

Despite high demand for Indian food such as spices, ethnic consumer food, etc., owing to large diaspora presence in the Latin America & Caribbean’s demand, India’s share in Latin American Countries (LAC) food and beverage (F&B) imports is below 1%.

Representatives from countries including Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Chile and a few Mexican businessmen at a recent meeting with Department of Commerce and the Trade Promotion Council (TPCI), raised concerns over the food safety based rejections of the seed based and leaf based spice consignments going out of India.

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Sources confirmed to the Financial Express Online “India should focus on balancing its food and beverage trade deficit with LAC by tapping the potential to export frozen meat and offal for which there is a huge opportunity there.”

The delegates have requested the Indian authorities to approach the issue of seed based and leaf based spice rejections to the food safety authorities of Colombia and Peru since Indian spices has a huge market in the region.

According to a delegate from Colombia, due to lack of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures agreement with India, import as many as 50 spice products from India is banned. In the absence food safety concerns including TBT and SPS agreements, containers are destroyed causing huge losses to the importers in some of the countries in the region.

Cumin seed is the most exported commodity from India to LAC, as in 2017 India exported $ 34.64 million of cumin seeds. Though there is a potential to export frozen meat, food preparations, Indian ethnic food, groundnuts, frozen shrimps and prawns, and oilcakes, etc., to LAC, the total F&B export to the region from India is $ 332 mn while import is $ 4.14 billion in 2017.

The countries in the region are keen on importing food and beverage products from India including- Tea, Spices, Rice, Ethnic Indian food e.g. Indian cookies, namkeen, spices and preparation agents, Edible oil: Castor oil, India primarily imports edible oil especially sunflower oil and soya bean oil from there.

While there are issues with leave spices such as bay leaves etc. and seed spices such as coriander etc., importers from the region are able to get powdered spices from India.

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