Spices Board has embarked on launching a clutch of signature shops that showcase the country’s choicest spices and their value-added products, including lifestyle and personal care, under one roof.
Two showrooms, under the brand name ‘Spices India’, were opened in the national capital last evening-one on the arterial Janpath road and the other at Dilli Haat, a fashionable open air plaza for ethnic products in Janakpuri.
Union Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher, while inaugurating the two shops that will promote an array of quality products like spices-infused chocolate slabs, beauty creams, fairness oils, bathing bars, shower gel and shampoo, said it is a laudable initiative on the part of Spices Board.
“Purity and quality will be the hallmarks of such outlets. Strict adherence should be made to the correctness of weight and quality. India thrives on spices; so does the world now. Spices are class-neutral. Some spice or the other is to be found in everyone’s palate in our country,” said Kher.
Kher suggested setting up of ‘Knowledge Kisoks’ within the outlets to provide information to visitors on spices grown in various states.
“We also need to popularise ‘Spices India’ among the domestic tourists. Our focus should be on improving packaging, processing and branding, besides better utilisation of technology,” he added.
Run by the 1987-established Spices Board that functions under the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry, the shops sell aromatic gel candles as a key attraction.
These are available with the fragrance of nutmeg, clove, cardamom, mint, vanilla and cinnamon.
‘Spices India’ displays a wide variety of Indian spices and value-added products derived from them.
It specially features an assortment of whole spices and a casket of exclusive spices extracts.
All the showrooms have a ‘Spice Kitchen’ where visitors can touch, feel and taste spices.
There are men at the counter willing to provide information about the spices.
Further, there is a small library where books and documentaries are available on varieties of spices.
To top it all, there is a map of India that shows spices grown in a particular region.
Spices Board Chairman A. Jayathilak said ‘Spices India’ shops are part of the new thrusts to ensure sustainability of the industry.
“We have chalked out an expansion plan. We are talking to the state governments to provide space. We are hopeful of opening new outlets in various parts of the country,” said Jayathilak.
He said the Board is continuing its efforts to help farmers and collectives to secure a better price for their produce by trading directly with them.
“Such a system eliminates middlemen. The collective can demand a fair price for the larger quantity of goods they sell. We are paying them higher price than normal market price,” he added.
Headquartered in Kochi, Spices Board has been adding new spices and products to its export casket also in its bid to accomplish the primary objective of bringing about rapid and systematic
diversification of spice industry.
Also, Spices Board’s novel initiative ‘Flavourit’ undertakes the branding, packaging, marketing and promotion of finest spice goods collected from individual farmers and collectives to be sold to the
It streamlines the efforts of spice growers working at grassroots with market forces by helping growers, collectives and developmental ventures to bring the economic and social inclusion.
With regional laboratories in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Tuticorin and Guntur, Spices Board places increasing emphasis on value-added spices and spice derivatives in a bid to establish international spice brands and build globally-acceptable benchmarks in quality and safety parameters.
As for flavour, it would seek to restore the quality and popularity of once famous grades of spices like Alleppey Green Extra Bold Cardamom, Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB) Malabar Pepper and other spices, known for their culinary, therapeutic and cosmetic properties.
Spices Board encourages and facilitates direct purchase from farmers to ensure easy accessibility of the merchandise it sells, besides lending quality to the market products.