Although there is a high demand for spices in Sri Lanka in the international market, so far there has not been a work order to ensure the quality of spices in our country.
Therefore, small and medium-sized spice producers faced great difficulties in arranging for the export of spices in this country. In relation to this matter, the problem faced by the small and medium spice producers in the industry was informed to Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries.
Accordingly, the Minister instructed the National Spices Corporation to immediately initiate a quality assurance program for the spice products of the small and medium-sized industrialists involved in the spice processing industry in our country.
Accordingly, the National Spices Corporation has taken steps to sign a trilateral agreement with the internationally recognized SGS Institute of Singapore. Accordingly, Mrs. Kumudini Arya Gunasena, the President of the said corporation mentioned that it is mandatory for all the small and medium-sized spice manufacturers in Sri Lanka to obtain this standard certificate from next December.
National Spices Corporation, Hatton National Bank and SGS Institute are going to sign this trilateral agreement together.
A discussion on spice standards certification was held yesterday (15) afternoon at the Ministry of Plantation Industry. Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Janaka Dharmakeerthi Secretary of the Ministry, and Officials of Ministry of Plantation Industries participated to that event.
Spices such as pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are the main plantation crops in this country and are used by people in many countries of the world. However, the Minister said that the Sri Lanka Spice brand has been seriously damaged due to the export of substandard spices by some cunning traders.
Therefore, this spice certification program will be implemented after the signing of the relevant trilateral agreement in the second week of December and after that the certification will be available to producers at a concessional price.
Also, as this certificate is an internationally recognized certificate, small and medium scale spice manufacturers in Sri Lanka will be able to export their products to the international market without any hindrance.