The 14th Edition of World Spice Congress (WSC-2023) was successfully conducted during 15th-17th September 2023 at CIDCO Exhibition and Convention Centre, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Organized by Spices Board India in association with the leading spices exporters’ associations and trade bodies in India and abroad, World Spice Congress 2023 served as an effective platform to demonstrate India’s strength and capabilities to meet global demand in spices and value- added spice products.
The exhibition organized as part of the event had components such as state pavilions, commodity pavilions for different spices and experience zone giving first-hand experience of various spices and their value-added products and it turned out to be the largest exhibition focusing on spices. Around 130 exhibitors displayed their product range and supply capability in 156 stalls. Participation of all the leading spice brands and key stakeholders of the industry in the exhibition helped to highlight India as “Land of Diverse Spices and the World’s Spice Processing Hub”.
The event had a registration of 825 Indian delegates and 132 international delegates from 33 countries. Out of 132 registered international delegates some of them could not attend due to Visa issues. Including the delegates manning the exhibition stalls, award winners for excellence in export of spices, special invitees from the spice industry, etc., the total participants in the 14th edition of World Spice Congress was more than 1300, making it the largest spice event in the world.
The awards for excellence in export of spices from India, instituted by Spices Board, for the years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-2020, and 2020-21 were bestowed during WSC 2023 on 15th and 16th September, 2023. The award ceremonies on the first and second day were made more special by the august presence of Smt. Anupriya Patel, Hon'ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Govt of India and Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Government of India respectively.
There were two technical sessions on the first day of WSC 2023 on 15 September 2023 and the sessions focused on ‘Country Perspective of Spice Industry and Global Opportunities’, and ‘Evolving Market Requirements for Spices’. The sessions had speakers from USFDA, High Commission of Canada, Embassy of Azerbaijan, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, India Middle East Agri Alliance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia who elaborated on Country Perspective of the Spice Industry and Global Opportunities and the Evolving Market Requirements for Spices.
On the second day, 16 September 2023, the first business session focused on Spice Based Applications: Potentials & Prospects, which had a very eminent panel of speakers covering the Indian spice industry represented by the leading spice brands such as AVT McCormic, IIF, MDH, and Synthite. The session was chaired by the Director General Foreign Trade, Govt of India. The session discussed different aspects such as Consumer Preferences and Emerging Trends: Ground and Blended Spices, Spices for Health, Wellness & Nutraceuticals, Future of Food and Role of Spices in Food Design, Spice-Based Seasonings & Sauces: Opportunities for Growth, and Responsible Food Packaging and Emerging Trends.
Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM) and product launch sessions were held on the second day of the Congress. The RBSM facilitated business interactions between the Indian exporters and leading overseas buyers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Russia, etc. The product launch session witnessed onboarding of new initiatives on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and launch of nutraceutical products prepared from Cardamom.
The tech talk session held on the last day of the congress helped the industry to know about the latest development in the processing technologies worldwide and up to date analytical services offered by the leading testing and certification labs in India.
On the final day, 17th September 2023, the business session was focused on presentation by the leading international spice trade associations on ‘Global Spice Markets: Trends & Opportunities’. The global spice trade associations such as American Spice Trade Association (ASTA), All Nippon Spice Association (ANSA), Cambodia Pepper and Spices Federation (CPSF), Spice Council of Sri Lanka, Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA), etc., presented their views and requirements for the global spice trade.
The last business session featured ‘Crop and Market Reports’ during which the industry experts discussed the present and future of the major spice crops viz., cardamom, chilly, ginger, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, mint & herbs, nutmeg & mace, garlic and clove.
A visit to the spices processing units was organized on the final day for the overseas delegates to witness the capabilities and strength of the spice processing facilities established by the Indian spice industry. A visit to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard at Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra was also arranged for the participants.