The Indian Spices Board has tightened rules of sampling for cumin exports after receiving several representations from importing countries on adulteration and inferior quality shipments from Gujarat.
With immediate effect, the board has released an advisory document and tightened the rules related to sampling and certification.
The statement read: “After receiving several complaints from importing countries the board has decided to tighten the rules to protect reputation of India.”
Under the new rules, sampling instructions will be placed one day prior to the proposed sampling date. The certificate will be issued by the Spice Boards based on the day of packaging.
Moreover, filling of sacks with cumin is not allowed without the presence of customs and central excise officials. According to cumin traders, the move taken by the Spices Board is good for the industry as it will help prevent adulteration of consignments.
One Unjha based cumin exporter told The Business Standard: “India has received complaints related to quality. The board has taken correct steps and this will beneficial for the entire industry.”
There will be random sampling at the customs area at Mundra port by the Spices Board for confirmatory testing of the consignments. With this the Board will start surveillance and inspection at the product filling area, Mundra port, Unjha and Rajkot, during April and May.
The board added: “Considering the importance and ensuring food safety by supplying and exporting quality jeera (cumin), we request all the exporters of jeera and other seed spices to kindly cooperate and support the efforts of the Spices Board in retaining up the country’s image and reputation and sustain the developments in the spices industry.”
Meanwhile, on the back of good domestic and export demand, cumin prices have risen by INR40 (USD0.60) to INR2,800-3,250 per 20 kilo bag at the Unjha market in Gujarat, The Business Standard said.