Trade resolves Indian cardamom dispute

AN impasse over cardamom auctions, following the boycott by the traders over grading charges, is likely to end soon and indications are that the auctions may resume this week itself.

After a meeting between auctioneers and traders convened by the Indian Spices Board on Tuesday, it was made clear that the Rs1.50 a kg being collected from growers as grading charges could not be continued. However, the board would form a committee to study the problems of auctioneers and the traders and submit the report in three months.

The committee will be headed by the Indian Spice Board’s marketing director S Kannan. Until the report is submitted and a decision taken, traders will participate in the auctions and not collect the grading charges.

According to PC Punnoose, general manager of the Kerala Cardamom Processing and Marketing Society, traders and auctioneers held a meeting on Wednesday and decided to take a ‘positive’ stand.

While it was generally agreed to put an end to the boycott for the next three months till the committee report was readied, the traders said it would have to get back to organisations for final approval. Several in the trade said that it was only a formality.

Kerala Cardamom Growers’ Association general secretary KK Devassia said that in the wake of low prices, the growers had made it clear that they were unwilling to pay the additional amount. Also, if the traders was keen on getting the grading charges, they could as well bid at a lower rate so as to cover the charges.

A fortnight ago the Indian Spices Board issued a circular asking the growers to refrain from paying an additional Rs1.50 a kg to the bidders as charges for grading.

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