Almost three decades after it was founded, the Spices Board has embarked on launching a clutch of signature shops that showcase the choicest spices and their value-added products, including lifestyle and personal care, under one roof – with the first two opening up in the national capital.
The two showrooms, under the brand name ‘Spices India’, were inaugurated Wednesday evening – one on the arterial Janpath road in central Delhi and the other at Dilli Haat, a fashionable open air plaza for ethnic products, in Janakpuri in west Delhi.
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,” he said.
‘Knowledge Kisoks’ will also be opened within the outlets to provide information to visitors on spices grown in various states.
Run by the 1987-established 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.
They also display a wide variety of Indian spices and value-added products derived from them.
All the showrooms have a ‘Spice Kitchen’ where visitors can touch, feel and taste spices and people are there 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.
There is also a map of India that shows spices grown in a particular region.
Spices Board chairman A.Jayathilak said the 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 also continuing our efforts to help farmers and collectives to secure a better price for their produce by trading directly with them so as to eliminate middlemen,” he said.
Headquartered in Kochi, Spices Board has been adding new spices and products to its export basket also in its bid to accomplish the primary objective of bringing about rapid and systematic diversification of spice industry.
Spices exports from India were pegged at Rs.14,899.68 crore in 2014-15 as compared to Rs.13,735.39 crore a year earlier. A total of 8,93,920 tons of spices and spice products were exported, registering a nine per cent increase in volume and eight per cent in rupee terms in value as compared to 2013-14.