New research calls on spice exporters to adhere to the stringent EU Market

(Addis Chamber January 4, 2024): Endowed with rich agro ecology, Ethiopia is one of the few countries to grow spice products yet the country is unable to fully unleash its spice potential for various factors, a latest study reports.

According to the study, spice is produced in Ethiopia dominantly by small holder farmers and likewise the product is consumed locally up to 90 percent.

The research also uncovers the exiting policy provisions, strategic plans including the latest spice quality control regulations of 2023, yet much remains to be done to lift out the spice sector from quagmire and to improve the quality of spice produced in the country.

The new study commissioned by Addis Chamber with financial support of GIZ and Sequa is intended to address the multiple challenges of agricultural value chains that impedes export competitiveness of Ethiopia in the global market, said Seyoum Chane , Deputy Secretary General from Addis Chamber.

The panel, hosted by Addis Chamber, has brought together various stakeholders to deal with the spice sector, opportunities and challenges and the way forward.

While presenting the new report, it was disclosed that Ethiopia’s export volume is less than one percent despite immense potential the country possesses.

The new study also depicts the untapped European spice market that is growing steadfast with 3 percent per annum.

The EU, according to the study, has become the largest spice market in the world, worth of 29 billion USD, where most of the spice product is entering the EU market from developing nations such as India, China, Vietnam and Brazil among the few to cite.

The dynamic and fast growing food and beverage industries in Europe coupled with high interest for organic food products are major driving factors for such countries to eye on high quality spice products.

However the study calls on local spice exporters to adhere to the stringent European market standards and regulations on food.

The study also urges exporters to ensure sustainability of production along the entire value chain and to avoid food fraud, to ensure product labeling, organic certification and the likes.

Discussants of the session also forwarded their opinions and comments concerning how to improve the quality of spice product in Ethiopia that are destined to the EU and local market.

Some of these include the need for integrated approach to promote the quality of spice products, financial constraints facing exporters, the need to regulate food fraud, raising the awareness of product branding and the likes.

Reviewing the impacts of existing policies, laws and regulations and their impact towards spice production and promotion is key to attain the intended result in the sector, the panel further discloses.