Kochi: Aiming to broaden the trade links with Germany, the Spices Board, in association with the Marine Products and Exports Development Authority (MPEDA), hosted an interactive session here with the German Consul General, Margit Hellwig-Boette.
The Consul General pointed to the strong ties between the two countries and indicated that trade relations would continue to grow in her address to a gathering of marine exports representatives from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Boette said that Germany is a frontrunner in consuming organic products. “Indian Ocean is a strategic economic zone as the Indo-German ties have strengthened. Germans are happy with the products from India especially because they meet the international standards.”
Dr A Jayathilak, Chairman of MPEDA advocated for boosting the spice and marine products exports and pressed for a transparent quality check procedures during the exports. “India has been striving hard to meet the prescribed quality standards by European Union and I am happy that we are exporting our products with very less rejection of consignments. ‘Going organic’ is the buzzword of the town and we are now exporting pesticide-free products.”
He also added that there is an increase demand for value added products in Germany, which accounts for 25 per cent of the total EU imports from India. Pepper, mint products and oil and oleoresins form a good share of the imports.
Marine exports to Germany were to the tune of 5,211 metric tonnes worth US $ 39.69 million during 2015-16. Frozen shrimp was the major item of export (80% by quantity & value) followed by frozen cephalopod and fish.
Dr Syed Ibrahim, Honorary Consul, German Consulate, pointed that the German food industry relied heavily on spices, especially from quality conscious Kerala. “Germans use large amounts of cinnamon and ginger in their Christmas cake. I have seen that they very much appreciate products from India.”
Ernakulam District Collector, K Mohammed Y Saffirulla said, “Kerala is known for its environmental policies. The food security and safety drives and awareness campaigns have tremendously enhanced the quality of the products. We can say with assurance that we have adopted international standards.”
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