SUPPLY OF AND DEMAND ON NATURE
Millions of smallholders are involved in the production of spices, herbs, seeds and vegetables which all are an important cash crop. These farmers often face poverty and food insecurity. Depending on the produce and country, the production itself faces labor issues (women, migrant and/or child labor) and environmental issues, particularly excessive agrochemical use.
Need for sustainable
Poor agricultural practices, lack of adequate processing facilities and growers switching to high-value crops or jobs, have caused an increase in the number of concerns around spices production especially over long-term supply, food safety and traceability. Additionally, the sector also deals with sustainability issues such as uncontrolled pesticide use, poor wastewater management and indecent labor conditions.
While the need for sustainable spices and sustainability as a whole is clear, the demand in the market is only starting to grow. One of the supposed reasons being that food manufacturers have difficulty to promote sustainable spices as such to consumers is that they are an important ingredient but not the main substance in the end-products. Meanwhile the organization of the value chains for all different products and origins remains a challenge for the industry to meet this demand. Nevertheless, interest in sustainable spices is growing and for many front-runners, sustainable sourcing has shown important, increasing companies credibility and position in the supply chain and markets.
Support and encouraged
As a broker in these products we consider ourselves as frontrunners in sustainability. Enabling our buyers to source their products directly in the land of origin at audited and selected processors allows spice industries to reduce their ecological footprint. We feel sustainability should be driven by the key processors in countries of origin and to be supported and encouraged by the major spice importing industries.
We see sustainability as one of the main challenges for the spice industry.