South Korea and China look towards Indian organics



With Indian products getting attention in global market, it is good news for the Indian manufacturers as overseas buyers from China and South Korea are keen to source Indian organic products such as black tea, spices and cashew among other products. Vice-President at IFOAM Organics International, Jennifer Chang said “There is a growing demand for nuts such as cashews in China and Korea. These countries are keen to source organic cashew nuts.”

There is a need to create awareness among the producers about the market requirement overseas, besides harmonising the standards,” a South Korea official said on the sidelines of the International Trade Fair (ITF) on Organics and Millets. The ITF organised by the Karnataka Government has attracted buyer interest from countries such as the US, Germany, South Korea, Uganda, Malaysia and China among others.

South Korea is also keen to source organic cotton and turmeric from India. However, the stringent organic import norms of South Korea, which subjects each products to some 377 tests for traces of residues, is seen an impediment. Organics account for a small fraction of the overall Indian farm produce exports. As per information from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India’s certified organic output stood at 1.35 million tonnes including food products — mainly sugarcane, oilseeds, cereals, millets, cotton, spices, tea and coffee among others. Total export volume of organic products stood at over 2.63 lakh tonnes valued at $298 million in 2015-16. The European Union, US, Canada, Switzerland, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asian countries, West Asia, South Africa were the destinations for India’s organic produce.

President of IFOAM Organics International-Asia, Zhou Zejiang said “There is a need to build awareness about the Indian organic produce in the overseas markets, especially countries like China, where the demand for organics is rising fast. In China, the demand for organic black tea and coffee is seen increasing and factors such as rising income levels are driving the trend, especially among the middle class population that exceeds over 300 million.

The US has been a huge market for organic spices such as peppercorns, chilli, cumin, garlic and other spices. “The Indian produce often fails to pass the tests related to heavy metals. Additionally, there is a lack of awareness about Indian grains such as millets in the international markets,” an US representatives said.



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