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The European market potential for coriander seeds

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The popularity of South Asian, North African and Middle Eastern cuisines contributes to the increasing demand for coriander seeds in Europe. The United Kingdom is the largest coriander seed importer in Europe, providing specific opportunities for organic suppliers. Other opportunities for new developing country suppliers can be found in other large or growing markets, such as Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, and Austria.

1. Product description

Coriander seeds are the brown-coloured, round-shaped, dried fruit of the annual herb Coriandrum sativum. The plants are harvested after the seed, which is fact the fruit, ripens. Producers remove the seeds from the stem with combine harvesters, threshing machines or by beating with sticks. In tropical climates, the seeds are commonly dried in the open air, but in tempered climates, they are often dried with hot-air dryers. ‘Macrocarpum’ and ‘microcarpum’ are the two main varieties of Coriandrum sativum used for seed production. These two varieties have the following regional differences.

  • Macrocarpum or ‘vulgare’: large seeds measuring 3–6 mm in diameter. Mainly grown in warm-climate countries, like India, Morocco, Egypt, Australia, and Spain. This variety is mostly used in the spice trade. North African and Spanish types are round and have a sweet, aromatic flavour. Indian types are oval and have a slightly bitter taste profile.
  • Microcarpum: small seeds measuring 1.5–3 mm in diameter. Mainly grown in temperate-climate countries, such as Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania. This variety has a sweet, aromatic flavour with lemon notes. This variety is preferred for the production of essential oils, because these seeds have more essential oil content than the macrocarpum variety.

Please note that the above classification is not official. Many coriander seed varieties and cultivars are used in different parts of the world. Many European companies classify coriander seeds into more varieties. For example, one common method is to categorise coriander seeds into three groups: East European (small seeds, high oil content, sweet aromatic flavour with slight lemon notes), North African and Spanish (large seeds, low oil content and sweet aromatic flavour), and Indian (oval seeds with a distinguished, slightly bitter taste profile).

Coriander seeds are widely used as a spice in whole, crushed or ground forms. Coriander powder is used in a variety of spice mixtures. In European cuisine, coriander powder is often used in the production of minced meat mixtures (such as hamburger and kebab), sausages, sauces, soups, and sweet bakery products. In Indian dishes, coriander powder is a common ingredient in curry mixes. Whole seeds are used in marinades and pickled vegetables, often with other spice seeds, such as pepper and mustard.

The flavour of coriander seeds is usually described as warm, nutty, mild, sweetish, spicy, and citrusy. In home and restaurant cooking, whole seeds are often warmed or roasted before crushing to intensify flavour before placing in dishes.

Coriander seeds are also used as a flavouring agent in the production of alcoholic drinks, such as gin, and as raw material in the production of essential oils and oleoresins. Coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, are used both fresh and dried, but they have a completely different flavour profile from coriander seeds.

This study covers general information regarding the market for coriander seeds in Europe, which may interest producers in developing countries. When ‘Europe’ is referred to in this report, it means the 27 member states of the European Union, plus the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. This study does not cover the market for fresh nor dried coriander leaves, but you can read information about it on the CBI study on the CBI study on fresh herbs. Table 1 below lists the products in the coriander seed product group and their product codes.

Table 1: Products in the coriander seed product group

Combined Nomenclature Number

Product

0909 21 00

Coriander seeds, neither crushed nor ground

0909 22 00

Coriander seeds, crushed or ground

Coriander seeds

2. What makes Europe an interesting market for coriander seeds?

Europe accounts for approximately 15% of the world’s total coriander seed imports. European imports of coriander seeds are smaller than those of countries in South and South East Asia, but European demand is stable and growing. Import volumes sometimes fluctuate due to variable production in the main supplying countries. For example, larger imports from non-European Union countries commonly compensate for when Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain have poor crops. Coriander seeds in Europe are sold as spices for the food industry and retail sales, but also as an ingredient in different spice mixtures. Important European users also include the sauces (especially curry) and meat processing industries.

In the next five years, European coriander seed imports are likely to increase at an annual growth rate between 1% and 2%. Import and consumption growth are forecasted to be driven by the healthy eating trend, the increasing interest in non-European cuisines (such as different Asian curries and stews) and significant usage of coriander seed as an ingredient in the food processing and essential oils industries. Another consumption driver is the increasing interest in traditional medicine (such as Ayurveda) and aromatherapy, where coriander seeds and essential oils are used as natural remedies.

European coriander seed imports grew to more than 24 thousand tonnes between 2015 and 2018, but in 2019, imports dropped to 20 thousand tonnes, worth €26 million. Imports from developing countries and from internal European trade have equal shares. Whole coriander seeds accounted for 68% of imports, while the 32% remaining was imported in crushed or ground form. Regular fluctuations in imports are influenced by production variations, since coriander seeds are produced in the open air, making yields vulnerable to weather conditions. Despite these effects from production fluctuations, European demand is rather stable.

The production of coriander seeds for the spice industry in the European Union is not self-sufficient. The leading EU producer is Bulgaria, where significant volumes are used in essential oil production rather than for spices. Spain is the second-largest European producing country, but more targeted at the spice industry than Bulgaria. The third-largest EU producer is Romania, but similarly to Bulgaria, a large share of Romania’s coriander seed production is used for essential oils. Poland is also an important EU exporter, but mainly in re-exports of coriander seeds imported from the Russian Federation or the Ukraine.

Italy is actually the second-largest European producer and exporter of coriander seeds after Bulgaria, but unlike those from Spain and Romania, Italian companies do not focus on producing seeds for essential oils nor for spices, but rather for sowing. Italian sowing seeds are recognised for their good quality and high germination rate. Italy exports 14–15 thousand tonnes of coriander seeds for sowing to countries in Asia. Italy’s main production region for coriander seeds is Le Marche, followed by Apulia, Emilia-Romagna and Umbria.

3. Which European countries offer most opportunities for coriander seeds?

As Europe’s main importer of coriander seeds, the United Kingdom is an interesting focus market. Germany is an important consumption market, especially the country’s large food processing industry. The Netherlands, France and Austria are other markets with increasing imports and consumption. Poland serves as a trade hub for the supply of coriander seeds from Russia and other East European countries.

The United Kingdom: Europe’s largest market

The United Kingdom is the largest European market for coriander seeds, accounting for approximately 30% of all European imports. British coriander seed imports reached a record 7 thousand plus tonnes in 2017, but dropped to 5.8 thousand tonnes in 2019, worth €8.4 million. Nearly 60% of the UK’s coriander seed imports concerns crushed or ground seeds, the remaining 40% being whole coriander seeds, which is different from other European countries where whole seeds dominate the trade.

In 2019, a 55% share of Britain’s coriander seed imports came from India, followed by Bulgaria (9%), Russian Federation (9%), Poland (5%, mostly re-exports) and Argentina (4%). Other emerging suppliers to the UK include Morocco, Syria and Turkey. Over the last 5 years, the Russian Federation gained the most market share, increasing coriander seed exports to the United Kingdom by five times, from 100 tonnes in 2015, to more than 500 tonnes in 2019. On top of that, Poland re-exports another 150–200 tonnes of coriander seeds of Russian origin to the UK per year.

The largest share of imported coriander seeds in the United Kingdom market is used in the curry sauces industry. Historically, the UK market for curry dishes was established by the South Asian diaspora. The United Kingdom is currently home to approximately 1.4 million people with an Indian background, 1.1 million of Pakistani descent, and 450,000 who identify as Bangladeshi. Over time, curry dishes became a regular part of many British consumers’ diets. Celebrity chefs in the United Kingdom, of either British (such as Jamie Oliver), Indian or mixed backgrounds (such as Maunika Gowardhan or Vivek Singh) help promote curry and coriander seed use in food.

There are an estimated 12 thousand curry restaurants across the United Kingdom. Restaurant and retail sales of curries are estimated to be worth £4.2 billion (€4.5 billion) annually. The National Curry Week and the British Curry Awards promote and celebrate the British curry industry. One of the UK’s leading importers of coriander powder is AB World Foods, which uses it in products under its brands Patak’s (curry pastes), Blue Dragon (Asian food) and Al’Fez (Middle Eastern and North African food).

Aside from curries, coriander seeds in the United Kingdom are also used as an ingredient in other products, such as ready-to-eat soups, pre-cooked rice, couscous, falafels, ready-to-cook prawns, as well as in Indian and other types of breads. For example, several independent, as well as large producers, brands and private labels, such as Heinz, Knorr, ASDA, ALDI, Sainsbury’s, have launched or sell carrot and coriander soups. Coriander seeds are also used as an ingredient by companies producing flavours and fragrances, such as Kerry Ingredients and Flavours.

In the retail segment, private labels of retail chains like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, and Morrisons, have the largest market shares for packed coriander seeds and powders. Some companies specialise in packing, blending and steam sterilisation of spices, such as Natco. Coriander powders are sometimes produced by grounding and mixing seeds from different origins. The leading independent brand is Schwartz, owned by McCormick. Other brands include Bart (part of Fuchs Group), East End, Rajah (by Westmill Foods) and Greenfields.

Coriander seed traders in the United Kingdom include Edible Solutions, TRS, East End Foods, Sleaford Quality Foods, KTC Edibles, Ghetia, Barnes Williams, Virani and Arcadia Foods.

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) is forecasted to increase inflation and labour costs in the country. However, since coriander seeds are a popular commodity in the United Kingdom, industry experts do not believe that Brexit will influence coriander seed prices in the long term. Consumers in the United Kingdom will continue to consume coriander seeds (especially in curry mixes) and the volume of direct imports, rather than through intermediaries (such as Poland or the Netherlands), is likely to increase.

Examples o private labels

Germany: coriander seeds for sausages

Over the last five years, Germany’s iimports of coriander seeds fluctuated due to unstable production, reaching 4.4 thousand tonnes worth €4.7 million in 2019. More than 70% of these imports concern whole coriander seeds, the remaining 30% being crushed or ground seeds. In fact, Germany imported more whole coriander seeds than the United Kingdom in 2019. The German industry prefers whole seeds, which preserve flavour better than powder. Seed processing includes crushing, mixing, sterilisation, and packing.

The Russian Federation is the leading supplier of coriander seeds to Germany with a 35% import share, followed by Ukraine (20%), Romania (10%), Italy (8%) and Bulgaria (8%). Despite being the world’s leading producer, India has a meagre 4% share of Germany’s coriander seed imports. Other emerging suppliers from developing countries include Morocco and Egypt. The Russian Federation gained the most market share recently, increasing its exports of coriander seeds to Germany from 465 tonnes in 2015, to 1.5 thousand tonnes in 2019.

Germans consume the most sausages in Europe and coriander seeds are an important ingredient in spice mixes for the German sausage industry. In spite of that, the sauces industry is the largest user of coriander seeds in Germany, and these sauces are eventually served with sausages. The most popular sausage sauce in Germany is ‘curry ketchup’, which contains a curry mix that includes coriander powder. Curry ketchup sauce is served with popular currywurst sausages, which sell an estimated that 800 million units in Germany every year.

Coriander seeds are also used in a range of other products in Germany, including curry powders (like tikka masala), spice mixes, sauces (such as peanut coriander sauce), and pickled vegetables (like gherkins by Kühne). Various private label products using coriander seeds as an ingredient are made by specialised spice mixing companies that make customised solutions, such as Hügli Group and AVO. The meat industry is another important German user of spice solutions, containing coriander powder, including, for example, the Mühlen Group (part of Tönnies).

In Germany’s retail segment, significant volumes of coriander seeds are sold under private labels, including Kania (by discounter chain Lidl), Bio (organic, by Aldi Süd), Portland (Aldi Nord) and Ja! (by REWE). Examples of independent brands are Fuchs, Ostmann, Brecht (organic brand), Hartkorn and BioWagner. Coriander is also sold by companies specialised in Asian food such as Liean Ying by Rila Feinkost and several Asian brands distributed by Kreyenhop & Kluge.

Germany is the largest European market for organic food, so it is a particularly attractive market for organic coriander seeds. Specialised organic food retailers, such as Denn’s, DM or Alnatura sell a large share of the organic coriander seeds in Germany. Local producers such as Herbaria and Dergenthiner produce and pack smaller quantities of organic coriander seeds.

The German Spice Association has almost 90 members primarily engaged in refining spices and producing spice blends, spice preparations, and other seasoning ingredients. Their combined value in 2018 was more than €1.2 billion. Germany’s Fuchs Group is the leading German spice brand and the leading privately owned spice company in the country, as well as the largest European spice manufacturer. In addition to their own brand, Fuchs, they also pack coriander and other spices for several German private labels.

Coriander brands

Poland: transit country specialised in sourcing from Russia

Poland’s imports of coriander seeds grew continuously for years, reaching 4 thousand tonnes in 2018. Imports dropped to 2.4 thousand tonnes in 2019, worth €1.7 million. Most coriander seeds imported to Poland are re-exported to other European countries, approximately half of them being crushed before re-export. Crushing and sterilisation are performed by specialised seed processing companies, such as Bromex.

Most coriander seeds imported to Poland come from the Russian Federation (82%), followed by Ukraine (9%) and the Netherlands (6%). Due to the historical relation with Russia and established network of contacts, Poland has positioned itself as a transit country of Russian coriander supply. In the future, it is expected that Russian supply will focus on establishing direct trade with the European spice industry, rather than through Polish traders. Most of Poland’s coriander seed re-exports go to Germany (33%), France (27%) and Austria (15%).

The local Polish market for coriander seeds is much smaller than those in the United Kingdom and Germany, but it is developing. Consumption of coriander seeds in Poland is likely to increase over the next several years due to the increasing popularity of Asian cuisine. In western European markets, the curry industry is mature and stagnating, but in Poland and other countries in central and eastern Europe, demand is expected to grow. Leading brands of coriander seeds in Poland include Kamis (by McCormick), Prymat, and Kotányi.

Polish coriander seed traders and processors include Bromex, Grotex, Saran Enterprises, Chudziński Spices, and Kuchnie Świata.

The Netherlands: Europe’s spice trade hub

The Netherlands is a significant importer of coriander seeds. Dutch coriander seed imports reached a peak of more than 4 thousand tonnes in 2016, but fell to 2.2 thousand tonnes in 2019, worth €2.6 million. Whole seeds accounted for 87% of these imports, while crushed or ground seeds comprised 13%. The Netherlands re-exports an estimated 60%–70% of coriander seeds it imports every year, leaving 800–900 tonnes for domestic consumption. Dutch exports go to several countries, including the United Kingdom (15%), Germany (14%), France (12%) and Spain (10%).

Morocco is the leading supplier of coriander seeds to the Netherlands with a 31% share, followed by the Russian Federation (19%) and Ukraine (11%). The Netherlands is the only European country where Morocco is the leading supplier of coriander seeds. Morocco is also the only coriander seed supplier whose exports to Netherlands increased in 2019. Bulgaria, Argentina, Spain and Vietnam are other emerging suppliers to the Netherlands. India, the world’s leading producer, exports only small quantities to the Netherlands because of the strong competition, peaking at 40 tonnes in 2019.

Under their own private labels, retail chains such as Albert Heijn, Aldi (De Kruidencompany label) and Jumbo control large shares of coriander seed sales in the Netherlands. The leading independent brand of coriander seeds in the Netherlands is apparently Verstegen. Euroma is the leading spice brand in the Netherlands, but sells coriander mostly in the form of dried herb or as an ingredient in different spice mixtures. The Dutch Spice Association strongly promotes sustainable sourcing of spices.

Specialised traders of Asian food also sell significant volumes of coriander seeds in the Netherlands. The leading Asian food brand in the Netherlands is Unilever’s Conimex, which also packs ground coriander seeds. Due to the relatively large population of Indonesian background (1.8 million) in the Netherlands, Conimex strongly focuses on Indonesian food, including several products that have coriander seeds as an ingredient. Coriander seeds are also used as ingredient in the production of several types of cow and goat cheese in the Netherlands, sometimes in combination with fenugreek.

Examples of Dutch coriander seed bulk traders include Nedspice, Catz International, BCFoods, Euroma (especially after it acquired spice trader Intertaste), Mulder Marne, and AVS Spice. Some companies specialise in mixing and crushing, such as Huijbregts Groep. Having in mind importance of food safety, some companies developed spice      pasteurisation and sterilisation services for suppliers, such as Food Ingredients Service Center Europe.

Several Dutch companies specialising in supplying to ethnic shops also trade coriander seeds. Examples include Heuschen & Schrouff, Asia Express Food, Thai Mas, Dun Yong Foodservices, and Beagley Copperman, which provide packed coriander seeds, despite most of the coriander seeds imported through specialised traders moving in the form of curry powders and sauces.

France: culinary and essential oils uses

In spite of regular fluctuations in the last five years, French import of coriander seeds reached 1.5 thousand tonnes at €2.3 million in 2019. Since France re-exports some of these imported volumes, French coriander seed consumption can be estimated at more than one thousand tonnes annually. Most imported coriander seeds (77%) are whole seeds, while crushed or ground seeds make up the remaining 23%. France also produces small quantities of coriander seeds.

In 2019, the leading supplier of coriander seeds to France was Romania with a 33% share, followed by Morocco (12%), Germany (8%, re-exports mostly), Spain (8%), and Egypt (6%). Romania gained most of the market share in French imports, from virtually no exports in 2015, to more than 500 tonnes in 2017. French buyers rarely import crushed and ground coriander seeds directly from producing countries, favouring suppliers in re-exporting and processing countries, especially Germany and the Netherlands.

France’s coriander seed consumption is stimulated by the development of Asian cuisine in the country, but the French also use it in soups, such as coriander and legumes soups. The leading French independent spice brand is Ducros (now owned by McCormick), which packs coriander as whole seeds or powder, but also as a dried herb of French origin. Other brands include Epicea, Sainte Lucie, and Classic Ayurveda (German brand). One famous French spice blend brand, Epices Rabelais, also uses coriander seed as an ingredient, but the ratio of ingredients is kept secret.

Coriander seeds are rarely packed under a private label in France, but most retail chains have their own curry powder labels, such as Carrefour, Leclerc (Rustica label), and Auchan (Auchan label). These products have varying ingredient lists, but all contain coriander powder.

Coriander seeds traders in France include Colin Ingredients, Le Jardin des Epices, Fuchs, Beaun’Epices, Spigol, and Eric Bur. France is a significant supplier of essential oils to the fragrances industry, so several companies from this sector, such as Bontoux, Golgemma, Alperbo, L'Occitane Group, Elixens, Nateva, Biotope, Arcadie, are also active in sourcing coriander seeds.

Austria: growing importer

Austria is one of the rare European whose coriander seed imports grew in 2019. In the last five years, Austria’s coriander seed imports grew 3% annually, reaching 800 tonnes in 2019, worth €1 million. Austria also re-exports more than 40% of its imported coriander seeds, indicating that 400–450 tonnes are consumed within the country. In 2019, Austria imported 74% whole coriander seeds, the remaining 26% in ground and powdered form.

Poland is the leading supplier of coriander seeds to Austria with 47% of Austrian imports, followed by the Russian Federation (29%), Germany (15%), Ukraine (3%), and Bulgaria (3%). Since Poland is the biggest supplier of re-exported coriander seeds from the Russian Federation, we can assume that the Austrian market is dominated by coriander seeds from Russian origin (roughly holding 65%–75% market share). Russian direct supplies have also started to increase, growing from only 50 tonnes in 2015, to 233 tonnes in 2019.

Coriander seeds are used in Asian dishes, but also in meat marinades, pickles, and soups, in Austria. Private labels are not a significant part of the Austrian coriander seed market. Kotányi is the leading spice brand in Austria, also selling coriander seeds. Kotányi is originally from Hungary, but its head office is in the Austrian city of Wolkersdorf. Bergkräuter is another brand selling coriander seeds in Austria. Metro Cash & Carry also packs coriander powder in food service packages of 320 g under the Metro HORECA label.

Austrian spice companies do not have an independent association, but form part of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Tips:

The growing interest in ethnic cuisines combined with buyers’ needs for stable and sustainable sourcing are the leading driving forces behind the growing demand for coriander seeds in Europe. Increasing interest in natural therapies additionally promotes coriander seed consumption. Read our study on trends in the European spices and herbs market to find out more about general trends.

Popularity of Asian, African and Middle East cuisines

Coriander seeds are part of many spice mixes, sauces, and dishes in various cultures. They are still to a large extent consumed by people in Europe who have Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, and Afghan backgrounds, but also by people with North African and Middle Eastern backgrounds. At the same time, European consumers who travel internationally and celebrity chefs promote the use of new flavours, such as coriander seeds.

Over the years, ethnic non-European cuisine has become a regular part of the diet of many European consumers. South Asian dishes and cuisines are already firmly established in western Europe, especially the curry restaurants in the United Kingdom. Those cuisines and spices are now also growing in popularity in Eastern European countries. On the other hand, western European consumers are searching for new inspirations in African and Middle Eastern cuisines, where coriander seeds are also frequent ingredients in spice mixes.

An additional benefit of ‘oriental’ fast food is that it is perceived as having lower calories and being healthier than traditional fast food, such as hamburgers, sausages, burritos, pizzas, wraps, and French fries. In addition many ‘oriental’ dishes are made without meat, which is in line with the increasing popularity of vegan diets in Europe. Popular spice mixes in Europe with coriander seeds as an ingredient include:

  • Curry – Originally described as a type of dish prepared by stewing a variety of vegetables and meat in a sauce which contains a complex combination of spices. There are many varieties of dishes called ‘curries’ with ground coriander seeds as one of the main ingredients. Inspired by curry dishes, many European spice companies created their own spice mixes, with coriander seed powder as a regular ingredient. Those mixes are commonly called ‘curry powder’ or simply ‘curry’.
  • Garam masala – A powdered spice mix, originally from South Asia without a standardised recipe. However, similar to curry powder, most garam masala spice combinations contain ground coriander seeds. Almost all European spice companies sell garam masala in retail branded packaging, including a range of private label packs.
  • Harissa – A Tunisian condiment in the form of a paste made of chilli peppers and several other spices, including coriander seeds. Harissa is now included in the regular assortment of most leading European retail chains. Although also produced by European companies, imported harissa is the preferred choice for European consumers, such as the leading Tunisian brand Du Cap Bon.
  • Dukkah – A mix of toasted nuts, seeds and herbs originally from Egypt. It is mostly used as a dip with bread. Dukkah mix normally contains coriander seeds as an ingredient. Several European companies and a few large retail chains recently launched dukkah blends.
  • Ras-el-hanout – A blend of several spices from North Africa, especially popular in Moroccan cuisine. There are many different recipes for ras-el-hanout, but almost all contain coriander seeds. Until recently, ras-el-hanout was mainly sold in ethnic shops in Europe, but several European spice companies have added it to their assortments.

The examples below show a few products containing coriander seeds as an ingredient in the European market. Keep in mind that some traditional European spice mix brands also use coriander seeds as ingredient, such as France’s Épices Rabelais, and Italyi’s La Saporita.

Exmple of labels

Coriander seeds health benefits

Coriander seeds are not only used as a culinary ingredient but also as an ingredient for the preparation of essential oils, infusions, and extracts. The European Spices Association has released several publications regarding the health benefits of spices. Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian Ayurveda medicine. As such, it is used by many European practitioners of Ayurveda, like the members of the European Ayurveda Association.

Coriander seeds are used in traditional medicine as a digestive, carminative (relieves flatulence) and stomachic (increasing appetite) aid. It is also used to treat problems related to respiratory disorders, urinary systems and Type 2 diabetes. However, more scientific clinical research is still needed for retail packed coriander seeds to carry health claims, as approved by the European Food Safety Authority.

Ready meals consumption

Due to busy lifestyles, an increasing number of European consumers buys ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare meals from supermarkets. Europe is the largest ready meal market, with around 33% of the world’s market. Many of those meals, especially Asian curries, use coriander powders as an ingredient.

Thanks to their long shelf life, sales of ready meals strongly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which is being viewed as a temporary spike in demand. However, consumption of ready meals is expected to continue to increase in the next several years, but at somewhat lower rates.

Sustainable sourcing

Sustainability is an important topic for European buyers. Important sustainability issues in coriander seed production involve the use of soil fertilisers, irrigation water, pesticide residues, and adulteration. Depending on the country, the production of spices itself involves labour issues affecting women, migrant or child labour.

The recent trend towards more sustainability moved from niche market into mainstream. Market leaders are investing in sustainability not only to improve their image, but also because of economic benefits, such as cost reduction, shorter supply chains, and easier compliance with European regulations.

In order to improve sustainable production and spices sourcing, a group of mainly European companies and organisations formed the Sustainable Spice Initiative in 2012. The main objective of this initiative is to strive for fully sustainable spice production and trade in the sector.

Sustainable sourcing is not only a business initiative. Sustainability has been placed on the global agenda through the Sustainable Development Goals, covering not only environmental, but also social and ethical issues. Most spices are produced by small-scale farmers, who typically rotate spices alongside other crops, depending on the geographical area. These farmers often face poverty and food insecurity.

Several coriander seeds suppliers in developing countries are members of this initiative. These companies are making additional efforts to support sustainable production, including organic production, food safety investments and support to farmers. Notable examples of members which are coriander seed exporters include Agrin Maroc (Morocco) and Jayanti (India).

High-quality and sustainably produced spices and herbs can provide opportunities for suppliers in developing countries.

Tips:

  • Promote your product as a healthy ingredient and stress the benefits of your coriander seeds to people’s diets. However, avoid health or nutritional claims that are not substantiated by scientific evidence. A common type of spice promotion in Europe is to attach or label a recipe on the retail packaging.
  • Follow the principles of the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) on matters such as environmental integrity, social well-being, and economic resilience.
  • Follow sustainable agricultural practices for coriander production, such as the ones promoted by the Sustainable Spice Initiative – India.

This study has been carried out on behalf of CBI by Autentika Global.

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