The spice market is under increasing pressure. While demand increases, the spices sector is challenged by issues that affect the supply in both the long and short terms. While spice farmers turn to the production of other commodities, there is a growing need to control and trace the origin of the spices, and assure availability of food safe and good quality products. Sustainability issues are often at the origin of the issues, and awareness has grown on the need to address them directly with farmers.
Important issues for the sector are high use of agrochemicals leading to high residue level on the product in some key origins, contamination with allergens and micotoxins, product adulteration, etc. Farmers and the sector at the same time face risks on health and safety, working conditions for women and migrants workers, child labor in some places, and overall the concern about livelihoods of the smallholders producing spices, leading farmers to leave spices farming. This drives the front-runners in the spices industry to look for better traceability and control, to get closer to farmers, and to help them with services and training to produce in a more sustainable way, keeping them in business and in the long run, helping them to improve their livelihoods.
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