India is known as the “Home of Spices” and produces a large variety and quantity of spices. About sixty-three spices are grown in the country, which includes pepper (King of Spices), cardamom (Queen of Spices), chillies, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and many others.
The global spices industry is poised for a major leap in the 21st century. Global trade in spices is expected to attain even higher levels due to the anticipated advances in the global food industry. However, with growing opportunities, challenges are also immense. All the concerned implication of the WTO, the growing green sentiment, the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (ASPS), the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (ATBT) and the Treaty on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) are some of the issues, which may have impact on the global spices trade. Annual world import of spices over the years 1998 – 2002, averaged 1.25 million tonnes (excluding garlic, turmeric, oils and oleoresins), valued at US $ 2.59 billion. Imports mostly into the developed world, have recorded strong growth averaging 6 per cent a year in terms of quantity over the past five years. The main cause for the growth of consumption of spices has been the increasing trend towards eating ethnic or oriental foods in the developed countries and the increasing affluence of consumers in Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern developing countries