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Last updated on 15-12-2016, 09:43





Spices Board was constituted in 1987 under Spices Board Act 1986 with the responsibility of production/development of cardamom and export promotion of 52 spices shown in the schedule of the Act. We function to develop, promote and regulate export of spices, grant certificate for export of spices, undertake programmes and projects for promotion of export of spices, assist and encourage studies and research for improvement of processing, quality, techniques of grading and packaging of spices, strive towards stabilization of prices of spice export, evolve suitable quality standards and introduce certification of quality through "Quality Marking" for spices for export, control quality of spices for export, give licenses, subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed to the manufacturers of spices for export, market any spice, if it considers necessary, in the interest of promotion of export, provide warehousing facilities abroad for spices, collect statistics with regard to prices for compilation and publication, import with previous approval of Central Government any spice for sale and advise the Central Government on matters relating to import and export of spices.


We are committed to act with integrity and judiciousness, transparency in our operations & accountability and with courtesy and understanding in our dealings with the exporters, the farming community and the general public as a whole. All the services and commitments will be honoured, without the citizen having to pay any bribe.


We will continuously strive to evolve procedures in fulfilling or mandate ensuring maximum benefit to the exporters as an honest and sincere facilitator, helping the farming community in post harvest technologies, in maintaining international quality standards of their produce by setting up Quality Evaluation Laboratories easily accessible both for the exporters as well as farmers and the general public as well as in grading, cleaning, packaging and ware housing of the produce of the farming community by setting up parks exclusively for Spices. We are committed to simplify, if necessary, various rules in force. We shall continuously consult our client groups, exporters/farmers, other stake holders of Indian Spice Industry and shall give timely publicity to all changes in law or procedures relevant to the Board


Development Wing

Spices Board is responsible for the overall development of cardamom (Small & Large) especially in improving production and productivity. Post Harvest Improvement of spices is also vested with Spices Board. For achieving these objectives, Board is implementing a number of developmental programmes like Special Purpose Fund for replantation and rejuvenation of cardamom small and large in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim and Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Production and distribution of disease free, healthy and quality planting materials are also taken up by certified nurseries opened in growers' field with the technical supervision of the officers of the Board.

For improving quality of spices at farm level, encouraging organic production of spices, creation of replicable models based on integrated pest management , development of spices with export potential in North Eastern Region, extension service to spice growers etc. the Board has started a scheme called Export oriented production and post harvest improvement of spices. Other programmes for spices carried out by the Development Wing of the Board for spices are

a. Supply of Seed spice threshers (Power operated and manually operated)
b. Supply of pepper threshers
c. Distribution of bamboo mats for pepper
d. Promotion of Integrated pest management in chilli (IPM)
Post harvest improvement of spices
e. Supply of Silpauline sheets for drying spices
Training programme for quality improvement of spices
f. Promotion of organic farming (In order to promote farmers for organic production of spices, programmes like organic farm certification assistance, support for setting up vermi-compost units, promoting organic cultivation of spices are being implemented]

g. Extension advisory service, Transfer of technical know-how to growers on production of spices is an important factor in increasing productivity. This programme envisages technical/extension support to growers on the scientific aspects of cultivation through personal contact, field visits, group meetings and through distribution of literature in vernacular languages for increasing productivity and improving quality of cardamom in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, development of large cardamom in the states of Sikkim and West Bengal and selected spices in the North East and small pockets across the country]

Major Activities to facilitate users by Development Wing – in tabular format. click the link

Marketing Wing


The export development & promotional programmes are formulated and implemented by the Marketing department of the Board. The programmes are aimed at equipping the exporters to have necessary competitive edge in sustaining and increasing export markets for Indian spices. The market development activities of the Board have their focus on quality, value addition and technology transfer/upgradation.

Licensing and Registration forms a part of the regulatory functions of the Board. The exports of spices are regulated through the Spices Board (Registration of Exporters) Regulations 1989 while the domestic marketing of cardamom is regulated through Cardamom (Licensing & Marketing) Rules 1987. As per these rules, any person desirous of doing business in cardamom as auctioneer or dealer has to obtain a license. The exporters of spices have to obtain certificates of registration from the Board. These certificate/licenses are issued for a block period of three years commencing from September onwards.

The quality specifications stipulated by the buying countries are disseminated to the exporters on a continuous basis. Exporters are also given updated information on the opportunities emerging in different markets, new uses & applications in food and non-food sectors by conducting market studies.

The following assistance is given to exporters/for export promotion.

a. Adoption of hi-tech & technology up-gradation
b. Setting up/upgradation of Quality Control Laboratory
c. Quality certification, validations of check samples and training of laboratory personnel.
d. Sending business samples abroad
e. Printing promotional literatures/brochures
f. Packaging Development and Bar Coding Registration
g. Market Development Assistance (MDA) for participation in trade
h. Delegations/fairs/exhibitions.
i. Brand Promotion Loan Scheme
j. Grant in aid for participation of exporters in international trade fairs/exhibitions
k. Participation of exporters in International meetings / seminars and delegations.
l. Market development programmes in the NE Region
m. Product development & research

Other activities of the marketing wing:

a. Awarding Indian Spice Logo , which denotes the quality of spices, is awarded to manufacturer exporters of spices.
b. Awarding Spice House Certificate to those exporters of spices who have installed required facilities for cleaning, processing, grading, packaging and warehousing and quality assurance. Only those exporters who have acquired ISO & HACCP/GMP certificate are eligible for Spice House certificate.
c. Registration of brand name is to support export of spices/spice products in consumer packs under Indian brand names and gain market share in the fast growing market of branded consumer packs. The Board has specified packing standards for different spices for different unit weights in consultation with Indian Institute of packaging.
d. Electronic auction system in cardamom
The Board has introduced electronic auction (E-auction) system for cardamom (small) by replacing the manual system in the major producing states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which produces 80 per cent of cardamom (small) in the country. E-auction has provided increased transparency in transactions and ensured competitive price to the growers. The system has functioned successfully to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

e. Spices Parks in major spice growing/marketing centers

Spices Board has introduced the concept of Spices Parks in the major spice growing/marketing centers. The Spice Parks will provide common facilities for drying, cleaning, grading, processing (grinding, crushing etc.) sterilization, sorting, packing and ware housing of the spices. The park will also provide minimal Processing Facilities closer to the growing areas with drying and packing facilities. Another advantage anticipated from the parks is the complete documentation to Traceability of the spices from the farmer to the processors/exporters. The elimination of two to three channels in the distribution chain will ensure better prices to farmers and thus empower them. Board has taken initiative to establish Spices Parks at the following locations viz. 1.Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh 2.Idukki District in Kerala 3.Guntur in Andhra Pradesh 4.Sivagangai in Tamil Nadu 5.Jodhpur in Rajasthan 6. Kota in Rajasthan 7. Mehsana in Gujarat 8. Guna in Madhya Pradesh, 9. Rae Bareily in Uttar Pradesh and 10. Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh

f. Sampling and testing of the following
i. Sudan I-IV Dyes, in chilli / chilli containing products / turmeric to all countries
ii. Aftlatoxins in chilli / chilli containing products to all countries
iii. Aflatoxins in ginger, turmeric, nutmeg and mace to EU countries
iv. Pesticide Residues in cumin and chilli, to Japan
v. Pesticide residues in curry leaf, to EU countries
vi. Sunset Yellow in sugar coated fennel, all countries
vii. Other seeds and extraneous matter in cumin, all countries
g. Publishing trade enquiries received at Spices Board as well as during participation in International Fairs in Foreign Trade Enquiry Bulletin published by the Board.
h. Geographical Indication Registration of Spices
i. Collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of statistics relating to Exports, Imports, Area, Production and Domestic and International prices of spices. Domestic and international prices received from various agencies like India Pepper and Spice Trade Association, Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees, Merchants Associations, International Trade Centre, Geneva, etc have been compiled and disseminated through the Spices Market bulletin as well as through the Board's website.

Major Activities to facilitate users by Marketing Wing– in tabular format. click the link

Quality Evaluation Laboratory
The first Quality Evaluation Laboratory was established in 1989 at Kochi for providing analytical services to the Indian Spice Industry and to monitor the quality of spices produced and processed in the country. It has got facilities to analyse physical, chemical and microbial contaminants including pesticide residues, aflatoxin, trace metal etc., and the artificial coloring contaminants like Sudan dyes and the lab follows internationally accepted procedures for analysis. The laboratory at Kochi is certified for ISO9001:2008 Quality Management System by British Standards Institution, UK since 1997 and 1999 respectively. The laboratory has also the accreditation under ISO/IEC 17025 from the National Accreditation Board for calibration and testing Laboratory (NABL) since 2004. The laboratory is equipped with the state of the art technology to undertake the analysis as per the requirements of importing countries including HPLC MS/MS with 'Q' trap facility and GC MS/MS systems.

Growing demand of the Spice Industry for setting up of laboratories at regional centers necessitated in establishing labs at regional centers. The Board is going to set up Regional Quality Evaluation Laboratory cum training centers at various centers in addition to the already functional laboratories at Cochin, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Tuticorin, and Guntur in order to facilitate the exporting community to analyse export products and conform to the prescribed quality Standards to their overseas buyers which would increase consumer confidence in the buying countries on quality aspects. The other centers where the construction work of Quality Evaluation Laboratories is in progress are Kolkata and Kandla.

Services Offered by Quality Evaluation Laboratory


The Laboratory is recruiting the final year outgoing B.SC/M.Sc Students from the nearby colleges under the "Earn while you learn Programme"every year to work as trainee analysts in its laboratory. After one year of service, these students find jobs potential in Spices industries/similar organizations.


To validate the analytical methods adopted, the laboratory participates in the check sample/validation programmes organised by international agencies. The Laboratory regularly participate in check sample/proficiency programmes organized by Food Analysis Proficiency Assessment Scheme (FAPAS) conducted by Central Science Laboratory, UK American Spice Trade Association (ASTA); Public Health Laboratory Services (PHLS), U.K.; Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA), U.K.; International Pepper Community (IPC), Jakarta and the proficiency testing programme organized by NABL. In addition to the above, laboratory participates in validation programmes for major parameters with various laboratories in major importing countries and the laboratories attached to Spice Export units in India. Under this programme samples are collected, prepared and send to various participating Laboratories.


The laboratory is providing training to the technical personnel from the spice industry, Govt. officials and NGOs on the analysis of spices and spice products. Specialized training programmes for a period of 5 days are designed to cater the needs of the industry. Training programmes in the field of physico-chemical analysis, analysis of pesticide residues, Sudan I-IV analyses, aflatoxin and microbiological techniques are provided on a regular basis. The programme is aimed to upgrade and update the analytical capabilities of the technical person working in spice/spice products Industry.


The Spices Board has a programme to assist for establishment of quality control laboratories at the level of exporters, Govt. analytical laboratories and laboratories attached to NGOs. Financial support is provided for procurement of equipments under the schemes approved by the Board. The Laboratory staff provides training to the technical personnel in the above laboratories on the use of sophisticated equipments. Under the Spices Board Scheme for setting up Laboratories attached to Spice/Spice products export units, our Laboratory staff provides technical inputs to our Marketing section on various equipments purchased under the scheme towards considering the same for availing the subsidy.


The laboratory has compiled the information on the import regulations and quality specifications by the major importing countries. The information collected is updated and made available to the exporters in the form of a book entitled "Quality Requirements of Spices for Export". The laboratory has also published the test methods for spices as "Official Analytical Methods of Spices Board".


The Board is taking part in the activities of Codex Alimentarius Commission/IPC/ISO. Spices Board is a member in the National Codex Committee. Spices Board Chairman holds the Chairmanship and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), New Delhi holds the Secretariat of the ISO/TC 34/SC7 Committee for Spice and Condiments under ISO. The Meeting of the above committee is generally held in Spices Board Office at Cochin for the active participation of its members from the spice/spice products field. The Laboratory does all the arrangements for the above meeting. The laboratory provides the materials/comments for the participation in all these meetings.


Spices Board is actively participating in the process of harmonization of standards for spices under various national/International agencies. The specifications suggested by the laboratory and the analytical methods proposed are incorporated in the specifications of International Pepper community (IPC). Laboratory is also providing data for the establishment of MRLs of pesticide residues in International Organizations such as Codex Alimentarius Commission, ISO etc. The laboratory is also submitting the inputs for various documents/standards.

Major Activities to facilitate users by Quality Evaluation Laboratory in tabular format. click the link


The main objective of Research at the Indian Cardamom Research Institute is for increasing the productivity of cardamom (both small & large) which would thereby help in producing adequate surplus for meeting the export demand thus enhancing the net income of spice farmers. Research is mainly focused on marginal and low production regions of small cardamom growing tracts of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as well as large cardamom growing regions of North East States. Major Areas of Research are Crop improvement, Biotechnology, Crop management, Crop protection, Post harvest technology & Organic Farming. Farmer participatory research and technology evaluation are the major activities undertaken by the research department. These include Evaluation of hybridsin Farmers' fields, Demonstration trials at Wayanad, Demonstration of EPN and Cluster based demonstration of Large Cardamom technology under National Agricultural Innovation Project. Ecosystem conservation & protection programmes cover Germplasm conservation, Pest and diseases surveillance, Screening of germplasm for pests and disease, Weather monitoring & crop impact studies, Monitoring of pesticide residues and Soil health analysis. Apart from these Sustainable production technologies are also being undertaken for Varietal development, Integrated pest and disease management as well as Integrated nutrient management. In addition to these, several externally funded multi institutional and National projects are ongoing in most of the Divisions.

Farmer oriented programmes:-
(a) Bio agent production
(b) Soil test based advisory services
(c) Scientific crop production services
(d) Short term training programmes
(e) Pesticide residue analyses at farm gate level
(f) Weather forecasting services to all spice growing areas are being offered to all field units of Spices Board.

Major Activities to facilitate users by Research Wing in tabular format. click the link




A Grievances Cell is functioning under the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Board and he is the fulltime Grievance Officer of both public as well as staff. In addition to this for outstation offices the officer in charge of every outstation office has been designated as Grievance Redress Officer. If the grievance received by the Grievance Redress Officer can be redressed at his level it is disposed of immediately and in other cases same are submitted to the Secretary of the Board.

A Grievances Box has been provided at the reception bay of the Spices Board Office at Kochi where one can deposit his complaint. A notice Board informing the public address, contact Nos etc. of the CVO, Chairman, Secretary and Central Vigilance Commission has also been kept in the Reception Bay. A Complaint Box has been kept in each office of the Board where one can drop complaint. Facility for the public to lodge their Grievance/Complaint through Spices Board's Website has also been provided in line with CVC website. All Wednesdays are observed as meeting less days in the Board and the public can without insisting on appointment can meet the officers of the Board between 3.30 PM and 4.30 PM


Spices Board has implemented the Right to Information Act, 2005 and has put in place all necessary systems and procedures on the Website of the Department. The Board has also appointed a Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Assistant Central Public Information Officer and number of Public Information Officers and has set up a mechanism of appeal as envisaged in the Act. Secretary, Spices Board is the appellate authority. Any citizen of India can seek information from the CPIO under the Act. The Coordinating CPIO of Spices Board is Sri Roy Joseph, Dy.Director (P&C), Spices Board, Sugandha Bghavan, NH Bypass Road Cochin. Transparency Officer is Sri Jijesh T Das, Deputy Director(EDP). Sri P.M.Suresh Kumar, Secretary of the Board is the appellate authority and Nodal Officer.



Our Public Relation Office is situated in Head Office, Spices Board, under Dy.Director publicity for guidance and help and the Board welcomes your phone calls on Telephone No. 2333610-Ext. 235

In addition to the above, latest information on anything and every thing related to Spices Board is available on our website