Tuesday, January 17, 2023
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BusinessDraft bill bans Spice sells outside designated market venues

Draft bill bans Spice sells outside designated market venues

Four spice items to enter ECX floor this year

A draft directive prepared by the Coffee and Tea Authority, dubbed Spices Marketing and Quality Control Implementation, prohibits the selling of spice products in traditional market places, The Reporter learnt.

According to the draft document expected to be ratified in two months’ time, spice products will be sold only at primary and secondary market places designated by the Authority and regional agricultural bureaus.

Anybody found holding or transporting the products without a special permit from the Authority would be liable to legal measures. 

Existing license for spices will be replaced with new ones within six months of the ratification of the new directive. To obtain an export license, a minimum of Birr 500,000 is required for share companies, while Birr 250,000 is required for others. Spice farmers who can present production forecast can obtain an export license.   

While the new directive gives the right for spice farmers to obtain export permits, it restricts any traders and processors from transacting or holding spice products without a special license from the Authority.

The directive lists intensive standards and requirements for spice farmers, processors, traders and exporters to fulfill in order to obtain licenses.

The intensive quality and lab test requirements came following complaints from countries buying Ethiopian spices, largely gulf countries, India, Sudan, Germany, and Israel. The quality specifications include certifications of agronomic practices, harvest, warehousing, packing, truck and container, among others.

The authority is expected to deploy its own personnel and offices in spice producing corridors, processing factories, and customs stations.

According to the draft, export of spices will be approved only after the exporter presents documents that indicate the traceability of the product from the farm to packaging.

“The draft is developed through various stakeholders’ discussions and it is currently undergoing public discussions. After considering all the necessary inputs, we will send the draft to the Attorney General soon, and we expect it will be ratified in two months’ time,” said Tatek Girma, Market Development and Promotion Director at the Authority.

The new directive came at the same time when the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) announced its plans to include four spice items to the trading floor.

“We have finalized preparations to include four spice items into the trading floor, beginning this year,” Wondimagegn Negera, CEO of ECX, told The Reporter

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