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Tuesday, Mar 12, 2002

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AVT McCormick targets Rs 100-cr spices export

G.K. Nair

KOCHI, March 11

AVT McCORMICK, an Indo-US joint venture engaged in spices processing and exporting, has set an export target of 10,000 tonnes of value-added spices valued at Rs 100 crore in two years.

During the current fiscal, its exports are estimated to be 7,100 tonnes valued at around Rs 55 crore. ``The company has achieved a 25 per cent growth in exports in terms of quantity. But, in terms of value the realisation was at last year's level,'' Ms Sushama Srinkandath, Vice-President, Marketing and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company told Business Line. She said the company would break even during the current fiscal and start earning profits from next financial year.

She said with the backing of McCormick, known for its food safety philosophy, the company could perform well in the US market. In fact, ``50 per cent of our exports, mostly chillies, is to the US markets''. After chilli, the major item of export is turmeric. Currently, about 13 value-added products are being exported to the US, Europe and Scandinavian countries. Buyers have been convinced by the company that India is a reliable supplier of value-added spices and ``we have proved it'', she said.

Value-addition of spices, such as steam sterilisation of the spices, standardisation of active ingredients, granulisation and grinding, is mainly being done at its Rs 35-crore plant at South Vazhakulam in Ernakulam district.

She said AVT McCormick, departing from the traditional curry powder production targeting the NRIs, had started exporting curry powder exclusively for the indigenous people of the developed world. During the current fiscal, it had exported 10 tonnes of curry powder (flavoured spice talk) to Scandinavia and Japan. This would be raised to 250 tonnes in 2002-03 targeting the consumers in Europe and the US, she said.

The unit's facilities have received the certification from the American Institute of Baking as a `safe food facility' besides certifying the products as `are of our standard'. This had given the advantage of marketing the products world over, she Ms Sushama claimed.

Another advantage of the company is that it grew chilli free of aflotoxin and pesticide residues mainly for exports. She said that buyers in Europe, Australia and Japan ``use only our chillies''.

The cent per cent EOU was incurring losses till the last fiscal since it became operational in May 1996. From the next financial year onwards, it Ms Sushama is hopeful of making positive results.

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AVT McCormick targets Rs 100-cr spices export

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