Organic food products exports surge

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Indias export of organic food products rose by 51% in terms of value to $1,040 million (Rs 7,078 crore) during financial year 2020-21 compared to the previous fiscal (2019-20).

In terms of quantity, the exports of organic food products grew by 39% to 888,179 metric tonnes (MT) during FY 2020-21 compared to 638,998 MT shipped in 2019-20. The growth in organic products has been achieved despite logistical and operational challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, said a release.

Oil cake meal has been a major commodity of organic product exports from the country followed by oil seeds, fruit pulps and purees, cereals and millets, spices and condiments, tea, medicinal plant products, dry fruits, sugar, pulses, coffee, essential oil, etc.
Indias organic products have been exported to 58 countries including the US, the European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and South Korea.

Organic products are currently exported from India only if they are produced, processed, packed and labelled as per the requirements of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). The NPOP has been implemented by APEDA since its inception in 2001 as notified under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act, 1992.

The NPOP certification has been recognised by the European Union and Switzerland, which enables India to export unprocessed plant products to these countries without the requirement of additional certification. The equivalency with EU also facilitates export of Indian organic products to the United Kingdom even in the post-Brexit phase.

In order to facilitate trade between major importing countries, negotiations are underway with Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, UAE and New Zealand for achieving Mutual Recognition Agreements for export of organic products from India.

NPOP has also been recognised by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for trade of organic products in the domestic market. Organic products covered under the bilateral agreement with NPOP need not be recertified for import in India, the release added.