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India Supply Chain Management for Spices and Botanical Ingredients (SCMSBI)

Description of SCMSBI, key dates of activities involving JIFSAN

The India Supply Chain Management for Spices and Botanical Ingredients (SCMSBI) CTI is a collaboration initiative  between JIFSAN,  the India Spices Board, the Confederation of India Industry – Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence (CII-FACE) aimed at reducing food safety hazards in these ingredients. The FDA reviewed the scientific evidence and food safety concerns for these products in a publication entitled: Draft Risk Profile: Pathogens and Filth in Spices. The report found that spice adulteration in sampled imported products was larger than the average for all other FDA-regulated foods and that Salmonella, which can survive for years in the low moisture environment, was found in most types of spices. FDA conducted site visits in India and reported that many spice producers had insufficient food safety control and prevention strategies. It was suggested that widespread implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and, when appropriate, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) would be an effective way to reduce the risk.
In 2012 FDA asked JIFSAN to reach out to the Spices Board and the Confederation of Indian Industries - Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence (CII-FACE) to establish a Collaborative Training Center. With the help of the local public sector, the Center is expected to reach producers and handlers. The Center focuses on training in supply chain management in spices using GAP principles and helping the public and private sectors to develop and implement their own capacity building programs in safe practices for spices.

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Key dates of activities involving JIFSAN

  • • September 17-21, 2012- Phase I-  Subject Matter Experts from JIFSAN and FDA traveled to Cochin, Kerala, India to offer basic food safety training focused on principles of GAP and GMP for spices. Participants in the workshop included representatives from the India Spice Board, CII-FACE, the Indian government, academia, spice processors, and spice growers. Nine individuals were selected to become resident lead trainers.
  • • September 2012 – Agreement was signed by JIFSAN, the Spices Board and CII-FACE to establish the SCMSBI CTI for the advancement of food safety in the spices and botanical ingredients industries.
  • • March 25 -April 5, 2013 – Phase II – the identified residential lead trainers traveled from India to the U.S. for advanced training at the JIFSAN Training Center in College Park, Maryland. Instructors were recruited from JIFSAN, the FDA, industry, and trade associations for the intensive 6-day program. A field trip to a major food manufacturer was included. The group then traveled to the University of Mississippi's National Center for Natural Products Research for an additional 3 days of training on analytical procedures.
  • • October, 2013 Phase III programs were begun and delivered three states to a total of 218 persons. The newly-trained participants were expected to branch out and deliver training programs to constituents in their region.
  • • February, 2014 - Phase III as a side activity of the World Spice Conference, in Kerala, was to develop a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy with SCMSBI-CTI collaborators so as to understand the impact of the Phase III training programs. Assessment tools were piloted in the inauguration training program in the villages of Kaloor and Kaloorkad, Kerala.
  • • 2014-2015 - Multiple Phase III training programs were conducted for different stakeholders of the supply chain in major spice producing states. The State Agricultural & Horticultural Departments were requested to form GAP cells with their Nodal Office in each state. March, 2016 - JIFSAN trainers traveled to India to deliver training programs in four areas (Anand, Mandsaur, Ajmer and Bangalore) with the Spices Board residential lead trainers and assisted with the establishment of training cells in all locations. Program participants included growers and officials from government agencies and academia.
  • • February 2019- JIFSAN trainers traveled to India to deliver of food safety training programs designed for low-literacy audiences in four areas (Mandsaur, Jodhpur, Mahesana, and Hyderabad) with the Spices Board. These training sessions were based up a manual entitled Food Safety for Farm Workers which had been developed by subject matter experts at JIFSAN. Various farms and industry handling facilities were visited for a review of food safety practices and to strengthen the ties between the Spices Board and its stakeholders.
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SCMSBI action to facilitate a multiplier effect

  • • May and June, 2013 - Phase III involved the residential lead trainers refining and implementing their own training programs in India.  Trainings were directed at primary producers and subsequent handlers of the products. To sensitize key stakeholders to the need for such trainings the CTI leaders held a series of meetings with National/State Horticulture Mission officials in the Southern, Central and Northern regions of India. Program leaders worked to sensitize Mission officials to food safety concerns in spices and to encourage them to join with the newly formed CTI to conduct subsequent food safety training in spices. Plans were laid by CTI to develop content for 2 two-day Train-the-Trainer programs in each state.
  • • The Spice Board, FAO (the implementing partner), Export Inspection Council (EIC), India Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA), reached out to the STDF for a preparatory grant followed by a full grant that would lead to the - Strengthening the Spice Value Chain and Improving Market Access for Indian spice producers and processors. The project focus on improving food safety and quality in cumin, fennel, coriander and black pepper so as to increase export competitiveness. The project also is focusing on supporting poor producers from marginalized communities who are currently excluded from formal value chains. 
    • o JIFSAN’s metrics team will be collaborating with the partners to conduction impact evaluations associated with this trainings
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Metric highlights to date

Manuals and publications

  • Training Manuals
    • • JIFSAN
    • • Partners manual (In progress)
      • o Manual on Food Safety and Supply Side Management of Spices and Botanical Ingredients. September 2013 written by the Spices Board India and CII-FACE. The manual included sections on food safety issues in the supply chain; GAP for the production and handling of spices; managing food safety during transportation, storage, processing and packaging; as well as licensing and registration of food businesses in India.
      • o Low literacy

Other publications/conference proceedings

News articles mentioning CTI’s work

Link’s to other “sister” projects building on CTI work