Demand for Indian organic products goes up in the global market

India has been in talks with Japan, Taiwan, Australia, UAE and New Zealand to facilitate Mutual Recognition Agreements for the export of organic products.

April 28, 2021

A rise of 51% to $1.04bn has been witnessed in FY21 for the outbound shipments of the country’s organic food products.

Organic products have grown in demand in overseas markets despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Presently, the certification and approval of the products for export is done by the NPOP, a body recognized by the UK and Switzerland.

The Food Safety Standard Authority of India also recognizes the NPOP certification for the sale of organic products within India.

With the aim of achieving Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) to export organic products, India is underway in negotiations to accelerate trade between the importing countries i.e Japan, Taiwan, Australia, UAE and New Zealand. An MRA facilitates the recognition of the conformity assessments between two or more countries, consequently aiding the ease of trade. The government revealed that a rise of 51% to US$1.04bn has been witnessed in FY21 for the outbound shipments of the country’s organic food products, while a growth of 39% to 0.88 million metric tonnes in FY21 from 0.63 million metric tonnes in 2019-20 could be witnessed with regard to the quantity.

In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry mentioned that a growth could be witnessed in the demand for organic products in spite of the logistical and operational challenges and hindrances owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The statement also mentioned that there were 58 countries, including USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland and Israel, to which India’s organic products have been exported to so far. According to M Angamuthu, chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the demand for Indian organic products, nutraceuticals and health foods is increasing in its overseas markets.

At present, Indian organic products for export are required to be produced, processed, packed and labelled according to the guidelines of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), whose certification is accredited by the European Union and Switzerland. This in turn, permits the export of unprocessed plant products to both these countries without the hassle of additional certification. Additionally, correspondence with the EU also enables Indian organic products to the United Kingdom even after the Brexit phase. Apart from these, the Food Safety Standard Authority of India also recognises the NPOP for the trade of organic products within the country. Therefore, the organic products covered under the bilateral agreement with NPOP do not have the requirement of being recertified for sale in the domestic market.