Sri Lankan cinnamon exports to gain boost from EDB 

The Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka is set to help the Sri Lankan cinnamon sector obtain a geographical indication (GI) for Ceylon cinnamon within the EU.

This move comes as a result of rising competition from other cinnamon sources in the world market.

Cinnamon is the most valuable spice produced in Sri Lanka. Apart from being the leading exporter of pure cinnamon to the rest of the world, Sri Lanka accounts for almost 80 percent of the global pure cinnamon market.

However, Ceylon cinnamon is facing competition from substitutes such as Cassia, and other varieties of cinnamon supplied by Madagascar and the Seychelles.

Obtaining a GI in the European Union requires certain technical requirements to be met. All stakeholders in the cinnamon sector – from growers and processors, to traders and exporters –need to implement and practise product specifications mentioned in the GI document throughout the supply chain.

This is to be monitored and ensured by the Ceylon Cinnamon Geographical Indication Association (CCGIA), which would not only represent all stakeholders but also serve as a bridge between local cinnamon producers and the EU market – in other words, one needs to be registered with the CCGIA to export cinnamon to the EU under the ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’ name.

Moreover, as part of this initiative, the Department of Export Agriculture is expected to implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for cinnamon growers and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for cinnamon processors.

The EDB is working with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and other relevant government and private sector stakeholders, to obtain a GI for Ceylon cinnamon, which would represent Sri Lanka’s first ever GI.