Mitigating contamination of spices with rainforest alliance certification

Kochi: High pesticide residues in spices especially turmeric and chilly have been a grave concern and impediment to the dietary and food supplement industry. Contamination of spices occurs mainly through pollution from heavy metals, industrial emissions, effluents, and also through anthropogenic activities.

Consumption of natural ingredients laced with hazardous residues found in food, nutrition, and dietary supplements, in the long run, can pose serious health ailments. Pesticide contamination not only impacts direct-to-consumer business but also directly correlates to the import of agricultural products. Foreign regulatory authorities off late have initiated stringent measures in setting up tolerance level of pesticide residues that is permitted on human or animal food products.

Kerala-based Arishina Life Sciences, manufacturers of spices and botanical extracts have resorted to certifying its supply chain with the ‘Rainforest Alliance’ to promote sustainable agricultural practices and fight pesticide contamination of herbs and spices. The company has been successful in bringing down the level of pesticide contaminants consistently to minimal values across their batches of turmeric and chilly for over a year.

Rain Forest Alliance is an international non-governmental organization with a presence in over 70 countries that works towards creating a sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.

Some of the major measures initiated by Arishina Life Sciences as part of the Rain forest alliance include promoting safe practices in cultivation, promoting reforestation, pest control management through approved chemical application and border crop and intercrop practices.

“Our efforts have always been focused on delivering responsible natural ingredients to our consumers. Most companies resort to the procurement of sustainable produces from rainforest alliance certified farms but care less about their own internal system. The reason why we have opted to go the extra mile and certify Arishina’s own supply management with rain forest alliance,” said Smiju MD, Managing Director, Arishina Life Sciences.

Currently, the company has partnered with 2400 farmers from the regions across Karnataka capable of producing 2000 hectares of turmeric and 200 hectares of chilly annually. Currently, over 350 farms have been certified through Rain Forest Alliance programme.

( Source : Press Release )
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