Ceylon Cinnamon a global brand due to strong workforce: Rishad

Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says 400,000 force in cinnamon sector
  • Cinnamon Academy enters skills training MoU
  • Academy website unveiled15,000 MT cinnamon produced annually

LEADMinister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the ‘Future Trends in the Cinnamon Industry – Role of the Cinnamon Training Academy’ session on 22 September in Colombo


A 400,000 strong workforce and a host of exporters are behind Ceylon Cinnamon brand’s global recognition and it is time that higher-end developments are also made in relation to Ceylon Cinnamon,

“Let us not forget the most important stakeholders of this sector. They are the more than 400,000 committed cinnamon workforce and 150 Lankan exporters of cinnamon,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing the ‘Future Trends in the Cinnamon Industry – Role of the Cinnamon Training Academy; held in Colombo with the participation of top industry leaders, producers and exporters. 

The Cinnamon Training Academy website was unveiled by Bathiudeen at this event. Also taking part was International Trade Promotion Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. 

“Today is an important day in Sri Lanka’s historic spice trade,” said Bathiudeen. “Our Cinnamon Training Academy is the only such academy in the world. As we launch the Cinnamon Training Academy website and witness the exchange of the industry MoU, let us also not forget the most important stakeholders of this sector. Thanks to their commitment today Pure Ceylon Cinnamon is a global brand. The Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to follow the steps to improve the global image of Pure Ceylon Cinnamon brand as proposed by our own industry.

“The Cinnamon Training Academy that we talk about today is a result of one such commendable industry initiative. Among the other steps are technology upgrading schemes and Geographical Indicator for Ceylon Cinnamon. In April 2014, as the Minister of Industry and Commerce I also awarded the first official Pure Ceylon Cinnamon brand licenses to our proud batch of Lankan exporters. The successful recipients were nine leading Lankan cinnamon exporting firms. I am pleased to say that the Ministry has also taken other important initiatives to develop not only cinnamon but even the overall spice sector. We enlisted many companies including several spice firms to support them to obtain ISO 22000 certifications. 

“Another project was ‘Enhancing the cinnamon value chain in Sri Lanka’ implemented through the Spice Council. It was aimed at developing a suitable training system to train the industry personnel on manufacturing cinnamon according to international practices. With the valuable support of WTO this project was one of the biggest projects to upgrade the Sri Lankan spice industry. Its objective was to facilitate the smallholders to upgrade their processing centres to obtain ISO 22000 and HACCP certifications. 

“I believe that these efforts at the lower end alone are not sufficient. Higher-end developments too are necessary. For example if the packaging is not strong and attractive our drive to international markets could fail. In fact the Ministry encourages our packaging sector to produce relevant material in this regard. As a result, we believe that low shelf life ‘medium barriers’ and also ‘high shelf life’ and ‘high barrier packaging’ are more useful for our cinnamon and spice packaging. And the Ministry encourages such packaging.”

Annually Sri Lanka produces about 15,000 metric tons of true cinnamon. Sri Lanka is also aiming at $ 1 b spice and cinnamon exports by 2020.