Head of CORC: Iran was top saffron producer in 2017
TEHRAN — Hossein Shirzad, head of Central Organization of Rural Cooperatives of Iran (CORC) has recently said that Iran ranked first in saffron production last year with over 88 percent of the world’s share.
Addressing attendees in a symposium called Targeted Interventional Strategy in Saffron Market, Shirzad said that Iran’s saffron export last year was 96 percent of the global saffron market.
Iran’s cultivation of saffron is generally done around 1,350 to 2,200 meters above sea level which tends to be the best altitude for saffron cultivation. Therefore, in pricing the spice the preservation of foreign markets as well as the farmers’ income should be taken into account.
Shirzad added that Iran’s saffron exports requires a modern market and standard production, thus, if the price of saffron is lower than what is supposed to be, the domestic farmers will lose out, and if the price is higher, businessmen and foreign consumers will buy saffron from other countries, promoting the cultivation of the spice in countries like Afghanistan, India, and soon they will become Iran’s rival.
Therefore, he noted, saffron pricing is a very sensitive which requires the experience and instruction of all parties involved in the production chain, including framers, packaging industry and exporters. To that end, the CORC has tried to modernize the saffron market and help standardize the product. Last fiscal year, the organization exported over 250 tons of saffron valued over $352 million to the international market.