Sri Lanka bans fake cinnamon to pro­tect spice im­age

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Sri Lanka has banned the im­port of cinnamon sub­sti­tutes in a bid to safe­guard the rep­u­ta­tion of its leg­endary spice “Cey­lon cinnamon,” a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

Pri­mary in­dus­tries min­is­ter Daya Ga­m­age said the cabi­net had rat­i­fied his proposal to out­law the im­port of a cheaper va­ri­ety known as “cas­sia cinnamon.” He said he took the step af­ter sev­eral con­tainer loads of the fake cinnamon that had been im­ported from Mada­gas­car were found.

“Cas­sia looks sim­i­lar to the real thing, but it is in­fe­rior in qual­ity and cheaper than Cey­lon cinnamon,” the min­is­ter said in a state­ment. “When it is re-ex­ported as real cinnamon, it dam­ages our rep­u­ta­tion.” The aro­matic spice-used in both savoury dishes and desserts-was na­tive to Sri Lanka. Dutch in­vaders grew it on a com­mer­cial scale in the 17th cen­tury for ex­port.

The com­mod­ity which brought in over $150 mil­lion in the first 10 months of this year is known by the coun­try’s colo­nial era name “Cey­lon.” Sri Lanka’s cinnamon in­dus­try, which sup­plies about 85 per­cent of the world mar­ket, is en­joy­ing high earn­ings. Top-grade cinnamon oil, ex­tracted from the bark, fetches over $510 a kilo­gram ($232 a pound). Cinnamon oil is used in fizzy drinks as well as in the man­u­fac­ture of high-end per­fumes. — AFP


This file pho­to­graph taken on Au­gust 28, 2014, shows a bun­dle of cinnamon, ready for sale at a farm in Sri Lanka’s Hikkaduwa re­gion.

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