“Born in Sri Lanka – Ceylon Cinnamon” was the title of a virtual event conducted last week in Melbourne, with the participation of a panel of experts and businessmen in the field, for the promotion of Ceylon Cinnamon in the Australian states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The purpose of the event was to reinvigorate the market enthusiasm for Ceylon Cinnamon in Australia by bringing forth the new information on various export products of Ceylon Cinnamon manufactured in Sri Lanka and the process of their export to Australia with special focus on the Australian regulations and market dynamics.
The presenters provided an array of information and insights on the topic. It was highlighted that Sri Lanka as the largest producer and exporter of the ‘true Cinnamon’ to the world with more than 80% of world Cinnamon production, has earned 56% of the total earnings of $335Mn from all the spices in 2020 from Cinnamon. The current Cinnamon production capacity of 21,000Mt with export quantity of 19,000Mt has the potential for expansion up to 25,000 - 30,000Mt a year and the nation branding of Sri Lankan spices with the main focus on Cinnamon provides a significant impetus in this direction. Cassia, which is inferior in quality, produced by other countries has become the major competitor for Ceylon Cinnamon in the international market. Presentations were made by Assistant Director EDB Inoka Wanasinghe and General Manager of HDDE Sumith Ponnamperuma while Consul General Kapila Fonseka and Director Market Development of EDB Anoma Premathilaka delivered the opening remarks.
It was revealed that only a quarter of Cinnamon consumption in Australia is from Ceylon Cinnamon and there is a tremendous potential of growth for Ceylon Cinnamon in the Australian market. Speaking about the Australian standards and regulatory requirements, International Business Development Manager of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Eddie Zhao explained about Australia’s strict bio-security rules. He stated that some products may be subjected to import conditions while some may require submission of supporting documentation to the relevant Australian authorities and some may even require import permits. The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment which is the responsible authority in this regard can be reached through its website www.awe.gov.au.
Proprietor of the Citro Essential Australia Upul Kularatne briefed about his personal experience in importing Cinnamon products from Sri Lanka to Australia. He advised potential new importers and exporters to obtain consultations from custom clearance agents in Australia and enhance the knowledge regarding the Australian bio security requirements prior to commencing their trade with Australia.
Highlight of the event was the demonstration by the Sri Lankan singing chef in Australia Don Sherman to prepare traditional Sri Lankan cuisine using Ceylon Cinnamon as an ingredient. Promoting Ceylon Cinnamon among Australian tourists would enhance its popularity as a gastronomy destination.
Importers in Australia, exporters in Sri Lanka, members of the Consular Corps and the Sri Lankan media fraternity participated in the webinar which was jointly organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne and the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Australia Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and the Australia Sri Lanka Business Council. This was another one of the series of trade promotional events organized by the Consulate General.