Tuesday, December 11, 2007

India, Brazil, Vietnam launch cashew alliance
newsIndia, Brazil and Vietnam, the three main cashew producers, have formed a global alliance for cashew with a view to protecting their interests, union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said. The grouping would have its headquarters in India and the government is debating the feasibility of locating it at Kochi, Kollam, Bangalore or Mumbai amidst pressures for locating it at Kollam, the minister said at a press meet.Unlike the OPEC, the minister said, the cashew alliance would work as a lose confederation of three major cashew producers of the world, aiming to ensure that interests of the three countries do not get hurt. India, which produces and imports half a million tonnes of cashew annually, is the world's largest cashew producer, importer, processor and consumer. The alliance will ensure that high productivity in a country will not have destabilising effect in the other two countries, he said. The concept was ready and the three countries have agreed for such an alliance. In the next six months, a decision in this regard is likely to be taken, he said. On the proposal for setting up a cashew board, the minister said the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade had been asked to carry out a study on the best way to organise the cashew industry in India.A global alliance for promotion of cashew had already come into force with two of the three major cashew producing and exporting countries as India and Vietnam and signing an agreement in this regard in January. Besides ensuring price stability, Brazil, India and Vietnam will work jointly and through their governments to induce international organisations like FAO, UNIDO and other similar agencies to focus on cashews with the objective of increasing consumption of cashews in all countries as a food of importance.These countries intend to work towards promotion of cashews in new and expanding areas of indirect consumption such as chocolate, confectionery and bakery products, and as food ingredients. Apart from promoting the commodity, these countries want to work in a spirit of cooperation for research and development, primarily for studies in nutritional and health benefits and product development.The alliance also plans to enlist the support of the International Nuts and Dried Fruits Council, which is specialised in the promotion of treenuts and dried fruits.The three countries would also regularly exchange information on crop prospects; production, import and export figures; reliable market information; and government policies affecting the industry. Source: domain-b.com

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