SL, India hold virtual meetings on agri-product diversification | Daily News

SL, India hold virtual meetings on agri-product diversification

The Sri Lanka Consulate General in Mumbai, together with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), connected Sri Lankan fresh fruits exporters (avocado and passion fruit) with high-end supermarkets in Mumbai through virtual B2B meetings recently. This was a follow-up discussion on the programme launched by the Consulate in September, 2020, to promote and diversify Sri Lanka’s agri-products to the Indian market, in line with the government’s Export Economic Policy, the Sri Lankan Consulate General in India stated in a press release.

Twenty online B2B meetings took place between five leading fruit and vegetable exporters from Sri Lanka; namely CR Exports Pvt. Ltd., Development Interplan Ceylon Pvt. Ltd, Forbes and Walker Fine Foods Pvt. Ltd, HJS Condiments Pvt. Ltd., JAGRO Pvt. Ltd; and high-end supermarket chains in India such as Nature’s Basket, More Retail, Star Bazzar, and East West Agro (a Mumbai-based fresh fruits importer), the statement read.

The supermarket chains represented at the meetings are high-end consumer product outlets with a reach covering all of India. Nature’s Basket, which is owned by the RPSG Group, has over 36 neighbourhood convenience stores in Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore, with a diverse product portfolio. Star Market, a joint venture by the Tata and Tesco companies, is present across 48 stores in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kolhapur, and Hyderabad. More Reatil, which is the fourth largest supermarket chain in India, is owned by Amazon and Samara Capital Pvt. Ltd. More Retail offers two types of stores: hypermarts and supermarkets. The company has 22 hypermarts spreading across New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Thane; they operate 651 supermarkets all over India. East West Agro is a Mumbai-based fresh fruit importer, which has been engaged in the agri-product trade for more than a decade.

Both Indian and Sri Lankan participants appreciated the joint effort, especially during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic to stimulate more business taking place between the two countries. Given the close proximity and the unique duty concessions offered to Sri Lanka for agri-products under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA), Sri Lanka is well-positioned to utilise this untapped export potential, the statement added.

In addition to avocado and passion fruit, the Sri Lankan companies have received inquiries on the possibility of exporting other products such as mangoes (during off-season in India), lichies, and soursop from Sri Lanka. India imports avocado from Latin America and Europe and passion fruits are imported from South Africa as the local supply of avocado and passion fruits in India are not sufficient to fulfill the local demand, the Consulate General said.