Vandanmedu Cardamom Auction in Idukki

The scent emanating from Cardamom plantations is among the most intoxicating on the planet. The world is slowly awakening to the immense flavour that this special spice adds to one's palate, an ingredient that has been loved and cherished on our shores for centuries. The demand for it is enormous and Vandanmedu, about 25 km from Kumily, is one of the world's largest Cardamom Auction Centres.

Traders from numerous places including Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bodinayakkannur in Tamil Nadu take part in the auction. Smaller growers have their produce sent to depots located in various places. These auctions give people a chance to inspect the spice and then bid immediately for it. An E-auction was introduced by the Spices Board of India that has helped buyers and sellers connect in a faster and more transparent way. In the E-auction, each bidder is unaware of the prices quoted by the rival bidder, thus ensuring healthy competition and fair price for the produce. On average, 300 tonnes of produce is sold and peak seasons see up to 600 tonnes being sold.

While the Kerala Cardamom Processing Marketing Centre holds its weekly auctions on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Mass Enterprises Ltd. holds it on Fridays. The Cardamom Planters' Association has fixed the auctioning day as Monday. For Hedder Systems Pvt. Ltd., it is Tuesday; for the Cardamom Processing and Marketing Co-Operative Society (CPMCS), Wednesday; and for the Spices Trading Corporation Ltd (STCL), Thursday. Another auctioneer, the Idukki Small Cardamom Marketing and Processing Society (ISCMPS), conducts its auctions on Sunday.

Spice fest and other initiatives to boost spice trade  



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