Bhutanese companies to tie-up with Indian supermarket chains

The initiative is expected open up market access for Bhutanese agri-companies

Bhutanese agri-products would be soon available at retail stores in India.

The pilot launch of the Bhutanese agri-products at retail stores in India at an early date was decided during the virtual meeting between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to establish institutional links between Bhutanese agri-companies and Indian supermarket chains on April 7.

The meeting, organized by the Indian Embassy in Thimphu, was led by Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, and included participation from Mr. Ameet Kumar, Director – South & Central Asia, CII, and Tandy Wangchuk, the President of BCCI.

The Bhutanese companies who will be exporting their products to India are reportedly Bhutan Herbal

Tea, Bumthang; Bhutan Herbal Tea, Paro; Chuniding Foods; Crystal Moon Products; and Jinlab Agro Products.

The Bhutanese organic food products include preserves (pickles, jams), spices, herbal tea, organic snacks, etc. These products will be exported to Indian importers for onward distribution to Indian supermarket retailers such as Spencer’s Retail and Reliance Retail. This initiative will open up market access for Bhutanese agri-companies in India, which has a niche market for imported organic products. 

Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj recalled that during the visit of the Union Commerce & Industry Minister of India, Shri Piyush Goyal, to Bhutan in February 2020, he had made a commitment to link Bhutanese agri-producers with Indian supermarket chains. Following this commitment, the Bhutanese side (through the BCCI) has completed the testing of food product samples from the National Food Laboratory, Kolkata of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

During the meeting, the stakeholders also held detailed discussions on ways to improve the packaging and labeling of the Bhutanese products in order to facilitate their imports into India. Based on requirement, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj suggested that the Bhutanese companies could avail of capacity building opportunities offered by the Government of India for training at the Indian Institute of Packaging. 

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu