About us

The European Spice Association (ESA) is the umbrella organisation of the European spice industry. ESA brings together the expertise of this wide group of people to promote the use of pure, safe and wholesome herbs and spices that are true to name and provide the quality and safety that is expected by the consumer.

The association counts as members:
• 13 national associations in 12 European countries
• 63 direct European companies
• 36 associated members mainly from the countries of origin of herbs and spices.

The European Spice Association represents (directly and through its national associations) more
than 350 European companies in the dried culinary herbs and spices industry in 20 countries across
Europe and has associate members in 17 other nations worldwide.

  • represent the interests of its members vis-à-vis the competent bodies and departments of the European Union, as well as international institutions and organisations;
  • promote the interests of members in respect of the products concerned and to protect the image of the products and the sector;
  • study subjects of common interest to the members in the scientific, legislative, technological and economic fields.
  • A strong and successful hub of the spice sector, respected by stakeholders with products used directly by consumers or incorporated in a wide range of food and drink products.
ESA Structure
The Association is composed by the following bodies:
  • General Assembly
  • Board of Directors
  • Technical Committee and other Committees
  • Secretariat

The ESA Board

Benoit Winstel, President (Colin Ingrédients S.A.S.)

José Maria Albarracin (J.J. Albaraccin S.A.)
Steve Clemenson (Nedspice EMEA B.V.)
Simon Cripps (TCI International Creative Ingredients)
Sandra Flodström
Nils Meyer-Pries (Fuchs GmbH & Co. KG)
Stefano Trumpy (Webb James srl)

The European Spice Sector

Herbs and spices are the ingredients used to give food and beverage products aroma, flavour, preservation, and colour. These products are derived from various plant parts, including flowers, barks, fruits, buds, seeds, leaves, roots, and plant tops.

The global herbs and spices market was valued at € 14,5 billion in 2019. While Asia is the leading importer of spices with 47% of the market share, Europe is the second largest world’s importing region for spices as it accounts for about one quarter of the world’s total imports of spices.

In 2019 Europe imported around 25% (around 370.000 tons) of the global production, followed by North America (18%), Africa (5%), Latin America, the Caribbean (3%) and Oceania (2%). The dependence on spice imports from non-EU countries also means that intra-EU spice trade mainly consists of re-exports of spices that originally came from origin countries.

The European market of culinary herbs, instead, is less dependent on imports, as the majority of herbs consumed and processed in the EU are harvested in the European region. Dried herbs production mostly takes place in the Mediterranean Countries, and counts on pro duction of parsley, basil, bay leaves, celery leaves, chives, coriander, dill tips, chervil, fennel, juniper, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savoury, tarragon and thyme.

Main user of culinary herbs and species is the food processing industry (70-80%), followed by the retail (15-25%) and the food service sector (5-10%). In 2019 the EU herbs and spices industry generated a turnover of € 3,6 billion.