The price of spices and condiments is skyrocketing, and traders want consumers and the food industry to know about it.

Poor harvests across producer nations and tougher safety procedures have combined to send some of the UK's most popular spices and condiments soaring in price.

Over the past year, mace has increased 140%, dried garlic 100%, nutmeg 63%, ginger 60%, black pepper 53%, pimento 50% and turmeric 47%, [Mintec].

Cardamom and cinnamon are up 26% and 25% respectively, while menthol and orange oil have also leapt in price.

Spice traders blamed the hikes on destructive weather patterns, which have destroyed harvests across key producer nations in Asia, Africa and South America.

"The weather in Brazil has been disastrous, sending orange oil from $1 a kilo last year to $10 now," said one major spice supplier. "Ginger has been a big disaster. China's crop was down last year and Nigeria has realised it can get top dollar so is now eking out exports."

Compared with wheat or sugar, spice accounts for a small proportion of the overall price of a product, said the supplier, but he said he would still have to go "cap in hand" to manufacturing customers to pass on the cost hikes.

In addition, European regulations surrounding the processing of dried spices had tightened, pushing up costs even further, said Milan Shah, director of ingredient supplier Virani Food Products.

"Barriers to entry in Europe have increased through tighter pesticide legislation," he said. "Supply has reduced as it is harder to find enough products that comply."

The mounting pressures on the spice market needed to be addressed by the food industry, said suppliers.

"Spice gets overlooked in the news but there is no artificial alternative to satisfy UK manufacturers," said one importer.

With wheat and sugar hitting headlines for record cost prices, Bart Spices MD Matthew Shaw said consumers should be given the bigger picture. "Spices are a precious commodity as they are valuable and at times scarce," he said. "They should be recognised as an important commodity to the industry."

Anthony Palmer, UK general manager of Schwartz, said the hikes had come at a time when demand was at a high.

"Health-conscious consumers are using spices to add flavour healthily, which is a further contributing factor to their importance in the global marketplace," added Palmer.