HAIFA, ISRAEL — Frutarom Natural Solutions BU, Haifa, is partnering with women farmers and growers in Latin America to provide a sustainable and consistent supply of natural annatto coloring for the global food industry.
“Women are playing a big role in changing the food system to create a well-nourished world,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of the non-profit think tank FoodTank. “They are taking on larger and more defined roles in food and agriculture, globally.”
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank, women represent 43% of the world’s agricultural labor. In Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and other countries, women are the primary keepers of the household but are struggling with basic subsistence.
Given this statistic and the growing demand for natural annatto coloring, Frutarom has launched a collaboration with a local agriculture partner to encourage women to become independent farmers and grow annatto in their fields.
Together, Frutarom and its partners support the farmers from mother plantation to education and training, including technical support on how to grow and harvest high quality annatto. Frutarom is committed to buying all the fresh annatto harvested at a fair price. The outcome of the collaboration is providing a safe, stable income to the growers, working directly with local farmers, Frutarom said.
“Global food and beverage companies are shifting quickly from Yellow Five and Six artificial colors to natural annatto in a wide range of food applications,” said Yoni Glickman, president, Frutarom Natural Solutions.
Annatto is the oilseed from the Achiote tree. Bixin and norbixin, the natural pigments present in annatto seeds, produce a wide color range of yellow to orange tones with mid- to high-stability against light, heat and oxidation.
“Frutarom’s advanced extraction of the seeds also enables recovery of high-antioxidant vitamin E while significantly minimizing fruit waste,” Mr. Glickman said. “Suppliers of natural colors are in a race to provide sufficient supplies of natural annatto coloring.”
Two production sites, one in Lima, Peru, and one in Murcia, Spain, help to enable a smooth supply chain for annatto color. Frutarom is striving to form sustainable partnerships in Latin America and working closely with the farmers in those areas.“This win-win situation for Frutarom and the farmers fills the gap in supply to meet the growing demand for natural annatto coloring and allows transparency with our customers worldwide,” Mr. Glickman said. “We ensure safe, high-quality, all-natural color supply while supporting local communities in developing countries.”