Growing demand for annatto colouring creates a unique ecosystem

Frutarom helps to empower women, increase annatto crop

Frutarom Natural Solutions BU offers local women farmers and growers in Latin America a secured income and versatile collaboration to ensure a safe, sustainable and consistent supply of natural annatto colouring.

“Women are playing a big role in changing the food system to create a well-nourished world,” says Danielle Nierenberg, President of FoodTank.

“They are taking on larger and more defined roles in food and agriculture, globally.” On average, women represent 43% of the world’s agricultural labour force, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank.

In Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and other countries, women are the primary keepers of the household but are struggling with basic subsistence.

In light of this challenge, and with the growing demand for natural annatto colouring, Frutarom has initiated a collaboration with a local agriculture partner to encourage local women to become independent farmers and grow annatto in their fields.

Together, Frutarom and its partner support the local 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 this collaboration is providing a safe, stable income to the growers, working directly with local farmers.

“Global food and beverage companies are shifting quickly from Yellow 5 and 6 artificial colours to natural annatto in a wide range of food applications,” says Yoni Glickman, President of Frutarom Natural Solutions.

Annatto is an oily seed from the Achiote tree (Bixa orellana). Natural pigments present in the seeds are the carotenoids bixin and norbixin.

It has a wide colour 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 minimising fruit waste,” explains Glickman. “Suppliers of natural colours are in a race to provide sufficient supplies of natural annatto colouring.”

As a key player in this segment, Frutarom is increasing its support by creating sustainable partnerships in Latin America and working closely with the farmers.

”Frutarom is there to help them develop and expand their businesses by offering technical and business support,” Glickman stresses. “We want them to grow with us.”

Two production sites, one in Lima, Peru, and the second in Murcia, Spain, enable a smooth supply chain in fulfilling global demand and ensuring a constant supply of annatto colour.

“This ‘win-win’ situation for Frutarom and the farmers fills the gap in supply to meet the growing demand for natural annatto colouring and allows transparency with our customers worldwide,” adds Glickman.

“We ensure safe, high-quality, all-natural colour supply while supporting local communities in developing countries.”

According to Global Natural Food Colours Market Analysis and Forecast, 2016–2026/FMI, the natural colours market is $1.3 billion while market growth is around 7% CAGR.

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