Natural Extracts Industries Ltd.
Natural Extracts Industries Ltd. (NEI) was established in November 2011 by a small, multi-talented team, as a social enterprise with a vision to accelerate economic development of smallholder farmers by adding value to their local crops. Our story begins with several thousand smallholder farmers and women’s groups in Tanzania, working alongside them to produce the highest-quality ingredients, while empowering them to build sustainable livelihoods for them and their future generations.
We are dedicated to sustainability and to producing a hundred percent natural flavours. Upon conception of the enterprise, we committed to a two-fold vision: to satisfy global demand for sustainably-sourced natural flavours, and ensure long-term socio-economic benefits for the local communities.
Our vision has led to the creation of high-quality flavours from the botanical riches of Tanzania, well-known for its exceptional, delicate and delicious fruits and spices. Our Epicurious Hedgehog brand of flavour extracts is made using only natural ingredients. Our flavours include Kilimanjaro Vanilla, Tanga Orange, Mbeya Cacao, Kibosho Coffee and Kilombero Cinnamon. We offer a variety of extract strengths, ranging from regular concentration (e.g., 1-fold) for typical home use, to higher strengths for discerning chefs, dairy producers and natural foods connoisseurs.
At our headquarters on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, our raw ingredients are processed using a modern eco-friendly method that creates flavours evocative of their true origins.
Every aspect of production, from cultivation through to post-harvest processing and manufacturing, seeks to use primarily natural materials, inputs and ingredients. Our operations strive to be ecologically friendly, and we actively try to reduce the impact on the environment through recycling and reduction of consumables.
Distributed throughout the world, they are perfect for use in a range of delicious food and drink – from cakes and pastries to ice creams and even cocktails.
Leaders in agricultural productivity
NEI employs a model that identifies early adopters or “champions”, who are generally older, well respected members of the community. In addition to growing their own vines, they visit and advise other farmers in the region.
We also work with local women’s groups, where in addition to basic support in building trust and empowerment we are introducing technical training on solar drying of raw materials necessary for NEI’s various other natural flavours such as mango and banana extracts. This provides additional income to supplement their livelihoods.
In addition to the technical training, the farmers receive specialized training in areas such as group governance, savings, HIV/AIDS awareness and good nutrition to increase the social impact on the farmers.