In recent years, natural food ingredients from Africa have become more and more popular in both the European and North American markets. The African continent has always been a rich source of organic, natural health products, but with the rise of veganism, vegetarianism and the ageing population of western countries, the need for natural food ingredients is greater than ever.
Traditionally, Africa has always had a difficult time breaking into these western markets, and always seemed to struggle to conform to the strict regulations put in place for the import of natural food ingredients. For example, new food ingredients have to be registered as a novel food with the European Commission meaning most African producers need to work directly with European companies than to set up new supply chains. And let’s be honest, the FDA can be a fairly intimidating association to deal with at the best of times.
Although it took a bit of time and support, Africa has since geared itself up when it comes to conforming with industry and export standards. Through the assistance of certain trade development agencies and sheer determination and perseverance, the previous barriers of entry have now been overcome.
With Africa being the home to some of the world’s most nutrient rich superfoods, the benefits of sourcing from Africa certainly outweigh the challenges. The diversity of natural ingredients from Africa is truly staggering, with ancient foods increasingly finding modern uses in western health products. Take Fonio for instance. This ancient supergrain which has been grown in West Africa for more than 5000 years, is finding its way into western foods thanks to its gluten-free, vitamin rich make up. The dominance of African sourced Baobab within the US market is another great example.
But one of the most remarkable African success stories must be Moringa. This nutrient rich, high protein superfood has become a health-food staple in Europe and North America, with new uses being discovered every day.
Gone are the days where products from Africa were considered untrustworthy, lacked traceability and were inconsistent in quality. With more and more interaction and investment from western companies, local natural food producers are delivering a world-class product, that offers quality and value, and creates a sustainable future to local farms and communities.
Find out more about natural products from Africa- visit www.nuqotrading.co.za