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Smallholder farmers have a very hard time making a sustainable income. Their small amount of crops, and limited bargaining power, combined with low profit margins makes this common existence very challenging.
Natural Extracts Industries creates premium, sustainably sourced, all-natural food flavours, that benefit thousands of smallholder farmers in Tanzania. Their raw ingredients are processed using a traditional eco-friendly method that creates natural flavours that are sold to the food industry. They provide alternative, incremental income, by purchasing high value cash crops mainly vanilla from smallholders and adding value at our processing facility. Through farmer representatives, registered farmers receive training in good agricultural practices, including the use of natural bio-pesticides and composts.
NEI’s "flavours with a story" is a distinguishing selling point, capitalising on the growing trend for sustainably and ethically sourced food ingredients. Since founding in 2011, NEI has made purchases of over $60,000 from smallholders, and registered over 1,000 farmers in their supply chain. They have over 65 customers, mostly large scale distributors.
Jay manages the day to day operations, including pre-processing, production, quality assurance, sales and invoicing, shipments, working capital management and staff recruitment. Jay is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA from Politecnico di Milano. He spent 3 years with Vedanda Plc in India and was Country Director for a food processing social enterprise in Haiti.
Silas manages the entire supply chain of smallholder farmers and small scale processors. He also coordinates 3rd party extension service support and maintains our farmer database. Silas is a Rural Development Professional with a Masters Degree from Sokoine University of Agriculture. He specialises in building relationships and capacity with farmers, and is a co-founder of NEI.
Juan is a Computer Engineer with an MBA from INSEAD. He was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Co and most recently COO of Equity for Tanzania Ltd. He brings a combination of strategy, operations and business development experience.
The NEI team consists of young, high calibre, and highly motivated individuals with a common vision on how they can make a difference in their lifetimes through the work their company does. Juan brings a wide variety of capabilities, Silas brings extensive knowledge of the area and farmers' challenges, and Jay brings excellent operational managerial expertise in the food industry.