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How a spice company cultivates peace in the Middle East

Natural Products Expo West 2018 NEXTY Editors' Choice winner Rumi Spice works to create economic stability in Afghanistan via saffron.

Jenna Blumenfeld

March 14, 2018

Learn how Kimberly Jung, CEO and co-founder of Rumi Spice, is trying to lay a foundation for peace in the Middle East by paying a premium for the crimson spice, saffron. Formerly a U.S. Army platoon officer who served in Afghanistan, Jung leverages her connections with Afghan farmers to incentivize them to grow saffron rather than poppy destined for opium—one of the only other lucrative cash crops available for farmers. In a country where 80 percent of the population relies on rural agriculture for income, Rumi Spice bravely works in a conflicted region many have largely ignored.

About the Author(s)

Jenna Blumenfeld

Freelancer

Jenna Blumenfeld lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she reports on the natural products industry, sustainable agriculture, and all things plant based. 

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