Company: Terra Ingredients
Ingredient Snapshot: Terra Ingredients by AgMotion has announced that it will be making the super grain fonio widely available to food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and leading brands.
After establishing strong relationships with farmers in the Sahel region of Africa who currently grow fonio, Terra created a supply chain revolutionizing fonio processing to better ensure food safety for export. As a result, Terra Ingredients is now the only trusted company able to supply the highest quality fonio at significant volume and scale, complete with chemical-free, 5-log microbial reduction.
"Presently, there are no real export channels for fonio in West Africa," notes Malick Diedhiou, a Terra Ingredients merchandiser with roots in Senegal. "By creating one, Terra is providing farmers the option to grow grains for export and improve conditions in the community."
But getting fonio to market had been a challenge. Every step in processing fonio is famously difficult, from harvest to hulling to hand cleaning. To take on the challenges of production, Terra developed an origination system committed to fair trade, community reinvestment, and the sustainability of the crop in West Africa. To handle the challenges of processing, Terra built a modern facility in Dakar, Senegal, and worked with their GFSI-certified affiliate, Stone Mill, in the US to ensure fonio meets the highest standard for food safety.
According to Peter Carlson, director at Terra Ingredients, fonio is relatively easy to grow and Terra is prepared to ramp up supply as consumer demand grows. "We currently buy in an ethical and responsible way, and are able to replicate our producer programs very quickly. There are essentially zero dollars being invested into the community from the outside. When more can be grown, through higher cultivation, it has great potential for economic benefits."
Food manufacturers have been aware of the remarkable potential for fonio in the creation of consumer packaged goods, so this new development creates almost limitless opportunity for new products and innovative twists on popular offerings, particularly in the healthy options category. In addition, innovative chefs and health-conscious consumers will also benefit from the greater availability of fonio.