Caribbean company wins major award at international food expo

Caribbean company Naledo overcame fierce competition to win the ‘New Food Product of the Year‘ award at Food Matters Live 2020, a prestigious international food event in the UK.

Belizean-based Naledo manufactures the world’s first wildcrafted, whole root turmeric paste as well as fresh juices blended with turmeric.

The social enterprise, which was founded by <strong>Umeeda Switlo</strong> in 2016, works directly with small-scale growers based in Toledo, Belize.

The social enterprise, which was founded by Umeeda Switlo (left, with daughter) in 2016, works directly with small-scale growers based in Toledo, Belize.

The Food Matters Live judging panel commended all five finalists in the new products category for their “innovation”.

Nutritionist Freya Strutt, from Chartwells Nutritionist Team, explained why the judges gave Naledo the top prize. She said: “The shortlist was really strong with lots of really good products and it’s exciting to see where the market is going in terms of new food products.

“But one winner was clear in terms of taste, usability, and the whole enterprise around the product itself. I congratulate them on their business.”

After hearing the exciting news, Umeeda Switlo said: “Naledo would like to thank Caribbean Export and the European Union for making sure we could attend the virtual event.

“Thank you to team Belize and all our growers; Spice farm, Texbell, Silk Grass and our distributors Ecoideas in Canada, UNFI in America, and Circle R in Belize. Thanks also to Marie Sharpe for her support and the Government of Belize.

“We couldn’t have achieved this without our Belizean team and our wonderful customers around the world.”

Naledo’s turmeric paste comes in four sizes and two flavours and is currently sold in over 1,000 retailers in Canada, Belize, America and the Bahamas.

The paste is sustainably produced from the forest to the table without any agricultural inputs. This creates a product that is exceptional in terms of taste and with minimal impact on the environment.

Naledo pays its farmers 28 times more than the average turmeric grower and this enables them to invest in education, health care, improved nutrition, and building a better future for their families and communities.

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