Rumi Spice is a proud B Corporation, directly sourcing the highest quality spices from rural farmers and women in Afghanistan to help provide reliable wages and economic stability. Coconut Bowls had a brief and powerful conversation with Rumi Spice to learn more about their authentic, bold spices and spice blends, and the mission they’re on to create connections to the vibrant culture of Afghanistan and the Middle East, its delicious food, and its people.
What mission and values guide your business?
From day one, Rumi was laser-focused on the "why" of our work. Mission and purpose are at the core of everything we do—economically empowering Afghan farmers, inspiring Afghan women through direct wages, and building out Afghanistan’s agricultural infrastructure.
We believe that the best way to lasting peace is through the private sector. This means that by creating jobs we can create infrastructure (both physical and economic) that can anchor communities in a stable economy.
Rumi Spice has an unwavering commitment to social and environmental ethics, transparency and accountability. We are committed to empowering Afghan women and bolstering the country’s economy. Rumi reinvests back into agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure.
How can food and what we eat contribute to a better world?
Food is an amazing way to connect with the larger world. At Rumi, we use authentic spices to tell the stories of Afghan food and people so Americans can see the vibrancy and beauty of this region and its people. Cuisine, flavors, and traditions will always tell the true story of a region, beyond what is portrayed on the news.
What's one foodie action everyday people can take to have a positive impact on the world
Ask more questions about where your food is coming from and make an effort to direct-source products, whenever possible. Try shopping at a farmer's market rather than a grocery chain. Eat food that is in season. Learn about where your food comes from and its impact on the world.
Additionally, experiment with food from other cultures. Don’t shy away from new flavors, new ingredients, and new cuisines. Food is an amazing way to learn about, and celebrate, other cultures. Especially in a time where international travel is increasingly difficult, try traveling the world through food and share these global flavors with others. You never know what your small impact can have on the people that hold this cuisine close to their hearts.
Which of the B Corp pillars (Governance, Workers, Community, and Environment) is your business scoring highest in and why?
Since the company’s founding in 2015, Rumi Spice has worked to empower Afghan farmers, support Afghan women through direct wages, and reinvest in the country’s agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure. Rumi Spice is the largest private contractor of women in Afghanistan, having provided employment to more than 4,000 women involved in the hand-harvested production process throughout the country. These direct wages of 15-20% more than other jobs help uplift their families and local communities. Rumi Spice provides technical, quality control, and safety training to Afghan farmers that ensures the use of best practices during cultivation. Rumi Spice has also provided processing, safety, and hygiene equipment to their network of Afghan farmers. Everything we do at Rumi Spice is with the goal of giving back to the community we support in Kabul, Afghanistan, and empowering its members through economic stability.
Rumi Spice is proud to offer professional chefs and home cooks alike the highest quality Saffron, wild-grown spices, and unique spice blends, sourced directly from the people who grow and harvest them. With hot, dry winds over semi-arid lands, Afghanistan’s growing region is ideal for growing these spices. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to sell these gorgeous Afghan spices direct to consumers online, in retail stores nationwide, and wholesale to chefs & restaurants, while giving back to the Afghan community.