The EFI Food Initiative

Since 2018, the EFI is working to connect food artisans from developing countries to socially and environmentally conscious consumers. 

We provide technical expertise and business support to artisans through a network of social enterprise partners, helping to develop informal micro-enterprises and provide decent and fair working conditions for food artisans. 

Through strengthening the capacities of small, marginalised entrepreneurs, and the development of sustainable business models, the EFI’s food initiative is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

ZiBA Range of Premium Afghan Dried Fruit and Nuts


Afghanistan has a rich history of food production, from heirloom dried fruit and nuts to superior quality saffron. Due to the war and the unstable economic climate, the country’s farms were unable to acquire the modern technology needed to keep up with global demand. 

Our programme in Afghanistan aims to revitalise this once booming industry. Through sustainable production of high quality food products, we aim to improve the lifestyle of producers and consumers alike. 


Social Enterprise Partners

We surveyed over 30 companies in Afghanistan and selected 4 social enterprises, who have adopted our code of conduct and business model. 

Working with these partner enterprises, our goal is to;

  • Provide targeted training to increase productive and commercial capacities of farmers (especially refugees, internally displaced persons and potential migrants) in a responsible and sustainable manner;
  • Develop a scheme for implementation of organic certification;
  • Develop a batching system to all products produced and or marketed through EFI;
  • Apply EFI labels and branding for improved marketing and visibility;
  • Facilitate impact assessments, supply chain ethical compliance and business evaluations.


In Afghanistan, farmers have been using the same techniques for centuries. Using heritage seed varieties and natural, open pollination, heirloom fruit and nuts draw their flavour and nutrients from the environment. The result is an all-natural range, packed full of flavour and nutrients.


Also known as Herat Saffron, Afghan red gold saffron was formed in 2002 and today has a network of over 3000 farmers in Afghanistan. Implementation of EFI standards in this strong network enables substantial social impact. 


Founded in 2011, Ariana Saffron now has a network of 400 farmers in the Herat Province. adhering to fair trade and responsible business in all their transactions, Ariana endeavors to provide 100% pure quality Saffron at an affordable price . 


Sourcing from over 200 female farmers in the Herat province, Talay Sorkh supports Afghan Farmers in producing, processing, sourcing and packing in accordance with international standards. 

Want to know more?

We will be showcasing at the following trade Fairs in 2019;

March 6th  – 9th

Natural Product Expo West Anaheim Convention Centre, US

May 6th – 9th

TUTTOFOOD Milan, Italy

June 23rd – 25th 

Summer Fancy Food Show  New York, US

September 1st – 3rd

Speciality and Fine Food  London, UK