With the Support and Partnership of the European Union



The EFI has been connecting fine foods producers in emerging economies to socially-conscious consumers worldwide since 2018 in partnership with Alliances for Action. 

We provide technical expertise to small businesses involved in farming, food processing and trading through a network of social enterprise partners. Together, we help informal micro-enterprises to grow and ensure fair wages and decent working conditions for people working in the sector, particularly returnees, Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and other migrants.

By strengthening the capacities of small, marginalised entrepreneurs, and by introducing sustainable business models, the EFI is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).


Afghanistan has a rich history of food production, from heirloom dried fruit and nuts to superior quality saffron. The decades-long conflict and an unstable economic climate meant Afghan farmers 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. We aim to improve the lifestyle of producers and consumers alike by producing high-quality foods sustainably. The EFI project in Afghanistan has assisted artisans and farmers with product development (e.g. chocolate bars made with Afghan nuts) and to increase in product sales in the US and Europe. There are plans for a product development centre in saffron, dry fruits, nuts and other associated crops.

ZiBA Range of Premium Afghan Dried Fruit and Nuts


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 mission is to create and support over 1,000 jobs in the next 2 years, through: 

  • Support to entrepreneurs to understand the ethical food market and develop product market combinations
  • Support Social enterprises to convene and develop their supply chains in an ethical way with focus on sustainable long lasting relationships between producer groups and enterprises as well as decent livelihoods and living incomes
  • Targeted training to transform and increase the productivity, competitiveness and business skills of farmers (especially refugees, internally displaced persons and potential migrants) in a responsible and sustainable way
  • A scheme for implementation of organic certification that is inclusive and results in premium prices
  • Improved traceability and transparency through ITC EFis compliance framework and a batching system for all products produced and/or marketed through EFI
  • Promote South South market linkages and technology transfer
  • EFI labels and branding for improved marketing and visibility
  • Investment in Social enterprises and value chains from consumer to producer
  • Impact assessments, business evaluations and monitoring ethical compliance in supply chains.


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. Currently EFI is working with ZiBA Foods and its suppliers to achieve organic certification. This will make ZiBA the first company in Afghanistan with an organic certification.



Also known as Herat Saffron, Afghan red gold saffron was formed in 2002 and today has a network of over 3000 farmers in Afghanistan. This strong network is achieving substantial social impact by implementing EFI standards. Thanks to EFI, Herat Saffron attended the Tutto Food Trade Fair, making new connections and sales in European markets. Following buyer feedback, the company also changed their packaging from plastic to the more sustainable glass. 


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. Thanks to EFI, Ariana saffron was the first enterprise in Afghanistan to implement a barcode system, making their saffron fully traceable all the way down to district level.


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. Through EFI, Talay is adding value to its product line by collaborating with a Ghanaian chocolate manufacturer to produce chocolate bars with Afghan nuts and dry fruits.


We are showcasing at the following trade fairs….

February 16th -20th 2020  Gulfood, Dubai

April 6th -8th 2020  The Specialty Food Festival, Dubai