La Meilleure Façon de Voyager…

…est encore de goûter!

NEI est ravi d’avoir Ingrédients du Monde comme l’un de nos distributeurs! Ils sont une boutique sur internet qui vend toutes sortes d’ingrédients pour cuisiner. Ils distribue les saveurs internationales depuis 24 ans, particulièrement en France, en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas.

Vous rêvez de déambuler dans les rues d’Italie? Commande huile d’olive!

Désire voir le lever du soleil au sommet de la montagne Kilimanjaro? Tu peux acheter de la vanille que vient des pentes de Kilimanjaro!

Votre rêve à vous est de flâner le long de la Grande Muraille de Chine? Chinese 5 spice peut facilement être ton d’Ingrédients du Monde.

Ils ont tellement de choix!

Parfois essayer un nouveau style de cuisine est intimidant, comme voyager au quelque place nouveau, MAIS vous devez commencer quelque part. Alors, nous vous encourage à regarder Ingrédients du Monde.

Easiest way to travel?


NEI is excited to welcome  Ingrédients du Monde to our distribution family! They are an online store that sells premium cooking ingredients from all around the world, and now they carry our premium Tanzanian vanilla as well! They have been distributing international flavours for 24 years, focusing in France, Netherlands and Belgium.

Feel like walking the streets of Italy? Order high-quality olive oil to your home!

Want to see the sun rise from the top of mount Kilimanjaro? You can get premium vanilla, grown on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, sent to your house!

Dream of running on the Great Wall of China? Chinese 5 spice can easily be yours from Ingrédients du Monde!

They have lots of products to choose from!


Sometimes trying a new style of cooking can be as daunting as travelling to a new place, but you need to start somewhere, we encourage to check out Ingrédients du Monde!

New Faces at NEI

As we grow and build the company at Natural Extracts Industries, Ltd. we are thrilled to welcome back one of the founders, Juan Guardado, as the new Managing Director.  In 2016 we doubled the sales income at NEI and plan to again in 2017 double our income as more farmers join our network.

Juan has been passionate about empowering the farmers and building a sustainable vanilla supply chain in Tanzania.  He brings a background working in management consulting and microfinance which will take Natural Extracts Industries to the next level.
It will come as no surprise that his favourite animal is a hedgehog because it was the inspiration behind the Epicurious Hedgehog brand that is spreading worldwide.

We are excited for the opportunity to work more closely with Juan and be a part of the company’s evolution under his direction!


Hedgehog in the Kitchen

In case you haven’t gotten enough of holiday baking here is another recipe! This one is great because the orange lightens the flavour of the cookie, which is nice after heavy flavours of the holiday season. Enjoy!!

Yummy Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies! 

Ingredients: Yields 4 dozen

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Epicurious Hedgehog vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons Epicurious Hedgehog orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla, orange extract and orange zest until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until outside is crackly but the center is still moist, about 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Check our website for more recipes!

Creating Shared Value Nestle Award!

This past July, the NEI team had the pleasure of attending the Nestlé Global Forum ceremony (which was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, but broadcasted in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) as a feature for the winning prize: Creating Shared Value 2016.

With a goal of investing in sustainable development in Africa, Nestlé Global comes together yearly by bringing together businesses, civil society and government leaders from Africa to discuss key topics affecting the continent. As a part of this Forum, an award entitled ‘Creating Shared Value’ is awarded and of the 400 African social enterprises, only two were granted the prize; Natural Extracts Industries Ltd. of Tanzania being one of them.

Essentially, the goal was to help lead nutrition and health through collaboration, understand the needs of smallholder farmers, implement responsible sourcing in supply chain and address gender balance in the workforce, amongst many other aspects of development. It is therefore, a wonderful accomplishment for NEI to receive such recognition! Bravo!

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Jeanne Bruns – VP of Business Development and two of NEI’s Champion Farmers at the Nestlé 2016 Global Forum in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


The Sweetest Thing!

Jasmine Bee Honey is a Moshi based social enterprise that works with bee farmers to bring Tanzanian honey to market.

Jasmijn Bleijerveld began the company 3 years ago to help promote environmental conservation using commercial business as an incentive. The company initiates value chain approached community beekeeping projects, which stimulate the development and growth of beekeeper entrepreneurs and beekeeping related economic activities scalable across Tanzania. They also supply modern beekeeping and processing equipment and relevant training, which allows better hive management, thus a higher yield, better quality of bees products and – crucially – an increased of female participation.

Jasmijn’s mission is to create an organic Tanzanian honey brand recognized for its quality, by supporting the traditional beekeeping sector, stimulating the sustainable development of livelihoods and conservation of biodiversity in Tanzania. 

The Jasmine Bee products include:

Kisampa Honey
Organic honey is made by wild African bees in the pristine acacia woodlands and forests of the majestic Wami River valley bordering Saadani National Park.
The honey contains no preservatives or additives and is not processed in any way. This honey also supports the Kisampa Community Conservation Sanctuary.

Njokomoni Honey
In the Udzungwa Mountains, a sharp boundary between forest and farms leads to elephant crop- raiding and conflict with communities. To reduce the crop-raiding, STEP and Njokomoni Farmers Group built a beehive fence to protect the farms against elephant raids, and provide farmers with an additional source of income. As a result, retaliatory killing of elephants has fallen to almost zero. By buying this honey, you are supporting a project which is restoring harmony between people and elephants in southern Tanzania.

We love Jasmine Bee Honey because their values of environmental and social responsibility are so similar to NEI’s!

Like them on their Facebook and check out the website!

Tis the Season for Cooking with Cinnamon

The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without cinnamon. Mulled wine, apple cider, eggnog, sweet potato casserole, and spiced cookies and cakes are some of the best foods to eat this season!

Did you know that there are actually different types of cinnamon that you can buy and only one of them is true cinnamon??

Other varieties are called Cassia and the most common one is grown in China. It has a spicy flavour and an intense aroma. This is the one you will most likely find in your grocery store and is less expensive than Ceylon.

Ceylon Cinnamon is mostly grown in Sri Lanka but also is found in India, Madagascar, Brazil, and the Caribbean, this the true cinnamon. It has a mild and sweet flavour and a complex aroma. It is a highly valued culinary and medicinal spice and its price can be up to 10 times more than the Cassia cinnamon.


You can tell them apart by their colour and thickness. Ceylon is a light brown and is fragile. Cassia is a deep red/brown and is much thicker.

The Epicurious Hedgehog uses Tanzanian grown Ceylon cinnamon to make our natural cinnamon extract because we believe in only using the best products possible!

We hope the Epicurious Hedgehog will be joining you in the kitchen this holiday season!

-Happy baking!


Silas, the Vanilla Expert!

Across from me in my office sits a humble gentleman who types quietly on his computer… for 2 minutes until he is on his way out of the office again, off to visit another farmer.

Silas Noah is one of NEI’s co-founders and even though he rarely mentions it, it made perfect sense to me once I found out! He knows everything there is to know about farming and growing vanilla, not to mention he knows each one of the Farmer Champions personally.

Silas and Juan Guardado established NEI in 2011, combining their expertise in rural development (Silas) and business development (Juan). Learn more about the history of NEI here.

Silas has personally worked with the vanilla farmers since the first day and still does. I had the chance to join him on a field visit recently and got to learn so much from him (even about clove trees) and observe him mentoring another farmer and Farmer Champion.

Last week NEI’s extension team held a meeting with all the Farmer Champions in the area, it was a great time to learn about all the challenges the farmers face. Silas was totally in his element guiding the farmers!

NEI is very lucky to have someone as positive, outgoing and smart as Silas! Thank you Silas!


Chocolatey Relaxing Face Mask, YES PLEASE

yogurtThis face mask is great after a long, hot, tiring day! It is calming and cooling and the best part…chocolatey!

It is very simple to put together! Just plain yogurt, raw honey and cacao extract! All 3 ingredients do wonders for your skin!

Yogurt contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural skin exfoliator yet is very gentle! High concentrations of lactic acid also make yogurt face masks hydrating because the lactic acid increases water content in the skin. An awesome bonus to yogurt is that it is a source of zinc, a mineral known for its skin repairing, healing and protecting abilities. Zinc reduces skin inflammation, quickly healing acne breakouts while also reducing excessive oil production.

Raw honey, besides tasting amazing, is also a natural antibacterial!  How cool it that?! “Raw” means that the honey hasn’t been damaged by heat, for example, lots if hone is pasteurized. This process heats up the honey to kill microorganisms, and is often done to reduce the likelihood of the honey crystallizing. But the process kills lots of the good stuff about honey that should be celebrated and utilized!  Here is a good read that better explains the problems with honey pasteurization.

So find raw honey!

Raw honey’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties making it great for healing the skin (it is even good for healing cuts and burns by killing bacteria and fungus). Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, an acid that brightens the complexion, evens out skin tone, and lightens scars and age spots.

Cacao extract adds a lovely aroma to this mask but also offers tons of antioxidants for your skin. Cacao has antioxidants called flavonoids, which are great for stimulating blood circulation in the skin, smoothing fine lines, and giving you a rosy glow, it is also a potent anti-inflammatory, and can help soothe redness and reduce blemishes. Extracts are a great way to get a high concentration of antioxidants!

If you want to make this mask extra rich and luxe add some cocoa powder for an extra addition of chocolatey goodness.

In small bowl, mix:

  • 3 tbsp of plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp of Epicurious Hedgehog Cacao Extract
  • 1 tbsp Epicurious Hedgehog Cocoa Powder (optional)

Apply the mixture to your face in a thin yet complete layer. Relax while wearing the mask for 20 minutes then rinse with warm water! I like to use this mask 2-3 times a week to keep my skin fresh and calm.

Hope you enjoy it and have a relaxing week!

For more information about Epicurious Hedgehog and Natural Extracts Industries, head to our website!


Farming Vanilla

So we told you all about the vanilla plant last week but do you know how vanilla fits into farming? It is the reason we at Natural Extracts Industries are so excited to be partnering with Tanzanian farmers to introduce it to their farms!

The smallholder farmers we work with grow lots of other things on their farms like bananas, coffee or sugar cane. Vanilla is planted between and around these existing plants because it doesn’t need a lot of space and it enjoys the shade! In the picture you can see how the vanilla vine is planted below a banana plant. This is called intercropping and it is great for the farmer and the environment in many ways!


Intercropping allows the farmer to produce a greater yield from their farms and earn extra income, this also makes it a smart environmental practice. Vanilla needs the shade of larger plants to grow, this means planting it discourages deforestation. That’s good news because many of the farmers we work with live on the edges of national parks. The environmental buffer zones around the parks are preserved because of the vanilla and Tanzania’s wildlife is better off!

So now you can see why we love farming vanilla! It is great for everyone involved and the environment! Let us know if you have any more questions about farming vanilla!