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Mother and daughter duo (from left) Umeeda and Nareena Switlo are fulfilling their dream by building a social enterprise around a flavourful, healthful product sourced in Belize. (Photo: Caribbean Export)

Belize-based Naledo takes New Food Product award at Food Matters Live 2020

Mother and daughter duo (from left) Umeeda and Nareena Switlo are fulfilling their dream by building a social enterprise around a flavourful, healthful product sourced in Belize. (Photo: Caribbean Export)

Belizean manufacturer Naledo prevailed in competition last month at Food Matters Live 2020 — a prestigious international food event in the UK — to snag the award for ‘New Food Product of the Year’.

“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,” Nutritionist Freya Strutt, from Chartwells Nutritionist Team, explained on behalf of the judging panel.

Naledo’s Truly Turmeric Paste (Photo: My Belize)

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

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

A previous staging of Food Matters Live
(Photo courtesy of Caribbean Export Development Agency)

For the farmers of Belize

Founded in 2016 as a social enterprise, Naledo is the world’s first producer of wildcrafted, whole root turmeric paste, as well as fresh juices blended with turmeric.

The company’s founder, Umeeda Switlo, currently works directly with small-scale growers based in Toledo, Belize. By paying its farmers 28 times more than the average turmeric grower, Naledo assists the suppliers to invest in education, health care, improved nutrition, and building a better future for their families and communities.

“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.”

— Freya Strutt of Chartwell’s Nutritionist Team

Upon receiving the exciting news, Switlo thanked Caribbean Export and the European Union for faciliating the company’s attendance and participation at 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,” the founder continued.

Naledo founder Umeeda Switlo thanked Caribbean Export and the European Union for facilitating her company’s attendance to and participation in the virtual staging of Food Matters Live 2020. (File photo)

At present, Naledo’s turmeric paste comes in four sizes and two flavours and is available through 1,000 retailers in Canada, Belize, the United States, and the Bahamas.

The manufacturer sustainably produces the past from the forest to the table without any agricultural inputs. As a result, the product has minimal impact on the environment while offering an exceptional taste to its consumers.