Why Annatto Seed?

Annatto is the stunning, natural orange-red color added to hundreds of food consumed by millions of people around the world every day. The food industry accounts for around 61% of the use of Annatto. It is used in a variety of cheeses, sausages, butter, margarine, smoked fish as well in addition to iconic brand names such as Red Bull and Coca-Cola. It’s an enormous business, and GWD Forestry’s clients can now benefit from it’s popularity by adding part of of supply chain to their portfolio.



Annatto Seed - The Product

The Annatto Seed has been in use since pre-Columbian times (1492), and is known by both its Mexican name, Achiote, as well as its Brazilian name, Urucum. Apart from its popularity as a food colorant, Annatto has a slightly peppery scent with a hint of nutmeg, and it is frequently used by millions of Brazilians as a substitute for the more expensive ground spice, Paprika. Introduced into Europe in the 1600’s, Annatto was used extensively to ‘improve’ the color of certain cheeses - such as English Red Leicester cheese - to mimic the deeper orange color of more expensive cheeses that were made from the richer milk of cows fed exclusively in green pastures; that is still true today.



Why Brazil?

Brazil’s markets consume much more Annatto seed than the country can currently produce, which leaves the market wide open to all the Annatto seed that GWD Forestry can produce on its plantations at Barreiras, in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Such is the demand for Annatto seeds in Brazil, that the country is forced to import them - even though it is the world’s single largest producer. GWD’s plantations are not only ideally placed to supply Brazilian demand through the company’s already well-established exit routes, but also to potentially satisfy the increasing growing demand for Annatto seeds in the United States - which is projected to increase by 6.83% over the next six years.


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