An Indian American marketing executive, Sana Javeri Kadri, noticing a spike in interest in turmeric lattes, decided to take matters into her own hands by creating a turmeric business that will benefit Indian farmers.
According to a Munchies report, the 24-year-old Kadri, a resident of Oakland, Calif., noticed that the popular drink — made essentially of milk and turmeric – resembles a traditional Indian homemade drink, haldi doodh, and decided to create Diaspora Co.
A Mumbai native, Kadri, who came to the U.S. six years ago to attend Pomona College, in the report said that the craze of turmeric was confusing and frustrating and she wanted to create a company to give credit where credit was due.
Diaspora Co., founded in August 2017, was Kadri’s way of addressing the injustice at the heart of turmeric's sudden U.S. popularity, the publication said.
"All these women kept asking me about turmeric lattes as if I was an authority, and I had literally no idea what they were talking about. I felt mild annoyance about the assumption that I have an ancestral connection to the turmeric latte," Kadri told the publication.
"I started to get more interested in doing some research on what spice farming looked like," she added. "But then, I started to think: 'If white women are going to consume turmeric, how do I make sure brown farmers make as much money off of it as possible?' That was honestly the driving force for the first many months of Diaspora Co.: Let’s just make this as profitable for India as possible," she said.
The company sells turmeric sourced directly from Vijayawada, a city in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The turmeric is harvested by a fourth-generation turmeric farmer named Mr. Prabhu, the report said. Prabhu’s turmeric is a curcumin-rich heirloom pragati strain that Kadri offers in tins and jars, according to the Munchies report.
Farmers like Prabhu often get the short end of the stick in the global spice trade, where supply chains can be so convoluted, with markups so excessive that these farmers often see very little profit, it said.
One kilogram of turmeric in India is about $0.35; however, in the U.S., that same amount costs about $35, the report said.