ProAji is a family owned hot chili pepper processing company with operations in Peru and Ecuador. ProAji sources its chilis from a network of approximately 500 smallholder farmers. These farmers, most of whom own under 5 hectares of land, work closely with ProAji to ensure they are growing a strong crop that is valuable in the international markets.
Website link: http://www.spicesolution.com
Impacts the livelihood of small farmers, bringing their peppers to the global market.
ProAji provides the seeds or seedling sprouts to the farmers, along with GAP supervision, training and guidance on pest management and farming techniques. ProAji then processes the peppers into a variety of products including dried peppers, pepper mash, puree, chili powder and smoked (chipotle) peppers.
The company is a family business, with a female CEO who works in close partnership with her husband who leads the agricultural and R&D efforts of the company. The founders’ family began growing peppers over 50 years ago, and today are the leading exporter of chilis in Ecuador.
Today their main processing center is in Ecuador, located in the town of Santo Domingo De Los Colorados, about 150 kilometers West of Quito. They also have processing stations in the towns of Tarapoto and Piura in Peru.
ProAji’s farmers are earning several times the minimum wage, while being able to stay and flourish in their local farming communities.
ProAji’s clients are a variety of hot sauce and food producers.
ProAji’s R&D efforts involve developing organic growing methods specifically suited to chili peppers, as well as testing new chili pepper strains for hotter Scoville ratings, and other varieties to meet customer demand.