Start-up Selling Kashmir Saffron Wins Global Food Award


SRINAGAR: ‘Mahbir Premium Indian Saffron’, company dealing in Kashmir Saffron has bagged this year’s coveted ‘Great Taste Award’ for artisan and specialty food producers.

A young British-Indian entrepreneur, Mahbir Thukral launched the first international brand of Indian saffron together with the Unique Saffron Growers Co-operative of Wuyan-Pampore, Kashmir in November 2016.

In less than a year, the start-up is already exporting high quality red-stigma tip saffron strands to three European countries, and have launched an innovative range of saffron-infused food products including saffron-infused chocolate and fruit jams to appeal to the palette of western consumers.

Having entered for the first time this year, the company can now add the coveted Great Taste Award to its achievements. The UK-based Great Taste Awards is widely acknowledged as the world’s most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.

Over 12,300 products were reviewed by over 500 judges including food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and journalists. Only 35% of entrants actually received an award. All of the products were judged on taste alone by blind-tasting, which means without any branding and packaging.

The prize is one of the first for Kashmiri saffron, Mahbir Thukral told Kashmir Observer.

 The judges feedback on the award-winning saffron included, “good long strands of aromatic saffron, which are nicely dried. There’s a good level of infusion in water, and the aroma is sound and rounded,” and with regards to taste, “pleasant and clean, gentle but distinct.”

According to Thukral, “after two years of hard work with the co-operative farmers, and having only launched in international markets less than a year ago, this is an amazing achievement for all involved. When initiating this idea back in 2014, none of us had imagined that the reaction would have be so positive, so quickly.

We are very proud of our saffron and by winning this award, we are looking forward to the new doors that will open for us and for Kashmir’s saffron industry,” he said.


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