We go to the market and look at to spices shelf, choices a saffron package and buy it. May we ask ourselves, where does saffron come from? or, What is this saffron package story?
We want to answer your question by analyzing the saffron supply chain. Each species or any other product on the market has a unique story. The king of spices has an exciting story, and this spice usually is produced in the east of the world and in dry and hot climates. Saffron is a low-requirement water plant and is the hope of the people of the desert.
Let’s have a journey from saffron production to the local shops in around your home and speak a little about saffron supply chain problems.
Production is the first step of this journey and is the home of saffron in real. There are multiple countries from the easternmost point of the world to the westernmost point of the world in saffron production and have a role in this industry. But some limited countries are the leading in saffron production.
First, we should mention Iran. Iran Is the biggest saffron producer globally, that produce more than 400 tons of saffron per year. Iran is the actual house of saffron and has many experienced and skilled farmers that are the principal capital of Iran in this industry.
After Iran, we have Indian saffron farms that produce about 20 tons of saffron per year. Probably, you heard Kashmiri saffron brand in the market, and probably one of its causes is the high activity of the Indian saffron marketing group. Indian people are everywhere, and naturally, try to present their products.
Afghanistan is another saffron brand that we find in the market. Saffron production in Afghanistan isn’t much, and its amount is lower than 10 tons. Of course, this amount of production is under Iran farms’ effect too, and they probably won’t have significant production growth.
Let’s go to China. China is a small saffron producer and a significant potential saffron consumer. Chinese people like to grow saffron and want to have a role in the saffron value chain. This desire has been accompanied by government support, and we can predict good growth for Chinese saffron.
European farmers have a good history in saffron cultivation, but some of the problems like high labor costs in Europe prevent saffron farms’ growth in these areas. Saffron farms production in these areas isn’t so high and just done for farmers’ personal usage.
Of course, Spain has some limited saffron-producing areas and produces about 2 tons of saffron per year, while they are the biggest saffron exporter in the world.
So, we found that Iran is the biggest saffron producer globally and probably is the source of 90% of world saffron.
Brokerage and Trade
Let’s go forward with this chain. Brokerage is the second big chain and can determine most market trends. We have some traders in countries that buy wholesale saffron and then process it for famous brands.
UAE is the first on our list. Emirati merchants buy Iranian saffron in the kg package and then divide it into gram base packages. This saffron usually supplies Arab countries’ markets. Saudi Arabia is the largest consumer market for saffron in the Middle East, and most of its saffron is sourced from the UAE.
Where Does the Spice Saffron Come From?
The second big hub is in Spain. Iran saffron farms export 70-80 tons of saffron per year to Spain. Spain is the owner of the biggest saffron brands globally and supplies the European and American saffron markets.
China is the next prominent broker. Chinese traders supply East Asian saffron and buy 60 tons of saffron per year from Irans’ saffron farms. This market usually likes super Negin saffron type and like the saffron dried naturally.
Every shop that sells saffron or its products is a part of the retail section. We have lots of online shops that sell saffron in the 0.5 to 30g saffron package, and the world’s people can access it fast. Also, many local saffron distributors in every country complete this chain.
Also, we have a big family of food services that produce saffron foods. These food are part of saffron products too and are part of the saffron supply chain. We guess this part of saffron consumers are categorized in low consumption grade, and every time saffron gets to be expensive, they remove it from their food menu.
Other important players in this section are the pharmaceutical and health industry activists. There are many saffron-based drugs and health care products in the market, and they have specific consumption rates in the community.
For example, multiple drugs are created for men’s sexual disorders and approved by many of the world’s governments. Also, we can mention lots of medicines and creams that develop for skin and hair health. These products are saffron-based and have some additive agents that increase their efficiency.
Saffron Supply Chain Problems
The Saffron supply chain is so far from the accurate and efficient value chain, and for survival must be correct. We receive some messages from wealthy people who can’t buy saffron for daily usage and saffron farmers who can’t develop their businesses and have lots of problems with their cost of living.
Rosyrain: I wish I could grow saffron in my yard as I would be a wealthy lady. At the grocery stores here, you can buy a very tiny glass jar of “hairs” (this is what I call them), and it will run you about $20. The stuff is so expensive that I never buy it.
The Forgotten Farmer
Farmers are the missed part of saffron supply chains, which worries us all. Every consumer should know who plants their foods and who is back of these efforts. It can be very simple, and we need to mention the producer and its identity.
We are talking about a slight relationship between producer and consumer—communication as a name or identity.
The High Price of Saffron
It is clear that every farmer wants to sell its products for higher prices, which is good, but in this case, the farmers don’t earn profits, and probably some brokers are owners of everything. Also, this saffron price reduces the level of public access to saffron and this is so bad.
We have some solutions for these and other saffron supply chain problems, and we hope to provide them at the right time. We need some partners in this way, and we hope we can count on you.