Spices Sustainability Newsletter 

Growing Responsibly 

February 2022

Re-Generating the Living World

Discovery Through Soils 

Degraded soil affects nearly one-third of Earth’s land area making healthy soil a priority area for ofi. In 2021, we developed our Sustainable Olam Initiative for Living Soils (SOILS). The Sustainable Olam Initiative for Living Soils is a multifaceted approach towards protecting and restoring degraded land.

One aspect of SOILS is an innovative soil balancing project with the goals of improving soil health and biodiversity, increasing garlic and onion yields through healthier plants, and reducing pest and disease pressure. Additionally, SOILS will help us explore regenerative practices in large-scale farming systems and decrease greenhouse gas emissions through reduced fertilization applications and increase carbon sequestration from healthier soils. ofi have partnered with Soil Basics to conduct this research in two garlic fields and four onion fields in the Central Valley of California and two onion fields in the Imperial Valley in Southern California.

Prosperous Farmers and Farming Systems

Tackling Health and Safety in India 

ofi strongly believes that health and safety in the workplace are essential for farmers to thrive. In India, 150 ofi spice farmers and their family members were able to attend clinic visits. ofi hosted four medical camps that provided the community with general check-ups, blood pressure, and sugar-level testing, along with medicine. The camps also distributed first aid kits, masks, and hand sanitizer to the community.

Along with keeping farmers healthy, ofi is also committed to keeping them safe from work-related hazards. To protect farmers when they’re dealing with pesticides in the field, ofi provided over 500 pieces of personal protective equipment to farmers in our chilli and turmeric supply chain. Additionally, we conducted trainings on how to handle pesticides safely. Going forward, visual poster boards on the farms and individual risk assessments are being provided to help avoid occupational hazards.

Future Outlook

  • Chili: CY22 supply is expected to be tight especially for good quality and pesticide residue compliant grades. Prices are expected to increase from current levels.
  • Cumin: Prices are likely to move up from current levels in the short term.
  • Turmeric: Prices are expected to remain firm in the short term.
  • Coriander: Prices are likely to move up from current levels in the short term.

Onion & Garlic 


In California, precipitation for February dropped below normal despite heavy rainfall in December of 2021, leading to below-average California reservoir levels. If current weather trends hold, there will likely be low to no water allocations for CY22. Onion and garlic grower and manufacturing costs remain inflationary for the CY22 season by 15-20%.


There is constrained domestic onion availability that will continue through Q2 of 2022. The offshore onion supply is improving in origins such as India and China. However, costs are increasing and export shipment bottlenecks will restrict timely destination availability.

Future Outlook


  • Resurgent onion and garlic demand is likely through the remainder of 2022
  • Buoyant pricing likely to sustain for both onion and garlic across origins through 2022


  • Domestic shipment lead-times to remain under pressure through H1, 2022; omicron risk continues
  • Export shipment bottlenecks and container availability challenges unlikely to improve through 2022


US Green Chiles / Jalapenos:

The first harvest of green chile and jalapeno from the west coast of Mexico is complete with no delivery issues and slightly ahead of anticipated volumes. The second winter harvest begins the second week of February. The spring harvest is anticipated to start in early April and transition to southern Chihuahua without any interruption. Farmers are beginning to prepare land for mid-spring planting as contracted acreage for the northern Chihuahua and southern New Mexico areas has been secured. No heat jalapeno volumes are strong and there are no indications of supply shortages or interruptions.

US & Mexico - Paprika:

Input costs such as inflation, wages, and fertilizers continue to be challenging in CY22. Also, there are continuous challenges on high prices for competitive crops such as cotton and corn. 

China & Peru - Paprika:

China: There is still a lack of availability for good color, value, and low moisture raw material. Delivery dates are being pushed back as factories have to sun-dry material to fulfill orders.

Peru: The crop yield is estimated to be lower than CY21. The main factor now continues to be the low availability of farming inputs.





Future Outlook

  • Prices expected to rise 15-20% for US/Mexico origin raw materials.
  • China: Sea freight seems to have stabilized at the moment but is still at risk for CY22.
  • Peru: Sea freight has increased again with low availability of shipping space for the coming months.

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