Kuli Kuli Receives US State Dept Grant to Export Green Superfood Moringa
Press Release – Oakland, CA, August 28, 2018 – Lisa Curtis was putting the final touches on a grant proposal for her moringa project that would provide steady income and nutrition to the women in her adopted community in Niger. Suddenly she received the news that Peace Corps Niger was being evacuated due to a terrorist attack. She left unable to complete the work she had started. Inspired by her Peace Corps service, Curtis started a business in the US selling the nutrient-dense “super green,” moringa. However, as much as she tried, she could not find a way to source the moringa from her Peace Corps host country of Niger. Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US foreign aid agency, is excited to announce that Kuli Kuli has received a grant to assess how to best bring Nigerien moringa to the US.
This grant, combined with Kuli Kuli’s expertise working with farmers to produce the highest quality moringa on the market, will give small family farmers the ability to export moringa to the United States. Curtis now has an opportunity to finish the work she began many years ago.
Since leaving the Peace Corps in 2011, Curtis has created the largest moringa company in the world. Kuli Kuli has grown from an idea into a multi-million dollar social enterprise that sells award-winning moringa products nationwide. Kuli Kuli sources moringa from women’s cooperatives and small farmers in 13 different countries, partnering directly with communities to create sustainable livelihoods for hundreds of farmers. Kuli Kuli is challenging the traditional norms of business and proving that doing well and doing good can go hand in hand.
“It has been incredibly exciting to return to Niger and work hand-in-hand with Nigerien moringa entrepreneurs to figure out how this climate-resistant crop can improve the lives of people in one of the hottest and driest countries in the world,” said Lisa Curtis, Founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli. “Moringa is the perfect tree to help nourish Niger, in terms of both its nutrition, economic and reforestation abilities.”
Moringa is a leafy green more nutritious than kale that provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits rivaling those of turmeric. Kuli Kuli’s Moringa Superfood Energy Bars, Pure Organic Moringa Powder, Moringa Green Energy Shots, and Organic Moringa Green Smoothie Mixes are made in the US with moringa sourced directly from women’s cooperatives and small family farms around the world. Kuli Kuli’s products are sold in 7,000 stores across the US including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Amazon.com, and Costco. The company has grown at an average of 150% year over year and recently was listed as one of Inc. Magazine’s top 500 fastest growing businesses. As of today, Kuli Kuli has sourced $2M of moringa from small farmers around the world, generating lasting income and nutritional security.
Moringa’s high levels of protein, calcium, iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A has led many organizations to advocate the plant as a natural source of nutrition. Once eaten by the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, moringa leaves have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to help lower glucose levels for diabetic patients and provide critical antioxidants as a powerful disease prevention strategy. Moringa has also been used to help increase milk production for new mothers. The modern scientific community has begun to confirm some of the traditional medicinal wisdom on moringa in over 2,000 peer-reviewed publications. Importantly, moringa is recognized for its incredible nutrient-density and ability to grow in poor soil with little water. Many development agencies have recognized moringa as a key local resource in fighting malnutrition and fostering economic development.
ABOUT KULI KULI
Kuli Kuli is the leading moringa brand in the US and was founded by Lisa Curtis after she discovered the wonders of moringa during her time as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. As it turns out, moringa is one of the most nutritious plants on the planet, even more nutritious than kale. Kuli Kuli sources only the highest quality moringa. The company is proud to partner with family farmers and women-led farming cooperatives in developing countries to provide economic opportunities, and has partnered with the Clinton Foundation to help with the reforestation of Haiti. To date, Kuli Kuli has planted more than 1 million moringa trees and supported over 1,000 women and smallholder farmers to help them earn a sustainable living. To learn more about Kuli Kuli, visit www.kulikulifoods.com