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Crop picking in Africa

Focus on: Africa

Since the inception of Unicorn Ingredients, the company has looked to work with and develop opportunities and avenues for sustainable business ventures in Africa, one of the largest sesame seed producers in the world, supplying approximately seventy per cent of the world’s natural sesame seeds. This coupled with the increase in seed demand due to various factors, including globalisation, means Africa is becoming a very important region for Unicorn Ingredients.

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Sesame seeds close-up

Focus on: Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds, or Sesamum indicum, grow in tropical regions and are native to Africa and India. Cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods, the annual global harvest for sesame seeds is over 6.2 million metric tonnes, with Ethiopia, Sudan and India as the largest producers.

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Market Report: June 2018

The focus has been split between the inevitable Brexit scenario and lack of clarity of trade arrangements after March 2019, the G7 conference that ended badly and increased the threat of trade wars, and the historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday. In between political turmoil continues in Italy, and their possible future in the Euro and even the EU. Despite this the ECB is clearly indicating it wishes to stop its asset purchasing scheme. Otherwise EU industrial production is increasing slightly along with inflation …

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Market Report: May 2018

US dollar strength and continued uncertainty over Brexit dominate the FX markets currently. US/China trade sanctions are being watched carefully as the two countries try to resolve this issue. In the UK the possibility of interest rate increases has receded, and this has contributed to Sterling’s slide. The Euro has lost momentum after a slowdown in growth figures, although declared as temporary by Draghi. The question therefore remains as to when the EU economy will ‘normalize’ and this time frame seems to be moving ever backwards …

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Shivani Sridharan, Technical Lead

Going for Gold: BRC and Soil Association accreditation

With both BRC and Soil Association accreditation under its belt, Unicorn is constantly striving for total integrity in its sophisticated supply chain. Unicorn Ingredients can offer its customers a gold standard suite of assurances, as it boasts BRC for Agents & Brokers accreditation as well as Soil Association organic certification.

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Traditional pretzels in a german market

A continental touch: Unicorn Germany three years on

Back in 2016 Unicorn Ingredients decided to open a new office in Germany, staffed by experienced local professionals, to serve its developing customer base on the Continent. Three years ago, Unicorn Ingredients sales in Continental Europe had been showing steady and sustained growth. The company had four warehouses in Europe and decided that the market […]

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Focus on South America

Unicorn has had a relationship with South America since the company was formed 12 years ago. Due to the global health craze phenomenon, seeds from the region have been increasingly in demand. The region has the perfect climate for seed production and can boast the production of high quality products. It is therefore a natural source of premium products that Unicorn sell – the region produces some of the highest quality chia, quinoa and sesame.

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Focus on: Chia Seeds

Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a flowering plant native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. Globally, 80% of the Chia grain seed supply is produced in Latin America countries due to the regions favourable climate, with the rest coming from Australia. However, some African countries are emerging as producers. Chia seeds are not typically grown in Europe. The seeds of the chia plant are small and speckled black, brown, white and grey with a crunchy texture and slight nutty aroma. Black chia seeds from Nicaragua are very rare. The length of the growing cycle for chia seeds varies based on location and is influenced by the height of the land, but is usually between 100 – 180 days.

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Market Report: April 2018

With Chemical attacks in Syria, poisoned Russians in Salisbury and an escalating trade war between USA & China, forecasting currency movements is even more difficult than usual, but with the USA in the centre of most issues, the US dollar is suffering most. The uncertainty is firming the oil price too, as repercussions from this region would seem possible. The Turkish lira, Russian Rubel are all falling and with China accused of devaluing the Yuan as a weapon in the trade war battles. There is some speculation that the EU will now soon end its quantitative easing program permitting EU interest rates to rise. But at present this is still rumour, not fact.

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Market Report: March 2018

The weak US$ has impacted on most export prices in past weeks, but obviously the opposite impact is the more favorable rates for conversion into Euro’s and Sterling. Otherwise the markets are somewhat starved of news. Speculation around Brexit talks, and Trump administration auction of $ 250 billion of US government bonds and who has bought them. Of course, the endless chain of resignations, and speculation around the administration also adds gossip to market tendencies.  

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