We source our ingredients from India following strict “fair trade” principles. We buy directly from small farmer families cutting out the middle man and give the farmers, our suppliers, the best price possible and as a consequence adding value to local communities in India. Additionally we sponsor the education of young girls from the farmer’s families. In doing so we guarantee their education for 10 years.
Increasingly we are all interested in living with more health and vitality. We are more aware of how our lifestyle and diet can affect our health and our vulnerability to disease and illness. For 20 years I worked creating and launching innovative food products for companies such as Unilever, Mars, Danone and Fayrouz International. Throughout that time I witnessed the health ‘revolution’ first hand and the attempts by large companies to respond to consumer demand for healthier products.
Often the big food companies were focused on new scientific findings and breakthrough ingredients like probiotics or cholesterol-lowering additives. Yet I was also aware of the rise in interest in traditional remedies and natural alternatives. The benefits of these plants and herbs were being ‘rediscovered’ by the world. Science was playing catch-up, and was suddenly turning its attention to verifying the health attributes of natural remedies that have been known for hundreds, if not thousands of years, I turned my attention away from the food science lab out into the wider world. It seemed to me that the real future in health food & drink lay the past. Around the world local people were prolonging their health and vitality with powerful ingredients, some of which are unknown to anyone outside of their immediate culture.
The InnOrbit vision was to travel the world and seek out these unique ingredients. Not in the laboratory, but in the field. We wanted to travel to cultures that are known for their longevity, often in the face of difficult living conditions. We began my quest by going back to my roots. In 2006 we travelled to Northern India – on the borders of Nepal and Tibet. It is a remote mountainous region noted for its tough, hardworking people, who maintain long, healthy lives in a beautiful but harsh environment. Here we encountered first hand, people who had great knowledge of plants and herbs handed down over generations. They knew which ingredients to pick and combine for a host of functional benefits; from boosting their energy to work in the fields to relaxing themselves after a hard day in the mountains.
After collecting this vital knowledge we travelled to Delhi and Nagpur where we met with Ayurvedic doctors specializing in traditional Indian medicine. With these experts we analyzed our findings, and created blends for the different functional ingredients. This is where science embraced the past. Using pure plant matter from the mountains we extracted and concentrated the active molecules, and brought them back to Switzerland where we developed quick release delivery system and products suited to European tastes.
The Himalayan tea range is just the first in long line of products in the pipeline Borneo, The Amazon, North China, Kenya, and Central Africa are just some of the areas I have earmarked for studying local ingredients that have huge potential for products with health-giving properties.