07 May 2018
Amman, Jordan
Organic Food and Agriculture

The world is witnessing a remarkable growth in the natural and organic products market, due to an emanating trend of having a healthy lifestyle to face ‘unbalanced diets’. Wheatgrass is considered as the world’s secret superhero plant since it provides a wide range of nutritional benefits. In Jordan, a woman, found an innovative and environmental way to tackle common nutritional deficiencies by locally producing and selling the first wheatgrass extract in the region.

Throughout the recent years an unprecedented emergence of health problems has occurred caused by a dietary change coupled with an increase in pollution. This unhealthy diet induces a lack of vitamins and minerals, while industrial supplements are not the best solution for this problem as causing kidney failure and liver deposits.

Nutritionist Amina Abu Hamdeh is very much mindful of this niche market and found an innovative business idea that triggered the creation of her company, OroVerda: a platform in green micro-businesses & planting technologies.

“Malnutrition is a very common problem in my country and more than 60% of our population have vitamin and mineral deficiencies”, affirms Abu Hamdeh says.

To cope with the market needs in organic, healthy and eco-friendly food, OroVerda is the first local startup product that is affordable organic nutritional value. Abu Hamdeh developed her special multivitamin recipe based mainly on fresh wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is the best source of chlorophyll, aggregator of all vitamin groups, numerous minerals and essential metals like iron and zinc. Her extract is a fantastic digestive aid thanks to its enzymes, amino acids, and vitamin B content. The chlorophyll found in it helps to provide more oxygen to blood which aids the immune system function; it also acts as an excellent energy booster, and has an anti-aging effect on skin and helps in cases of hair loss.

Spreading healthy personal care solutions around the Middle East | The Switchers

Her business innovation doesn’t only come from her main ingredient and its liquid form but also from the production process. She uses a hydroponic system (soil-less technology) for planting wheatgrass in a dome greenhouse, and seeds will be locally produced. Planting environment will be sterile which means no pesticides, natural light use, 80% less space for growing, and 90 times less water than soil-based farming. This system allows water reuse and conservation and can grow year round without tilling, changing of soil and weeding.

OroVerda’s core Business plan has been fully designed to be circular with the support of SwitchMed.

“SwitchMed has provided me with clear guidance for my business cost structure and revenue stream at every step while the business environmental footprint is also analyzed and optimized. The program has also offered me efficient assistance of seven experts in farming, production, sales, communication, and social media” added Amina.

Even the packaging is environmentally friendly, as it is recyclable. After 7 days, the grass is harvested -the upper part of the plant to produce the extract. The roots are then used as animal feed or converted to compost. This technology seems like the best option in Jordan since the country has been suffering more and more from water shortage, soil degradation, waste, and pollution.

Abu Hamdeh confidently walks down Amman streets explaining that she is intending to hire three people at the starting phase of her business and for that number to be multiplied by five at the second phase where production and distribution will increase. Her self-confidence comes partly from the fact that she won the pitch elevator competition organized by SwitchMed last August 2017. Unanimously, jury and investors selected her to pitch again her start-up at SwitchMed Connect 2018.

After obtaining the product approval as an organic supplement from the FDA, Abu Hamdeh will officially launch her startup and intends to spread a healthy life style in the Middle Eastern market.

 

Get more information at their website and their FB Page.

This story was originally published on the SwitchMed website.

OroVerda Organic Food & Agriculture
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