The original intent of colonial conquest of the Indian subcontinent was a desire for domination of the spice trade.
600+ years later, as a young woman born and raised in postcolonial Mumbai, working at the intersection of food and culture, I was slowly discovering that not much about that system had changed.
Farmers made no money, spices changed hands upwards of 10 times between farmer and consumer, and the final spice on the shelf was usually an old, dusty, and flavorless shadow of what it once was.
Diaspora Co. was founded in 2017 to create a radically new, and equitable vision of the spice trade, decolonizing a commodity back into a seasonal crop, and a broken system into an equal exchange.
Beyond highlighting gorgeous, indigenous spice varieties, it's also about creating a business for us, by us. Complicating and deepening what “Made in India” means, and how we tell our own stories of freedom, struggle, and diaspora through food.
Today, we work in close partnership with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to identify and provide ongoing support to our partner farmers, all of whom are on the cutting edge of regenerative, and sustainable agriculture.
Mr. Chacko in Kerala developed his own heirloom cardamom variety! Mr. Kasaraneni in Andhra Pradesh taught himself organic turmeric farming solely via Youtube and WhatsApp! Smt. Ioe Tang took over her family farm and made it profitable for the first time in generations!
Our partner farmers are our heroes, and the future of farming is bright (and spicy)!