· By True Moringa
Behind the Scenes of 2017: A Year in Review and A Look Ahead
2017 was a year of growth - and everything that comes with it - excitement, frustration, late nights, and lots and lots of lessons. In seasons of growth, it's easy to miss the forest for the trees (tree pun intended). The start of the new year gave us time to take a step back and reflect on all that we've been striving toward together over the past 12 months. Whether you've been a customer from the start, shared your time or treasure to help scale our growth, or shared in our story, we hope you'll take a few moments to reflect with us on all we have built together this past year.
If you've followed our work this past year, you know about our mission to plant one million moringa trees. Many of you have pitched in to plant a tree in your name (not too late if you want to join in the fun! Each order placed through truemoringa.complants a tree in the name of each customer!)
Most of these trees have been planted on our "nucleus" farm - a 150 acre parcel of land that we lease from the local community. This farm acts as a centralized location for farmer trainings and exciting experiments in permaculture and organic farming to help our farmers increase their yields and income earned per moringa tree they plant. After much paperwork, planning, and dedication by our team in Ghana, we received our organic certification for the nucleus farm this year (and lived to tell the tale!)...which brings us to....
To serve 2900 small farming families, our team in Ghana grew from 48 to 80 this year (83 if you count our new snuggly puppies). New team members are helping us with everything from outreach to new farmers to monitoring and evaluating our impact, to processing moringa seeds into oil, to accounting and HR - basically everything that happens behind the scenes before our cold-pressed moringa oil is shipped over to the US and transported to your doorstep. Speaking of which....
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
True Moringa brought us on a crazy year-long road trip - from Vegas (our first time exhibiting at Cosmoprof!), New York City, Minneapolis, LA, San Francisco, and back to Boston. Our products (and supply chain) underwent a makeover this year, thanks in part to the advice and help of mentors and advisors from GSBI and Target's Inaugural Target Takeoff accelerator program. Shiny new UV bottles better protect our moringa oils (and look pretty snazzy), new manufacturing partners are helping us to scale our moringa-powered bath and body care products while maintaining a commitment to quality and ethical sourcing, and our new fulfillment partner is helping us get orders to you doorstep more efficiently.
We expanded our distribution globally, providing moringa oil to some of our favorite brands like Axiology, Greenvines, and Thistle Farms, and placing new products in some of our favorite clean beauty retailers in the US and Canada including Anise Apothecary, Follain, Thrive Market, Birchbox, and hometown fav Cambridge Naturals
Kwami's words of wisdom about the challenges of social entrepreneurship went viral as did our feature with UpWorthy. We were honored and humbled to be named Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year, and Kwami was included by Quartz among Africa's Top 30 Innovators.
We were featured in Allure, Well + Good, Buzzfeed, Marie Claire, BYRDIE, Reader's Digest, Paste Magazine, Bustle, Yahoo Beauty, Seventeen, BET, and more. Best of all, it seems the entire country is riding the wave of moringa excitement - Good Morning America named moringa as #1 wellness trend of 2018 and featured our moringa oil on national TV (hi mom!)
Our whole team (puppies included) are thrilled for 2018 and we can't wait to share the journey with you.