Setara is setting a new standard for premium quality dried fruits and nuts in Afghanistan. Its state-of-the-art processing machinery, international safety certificates, and high-end branding and labeling service rivals that of western countries and is changing the future of the country’s historic trade.
This innovative woman-owned business offers a gourmet variety of dried fruits, nuts, and spices that have been curated for an international market. Products include apricots, black and white mulberries, raisins, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and saffron. These are all handpicked by the farmers, then processed and packaged in their high-spec plant in Badam Bagh of Kabul.
The Story of Setara by the CEO
Our family-run business holds the values of kindness, innovation, and creativity, at the heart of everything we do. And our inspiration every day comes from the spirit and strength of our daughter, who we named the business after.
When our daughter Setara was born and diagnosed with autism the doctors said she would never walk properly, speak properly and her motor skills needed a lot of help. But today she can not only run but can ice skate beautifully, speaks Japanese, and has grown into a kind woman with an enormous heart.
Over time our business has grown to reflect the same strengths and values. Against the odds, in a war-torn country, Setara now offers international standards that many told us would be impossible when we started.
We started small in 2014 with a small chain of dried fruit and nut markets in Kabul called Eltham Markets, named after our son. It was there we realized that drastic improvements were necessary to improve Afghan processing and packaging, and we were horrified to learn many female workers were not being paid.
We have worked hard to change this. Setara was created in 2018 after we bought state-of-the-art processing equipment from the United States, India, and China to offer the highest standard of cleaning, sorting, shelling, grading, and packaging. Our products are also ISO2200-2005 certified, being exported as far as Europe and Canada today.
Setara is a business with a big heart, just like namesake. We pride ourselves on looking after our employees, most of which are women. For example, our promise that both men and women shall receive equal pay to perform the same task. We have a zero-tolerance policy against harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and have supported sick employees in the past and have even organized treatment abroad for them.
What we do
We sell and export a variety of gourmet Afghan dried fruits and nuts around the world. Our quality products are harvested by local farmers across Afghanistan and then processed in our ISO2200 certified plant in Badam Bagh, Kabul.
We offer three unique services:
- Processing of dried fruits and nuts in bulk using international high-spec machinery.
- Production of high-quality labeling and packaging for the Setara brand.
- Processing, packaging, and labeling for other businesses in Afghanistan that want to create premium products with a unique brand identity.
Our premium packaged products include apricots, black and white mulberries, raisins, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and saffron. The packaging and labeling are of a high international standard, ready to be sold in stores around the world, in quality pillow bags, zip-lock bags, and in bulk boxes.
We work hard to help other local businesses create attractive brands by using our high-end processing, packaging, and labeling service. If more companies can process and package in Afghanistan, instead of outside the country, this will also help create more jobs locally.
Pine nuts - Pine nuts are grown wild in forests across Afghanistan and are among the rarest and most valuable nuts in the world. They are good for the heart, boost immunity, and are full of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats.
Raisins – The juicy grapes of Kandahar are dried to form the finest raisins, which are packed with energy and are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are renowned for aiding digestion and bone health among other benefits.
Mulberries – Naturally sweet, mulberries are grown in the wild across Afghanistan and are enjoyed dried as a delicacy throughout the year. An increasingly popular “superfood”, they are packed full of nutrients, protein, and antioxidants.
Almonds – Afghanistan produces some of the finest almonds in the world thanks to its hot days and cool nights. They are high in protein, fiber, and Vitamin E, which boosts healthy skin and hair and helps keep the heart healthy.
Apricots – After being plucked from trees, apricots are dried to be enjoyed as a delicacy throughout the year. Grown in Kandahar, they aid immunity and digestion and are a great source of protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
Pistachios – Afghan pistachios are a fantastic plant-based source of protein and are a real “superfood” of the nut family. They are high in antioxidants and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Walnuts – Naturally grown in Afghan farms, walnuts are high in protein, fiber, and are one of the greatest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. They are prized for being both good for the brain and heart.
Mixed dried fruits and nuts – Dried fruits and nuts are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants to help improve skin, hair, heart, and the immune system. We have mixed the finest selection of Afghan dried fruits and nuts to make a mouth-watering trail mix of almonds, walnuts, black and green raisins, pistachios, and mulberries.
Saffron – Ancient and exotic saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas are known as “red gold”, and are considered a delicacy around the world. Our saffron is grown in Herat, Afghanistan, and harvested by hand in the mid-morning, when the flowers are still closed to protect the delicate stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron.