“We see okra being the next big thing,” said Paul Boris, President & Co-Owner for Agritrade Farms, a grower, shipper and importer headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida. “Okra has historically been a very ethnic-oriented food that we envision quickly going more mainstream. It has phenomenal health and wellness attributes, which is where we are focusing much of our marketing efforts,” said Boris.

Agritrade is currently shipping product on a year-round basis, and is also introducing several new retail consumer packages utilizing modified atmosphere technology to extend shelf life. Nearly all of Agritrade's okra production, which comes from Honduras and the Dominican Republic, is pesticide-free, and is also Global Gap Certified. All shipments are done via air to Europe, so Boris said they could expand into any market. They shipped 300,000 boxes last year, and with their expanded production in the Dominican Republic, they hope to double their okra sales in Europe. “We currently ship about 60 percent of our production to North America and the remaining 40 percent to Europe. I think there's a lot of room for global okra growth. We're hoping okra will be the next big thing, sort of like kale. We at Agritrade Farms consider ourselves okra missionaries and we are happy to sing the praises of the of okra’s health and wellness benefits,” said Boris.

Boris hopes the image of okra as a superfood will gain traction in the wake of studies that suggest okra may have an effect on a range of ailments, from diabetes to breast cancer. For example, Boris mentioned an article headlined, “Eat This Now: Okra” by Alexandra Sifferlin in the July 22, 2013 in Time magazine. The article stated that the okra trend is spurred by the fact that it is full of fibres that can help to lower cholesterol. Okra also contains nearly 10 percent of daily recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid. “It was the preferred vegetable for the Olympic athletes of the Beijing Olympic Games,” says Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue LLC and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists. (IFT)
According to Diabetes.co.uk, the global diabetes community, okra is fast gaining a reputation as a so called ‘superfood’ for people with or at risk of diabetes or cancer. Evidence of okra having anti-diabetic properties has increased in recent years, with multiple Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies confirming okra as a potent blood glucose-lowering (or anti-diabetic) food. Okra is also known to prevent and improve digestion, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. The website also says okra is also known to increase energy levels, improve symptoms of depression and also helps to treat a sore throat, irritable bowel and lung inflammation.
For more information:
Paul Boris
Agritrade Farms
Tel: +1 (954) 324.8877xt1
Email: Paul@agritradefarms.com