Section: Do the producers benefit?
Saffron is difficult to grow. **Crops fail frequently and the plants live for only a year. In addition, saffron has no large-scale production; the flowers must be hand-picked and the stigmas separated by hand.** This means that it is expensive.
The harvesting is done between late September and early November. The flower has three short stigma, which are the part used in cooking and are collected by hand and dried quickly to avoid loss of color or flavor. The stigmata are then removed from the style and dried to make threads that can then be packed into airtight containers. Saffron is usually sold in sealed packages containing approximately 250 mg, although some specialty shops sell smaller amounts.
Can you spell out what you mean by “work under poor conditions”? Do they have to work outside? Are they exposed to hazards?**
Although saffron is easy to grow, it requires more human labor than any other crop in the world. Every year millions of saffron blossoms must be picked by hand without damaging the stigma, which can take over an hour for each flower. Then the stigmas must be dried quickly so as not to lose their delicate aroma and flavor. Then comes packaging, transportation, and
I was told that the saffron industry is one of the worst, most exploitative industries in Kashmir today. Saffron is made by harvesting and drying the stamens of Crocus sativus flowers. The flowers are hand-picked, usually during mid-October to mid-November. They must be picked under the right conditions: sunny days between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius (64 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature rises above 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), the flowers will taste bitter; if it drops below 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit), they will freeze and rot.
When the flowers are picked, they are sorted according to maturity and size. Then they are dried for 24 hours in air at a temperature of 8 to 10 degrees Celsius (46 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). After this first drying, the petals are soaked for two hours in water at 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and then dried again for another 24 hours in air at a temperature of 8 to 10 degrees Celsius. This process is repeated twice more, after which each flower yields 3 grams of saffron.
If you want to make $1,000 a month harvesting saffron, you will probably have to work every day from October through November,
Saffron is a spice that comes from the stigma of a particular type of crocus. It is the world’s most expensive spice by weight, selling for up to $3000 per kilo. The Dutch created a very efficient process for growing and harvesting saffron in a large scale.
The harvest begins late in October. After the flowers bloom, they are picked by hand and laid out in long rows on tarps. Then, a wooden stick is used to gently beat the flowers to release their precious crimson stigmas into a pile. This pile is then weighed and the flowers discarded. Finally, the stigmas are packaged into boxes and shipped all over the world (the US imports it from Spain).
The price of saffron fluctuates widely with supply and demand.. In 2006, retail prices reached as high as $10,000 per pound ($35,000/kg), but fell to $4100 per pound ($14,000/kg) in 2011 as a result of surplus production that year.
A single flower produces three stigmas. Only 250 flowers are needed to produce one kilogram of saffron threads.It takes 75,000 flowers to produce one pound of pure saffron which equates to about 454
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Its quality depends on its color. What causes this color? In simple words, it is a red pigment that is destroyed with heat, which explains why saffron loses its color when boiled.
What are the factors that influence the color of saffron? The red coloring material (the pigment) consists of two parts: a water-soluble glucoside and a lipid-soluble carotenoid. The glucoside affects only the color intensity and not the hue, whereas the carotenoid has a more pronounced effect on hue. Both substances accumulate in the style, and both can be removed by soaking in strong alcohol. The degree to which they affect the color depends on three factors: Time of harvest: saffron that is harvested earlier contains more carotenoid but less water-soluble glucoside than saffron that is harvested late. Drying: drying increases redness; therefore, if drying takes place under conditions similar to those used for drying flowers for example, then the intensity of the red hue will be higher than if drying takes place under different conditions. Method of preparation: if water-soluble glucoside is extracted from
The big question in saffron production is how to get the saffron crocus to produce the spice. The secret is a semi-synthetic dye called “bluing,” which is derived from coal tar. The dye was first used in France in 1845, and quickly spread to other countries.
In Iran and Greece the saffron crocuses are picked by hand and immediately taken to a processing mill, where they are washed thoroughly, then dried. In Kashmir the crocuses are grown on special plantations of tall trees called “crocodile trees.” The pickers climb up into the trees and harvest the flowers, and each tree’s flowers are separately processed.
The Kashmiri method is more labor-intensive, but it has a higher yield because there is less wastage (no picking by hand).
Saudi Arabia has no official minimum wage. The labor law allows employers to pay as little as $0.63 per hour, provided they make up the difference if their workers’ monthly income falls below the government-set minimum level.
For a while, in the early 2000s, some companies did pay more than $0.63 per hour, but it was rare. In 2009, a report by two British NGOs estimated that 84 percent of foreign workers earned less than the minimum wage — and just 4 percent of Saudis working for private companies earned less than the minimum wage.
The official minimum wage for Saudi citizens is about $530 per month; for the non-Saudi workforce, it’s about $270 per month. Those are not easy wages on which to support a family — so it comes as little surprise that many workers feel compelled to bring their families along with them to Saudi Arabia. But this isn’t as common as you might think: There are only about 100,000 Saudi residents out of around 9 million migrant workers in Saudi Arabia (the rest are from places like Bangladesh and the Philippines).