NURA Partners with Ghanaian Farmers to Harvest New Ingredient, CLEANMOOD™
Sustainability is a multi-pronged practice. At NURA, we believe sustainability isn’t just about creating better products and processes—it’s also about providing people with the tools they need to thrive.
“We want to make an impact, no matter how big or small,” said Lily Ruan, President of NURA USA. “We want to change people’s lives in a good way.”
That’s what we decided to do with our latest product, CLEANMOOD™, which has allowed us to practice sustainability at every stage of the production process—and beyond.
Sustainability through products
Our CLEANMOOD™ Organic Griffonia Seed Extract Powder is an herbal extract that comes from the seeds of a Ghanaian plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia. CLEANMOOD™ is an organic, water-soluble ingredient designed to improve your mood and help regulate your sleep cycles.
The active ingredient is 5-HTP, which is a naturally occurring component that can increase the production of serotonin in your brain. As a versatile plant-based ingredient, CLEANMOOD™ can be used in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and gummies. Our goal is to distribute CLEANMOOD™ to as many health, food, and beverage companies as possible to help consumers feel calmer and more balanced.
To make CLEANMOOD™ as sustainable as possible, we went through a certified organic harvesting and collection process. “Sustainability is a big part of our value system,” Ruan said. “Our goal is to be innovative, sustainable, and trustworthy in everything we do.”
After finding an area with wild Griffonia plants in Ghana, we committed to keeping the environment as healthy as possible by abiding by certified organic practices and methods. That meant using clean water, clean soil, and zero pesticides throughout the harvesting, transportation, and collecting process. We also used water to extract the 5-HTP—rather than harmful solvents like methanol—in order to maintain the ingredient’s purity.
However, the quality of our harvesting and collection methods is just one component of our sustainable production practice; the other component is quantity. “To ensure we don’t overuse the natural resources in the area,” said Ruan, “we make sure the harvest amount every year is less than 70% of the organic area’s total output.” Maintaining that ratio keeps the region’s trees, air, and soil healthy, allowing the Griffonia plants to regenerate and sustain the local individuals who depend on them.
Sustainability through people
To further our sustainability practices, we decided to partner with local Ghanaian farmers to harvest the Griffonia seed for CLEANMOOD™. Our goal was to support Ghanaian locals, while also getting a quality harvest using our organic methods.
We trained the farmers in certified organic collection techniques and procedures, taught them how to work with quality inspectors, and educated them on the proper precautions to take to keep the environment healthy and the Griffonia seed pure.
The result was a fruitful harvest for us and a better quality of life for our farmers. “We wanted to give the farmers a salary that could help improve their living conditions and support their kids more easily,” Ruan said.
“There was one farmer named David who used to grow corn. His income was $2 a day and he had five children in his family. After becoming our organic collector, his daily income increased tremendously and his youngest child graduated from the University of Ghana with his help.”
Giving back to go forward
During our CLEANMOOD™ organic farming and collection process, we met some incredible people. One local priest named Ben, started a school called Oguaakrom/Nyakuadze D/A Basic to help local Accra children prepare for their future.
When he first opened the school, Ben had two students. Today, he and four other teachers collectively teach 76 local children, many of whom have parents who have to travel to other towns to work and bring back money for their families.
The Oguaakrom/Nyakuadze D/A Basic School has grown an incredible amount and helped countless children over the years, but they still need support. The students don’t have desks and chairs to work, nor do they have enough school supplies or reading materials to go around.
“We were really touched by Ben’s kind heart and we wanted to help him and the kids,” Ruan said. NURA decided to donate school supplies, reading materials, desks, and chairs for each of the 76 students.
Ruan said providing these students with a better learning environment isn’t just crucial to their education, but to their growth and success as individuals. By giving Ben and his teachers the tools to better educate their students, we hope to help these kids develop the skills and confidence they need to be capable, compassionate, self-sufficient adults.
“Our plan is to continue trying to impact more people, especially children. There are little things we can do that make a big difference in their lives,” Ruan said.
After all, that’s what sustainability is all about: creating better and longer-lasting solutions to major social and environmental problems, so our planet—and the people on it—can thrive.