Supplier Spotlight

The Sesame Story of Bora Agro Foods

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Qing Qing MIao,

Excellence in Food Safety, Quality & Sustainability

Twenty years ago, Bay State Milling was introduced to Mr. Rajendra Bora, who operated a business in sesame seeds with tenets grounded in “not compromising for anything but the best.” Bora Agro Foods is a top Indian manufacturer-exporter of sesame seeds today, and Mr. Rutuparna “Rutu” Dole has overseen their export business for over 10 years.

We visited Bora’s state-of-the-art facility built in 2016 to clean and de-hull sesame. Bora employees run a tight ship; we were impressed by the cleanliness and hygiene standards adhered throughout their property. We were also struck by Bora’s use of solar energy to power all operations (except for dryers) and their success in reducing water usage by 60%.

Even more impressive is Bora’s philosophy around social sustainability. Despite being a midsize company, Bora has invested in free housing, childcare, healthcare and greenspaces for all their employees to live onsite with families. “Employees feel a strong sense of belonging here. They know their health is business health, and not one employee has tested positive for COVID-19,” Mr. Rutu Dole remarked.

Bora’s care for the workers extends to the sesame field, as they visit many farmers to learn how climate change has impacted them: “Sesame is a sensitive crop. In the past 3 years, untimely rains negatively impacted seeds during harvest, so we provided some farmers with standard sesame seed varieties, free of cost.” Mr. Rutu Dole, through the Export Promotion Council, works closely with farmers to identify high-yield seeds that are more rain tolerant, such as a “double skin” variety grown in West Bengal.

Since our first-ever meeting with Mr. Rutu Dole, our relationship grows stronger each year. “The people at Bay State Milling are transparent, friendly and professional. They value price, but they value food safety more. During COVID-19, they constantly reassured us about their purchase volume as we shared market updates. We felt very supported.”