Colombia-based Kahai S.A.S. claims to be the first company in the world to industrialise the production of Kahai nut oil and is starting out by targeting natural cosmetic makers in Europe.
“Our mission is to establish the Kahai crop as an alternative for sustainable economic development in Colombia,” said Kahai CEO Alberto Jaramillo Guerrero, who heads up a company that is dedicated to the manufacturing and marketing of Kahai tree products.
The Kahai Nut Oil targets the anti-ageing category, thanks to the product’s skin nourishing and rejuvenating properties, qualities that are renowned in native Colombia, but until now have been virtually unheard of in the global arena.
Contains retinol, omegas and vitamins
The most significant property is natural Retinol, of which it is claimed to contain three times the amount of that found in Rose Hip Oil, while it is also said to contain 50 per cent more Vitamin E and 75 per cent more Vitamin F than Argan Oil.
On top of these skin rejuvenating properties, it also contains a high level of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, which gives the oil an excellent penetrative effect to the skin, providing a natural vehicle for active ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin.
All of these properties are claimed to provide enhanced skin illumination, the reduction of fine lines, and long lasting hydration for the skin, together with strengthening nails and making hair smoother and silkier.
Sustainably developed crop technology
In addition to the active properties, the ingredient also hits on the trend for sustainably sourced ingredients, which has been developed around the development of a technology especially designed to cultivate the tree in a sustainable manner.
“We already have a nursery with over 100.000 one year old Kahai trees that will allow us to reforest 700 hectares between 2012 and 2013, and will start production in 2014. To meet our estimated demand, our goal is to reforest 5.000 hectares within 5 years that will enable us to provide a sustainable, reliable and growing supply of both nuts and oil,” said Guerrero
However, despite having excellent credentials, the Kahai company needed a partner to help take the ingredient to the international cosmetic and personal care market, which it found in the Dutch-based 'Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries' (CBI).
Partnership with CBI helps bring international dimension
“As part of the CBI export coaching programme I was looking for innovative new raw materials that could be introduced to the EU cosmetics market and met Alberto and his company as part of the CBI selection process,” said Andrew Jones, CBI sector expert.
“When Alberto explained the properties and the provenance I immediately saw the potential for this oil and was confident that Kahai could obtain the INCI name and establish a good business with EU buyers."
Working closely together, the INCI approval for the oil means the company now has the recognition of an international body, giving companies trying to source such ingredients additional reassurance.
INCI validation gives the oil crucial credibility
“Getting the INCI name on board is a milestone in the development of the industry, because it is the way to “exist” and be recognized as an ingredient for the cosmetic industry,” said Guerrero.
“With this registration, any company will be able to innovate in their portfolio, either selling Kahai Nut Oil pure for direct use or developing a whole line of face, body and hair care products based on it.”
The company wants to start off by targeting one of the most sophisticated and developed markets in the world for sustainable and natural cosmetic products and ingredients, Europe, as Guerrero explained.
"To start off, we intend to export the Kahai Nut Oil as an ingredient to be used by cosmetic companies in their formulations or to sell it pure under their brand. We are first targeting the French Market and we plan to expand afterwards to the UK, Germany and Italy through local distributors.”