High Quality Organics (HQO) is the largest North American supplier of wholesale bulk non-gmo certified organic herbs and spices, botanicals, ancient grains, dehydrated vegetables and fruits, teas and more. Our services include custom cuts and blends, flavor formulation, organic transition, new product development and custom packaging, to name a few.
In 1977, our founder Jerry Tenenberg, created one of the first natural foods supermarkets in the country and became an innovator in the natural food industry. He learned about herbs, botanicals, spices, teas and grains. It was a challenge to find sources, but he did! He really wanted organic products; ideally he wanted all the products to be organic, but unfortunately at that time there weren’t many… BUT, that was very powerful. And THAT was the seed… and the blessing, that really made everything happen.
In a few years, when Jerry moved to California, he began to grow culinary herbs, and by 1986 we were considered the “Fresh Herb” experts and had pioneered the fresh herb category in supermarkets nationwide. Slowly we converted the production processes to organics, and expanded with a full line of high quality dried herbs that made their way to all the best spice companies in North America. With unique growing and drying techniques, we knew we could create programs around the world and bring the very first, full line of organically produced herbs, spices and botanicals to North America.
In the mid 90’s, this quest coincided with the world recognizing the need for social responsibility, sustainable agricultural methods and products. At this time, the tobacco industry was facing many challenges and unfortunately many tobacco farmers were losing their lively hoods. We saw an opportunity. Partnering with villages in Turkey we collaborated with them to covert what had been tobacco farms to cultivated oregano, rosemary and other ingredients that up till then were only grown in the wild. They were really inspired and successful.
In India, with over 60% of the population In rural farm areas, the government and large companies recognized they had to develop opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. It was a time of rapid transformation. The growth of technology and its use would benefit business and farmer with advances in supply chain, infrastructure and the exchange of real time information. The first initiatives linked directly with rural farmers via the Internet for procurement of products like soybeans, wheat and coffee.
We would offer method and market for organic production in rural and semi-urban areas. Organic farming could utilize available skills and resources and at the same time improve agricultural productivity, safety and sustainably. The diversity of our intended product line would procure products from the southern rain forests to the central dry land farms.
We expanded from Turkey to the newly open societies of Eastern Europe, to Egypt and Africa. We began what would become our legacy – connecting growers in remote regions of the world to the expanding organic markets in the U.S and Europe. Connecting customers to products directly sourced from growers; the direct link!
Today, we grow on 6 continents. Farmers and their working associates are craftsmen, paid fairly and greatly appreciated. Many of our growers have been with us from the beginning. Our personal relationship and network with hundreds of organic family farmers around the world… is deeply rewarding.
HQO is the first and STILL only all-organic food ingredient company in North America. For over four decades, we’ve been supplying food companies of all sizes with bulk certified organic herbs and botanicals, spices, teas, blends and grains.
Our value to our customers – from small start-ups to the largest global brands – is in our personal relationships and network with hundreds of organic family farmers around the world. We source the highest quality and safest organic ingredients year-round, from over 30 countries on all six continents. If you need it, we know where to get it.
Our expertise in quality control and flavor formulation make us your trusted partner in developing any food product. Because we have access to every step in the supply chain – from sourcing organic seed and growing the crop to the transportation, manufacturing and distribution of the ingredient – we have the ability to provide unprecedented and consistent quality.
We are your partner in developing new products, converting conventional to organic, private label packaging and custom blending. Our R&D team has over 15 years of experience in flavor formulation so, quite simply, they’re some of the best.