Ariana Saffron was founded in 2011 by Bashir Ahmad Rashidi. It is a family-run business and one of the largest saffron producers and processors in Afghanistan. The company collects 100% pure saffron from its own farms and contract farmers. After processing, saffron quality is tested in the laboratory of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.

Sustainable agriculture is a key priority and Ariana Saffron sees innovation in technology and equipment as the means to achieve it. The company applies fair trade principles and an ethical business model to create jobs and lasting prosperity for farmers and rural communities. Ariana Saffron is committed to playing an active role in building a prosperous Afghanistan through private sector led agricultural development.

Ariana Saffron is committed to high quality saffron production. The company currently holds various certifications including ISO 22000, HACCP, ISO 9001 & ISO 3632 (specific to saffron quality), ensuring trust.



Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight, not because it is hard to find – the crocus grows throughout the Mediterranean and Central Asia regions – but because it takes a lot of – mostly female – hands to pick the flowers and extract the precious red filaments we call saffron threads.

With 150,000 flowers needed to make one kilogram of saffron, it is hardly surprising that this ‘red gold’ has long been associated with luxury and wealth. Refined palates from kings to chefs to gourmets appreciate its unique flavour and versatility in the kitchen.

Chefs around the world use it to add flavour and colour to foods such as rice, sauces, chicken, biscuits, cookies, cakes and desserts. Others swear by it as a cure for illnesses ranging from depression and memory loss to cancer.

Afghanistan has perfect growing conditions and is rapidly becoming one of the major producers of premium-quality saffron. Traditionally in Afghanistan it is served as a tea. It is also used to dye textiles and in the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries.


Ariana Saffron works with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) project in Afghanistan, which its targets are specifically job creation for returning migrants and displaced people.

EFI connects skilled micro-producers and farmers in emerging economies with discerning brands and mindful consumers across the world. It selects small businesses like Ariana Saffron that share its commitment to offering employees and suppliers a fair wage, decent conditions, training and professional development.

The project helps social enterprises become more efficient and competitive on national, regional and international markets, creating jobs and wealth for local communities. It also shows consumers how ethical production, fair trade and traceable supply chains help build stronger communities as well as great products.

Active in ten countries, the Ethical Fashion Initiative is a flagship programme of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

© Ariana Saffron, © Kalina Georgieva / Shutterstock, © Farzana Wahidy / EFI

International Sales

(Herat Head Office):
Bashir Ahmad Rashidi
+93 (0) 780 87 87 10

International Sales

(Kabul branch):
Jawed Hatami
+93 (0) 782 623 004

This website was created and is maintained by the EFI Afghanistan project (2018-2021). Its content is the sole responsibility of ITC-Ethical Fashion Initiative.