Sunflower seeds can be used as garnishes or ingredients, both as in-shell seeds or as dehulled kernels. What exactly is the story behind our sunflower kernels? Where do they come from and what projects are helped by these? We tell you all about it in 'the story behind'.

This story applies to 14040 - Sunflower kernel hulled org. 25 kg FT IBD

Sunflower kernels from China

Our sunflower kernels come from the Inner Mongolia region in China, where the sunflower plant has over thousand years of history. The farmlands cover 30ha, with an annual yield of 117 tons of kernels. The sunflower growing environment is characterized by lots of trees, grasses and rivers and totally separated from other kinds of plants.

Growing the kernels

The sunflower seed is sowed in March to April with a temperature roughly between 18-25 degree Celcius. Sunflower growth period refers to the number of days from seedling to seed maturity, generally 85-120 days. Harvest is from the middle of September to the beginning of October and is performed both by hand and by machine, by around 100 local farmers. After harvesting, the kernels are dried and then transported to the factory where sorting and packing takes place.

The switch to organic

After being convinced of the benefits of organic, the local farmers started organic farming in 2007. Why they made the switch from conventional to organic? “Organic agriculture can provide pollution free, tasty, safe and environment-friendly food to the society, which is beneficial to people’s health and reduces the occurrence of diseases. Second, it can reduce environmental pollution and help restore ecological balance. Next to that, it will help increase employment in rural areas, increase farmers’ income and raise the level of agricultural production.” The switch did not happen overnight. “At the start it was very hard, because the yield is lower in the beginning. Fortunately, the market was continuously paying higher prices, so that the we were able to continue our organic journey”.


As a result of switching to organic, farmers gain more yield and a higher income. One of the farmers tells us: “Our living condition kept going up. After years, my son is studying in university and we rebuild our house with the benefit from organic farming. What’s more, we now get better sustainable farming, and I am proud of that I made the right decision to start with organic farming!”.

More stories?

Do you want to stay up to date about the stories behind our products? We are constantly updating our stories catalogue. Just send an email to and let us know which stories you would like to hear.

Last update: 28-05-2019