Often referred to as “The Wonder Tree”, The Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica), native to India has for millennia been recognized for its powerful health promoting properties.
Some of its health benefits include: boosting the immune system, treating acne, treating fungal infections, treating dandruff, reducing inflammation, cancer treatment or prevention and with concerns over the Zika virus, it should be noted that its oil has been proven a natural and highly effective mosquito repellant. Needless to say its health benefits are numerous and more information on the Neem tree can be found here.
Abaco Neem’s story began twenty-five years ago when Nick Miaoulis imported the first Neem seeds from India to The Bahamas to start the Abaco Neem Farm. “Neem is a very effective medicinal tree and he started the farm to help to contribute to the healthcare of our country,” says his wife Daphne de Gregory Maioulis, partner and sales and marketing manager.
“We started with a 20 acre farm, two employees and a couple of products being sold in the Abacos. Today we have over 120 acres cultivated, five employees, over 25 different products, selling on seven islands in the Bahamas and a steady website trade to various countries including Canada, the United States and Europe. We also have a second Neem farm in Paraguay, South America,” said Mrs de Gregory-Maioulis.
Abaco Neem currently produces 25 products ranging from preventative health, beauty, pet and agricultural. “These consist of soaps, lotions, creams, insect repellent, shampoos and human, pet and soil supplements,” says Mrs de Gregory-Maioulis.
Mrs de Gregory-Maioulis says that Abaco Neem’s challenges don’t differ much from similar establishments. “Operating a business today is very challenging with increased operational costs, high labour and new taxes that eat into disposable income. Wages and profits are not increasing to match the increased cost of living,” she said.
“We are very proud to have weathered several hurricanes, and challenging financial times with no real financing. The farm and production has been financed through the sale of personal real estate. We have one of the highest grade Neem oils produced in the world and are highly respected in the Neem industry internationally. We take pride in that we are the only certified organic farm in the Bahamas although we wish there were many more of us. Being certified by an independent agency gives us credibility when trading on the international market and it keeps us on our toes, we are always having to learn new standards of operation and it helps us to grow our industry responsibly,” she said.
For others looking to start their own business Mrs de Gregory-Maioulis offers this advice. “Secure proper financing to manage your business for at least the first year. Keep proper records and follow the money in and out.”
Abaco Neem “To Help the Body Heal”
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