Razavi Khorasan Province, Mashhad city, Northeastern Iran - November 24, 2007
1. Wide of workers working in Saffron farmland in Mashhad
2. Close-up of Saffron flower with workers in the background
3. Pan of workers picking Saffron flowers
4. Close-up of woman's hand picking flowers
5. Mid of woman picking Saffron flowers
6. Wide of women working in farmland
7. Close-up of Saffron flowers
8. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Omol-Banin Zangouee, Saffron farmer:
"This flower (Saffron) is very delicate and farming it is quite difficult. For one gram of Saffron we have to pick 150 flowers. Doing this hard job becomes easy because the main thing we deal with is flower."
9. Wide of women picking flowers and putting them in plastic bag
10. Close-up of Omol-Banin's face
11. Various of women working on farm
Location 30 kilometres from Mashhad
12. Close up of sign reading (Farsi) "Novin Saffron"
13. Tilt up from Saffron flowers to workers pulling flower stigmas out
14. Close-up of hand pulling out stigma
15. Close of worker's face
16. Various of workers
17. Close of woman examining stigma and cleaning them
18. Mid of woman examining Saffron
19. Wide of workers cleaning Saffron stigma from poor quality Saffron
20. Close-up of digital scale weighing Saffron
21. Tilt up of woman weighing Saffron to factory interior
22. Close-up of hand putting Saffron in containers
23. Various of workers packing Saffron
24. Close-up of hand sticking holograms on Saffron packs
25. Set-up shot of Ali Shariati Moghadam, Managing Director of Novin Saffron Factory observing workers
26. Close-up of Saffron ready for market
27. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Ali Shariati Moghadam, Managing Director of Novin Saffron Factory:
"Iranian Saffron is currently being exported to more than 45 countries and our factory exports to more than 30 of those countries. We even have direct exports to the United States. Majority of Iranian Saffron, about 70 to 75 percent of it is exported to Spain and UAE ( United Arab Emirates )."
28. Cutaway of women working in factory
29. Mid of woman pouring Saffron powder in laboratory flask
30. Various of laboratory technicians examining Saffron's quality
31. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Mahdi Behdad, production manager of Novin Saffron:
" Mashhad and Khorasan Saffron are unique in the world due to their perfect medical value, especially their good effect on the digestive system and breathing mechanism and also their anti-cancer effect and spirit reviving nature."
32. Wide of laboratory
33. Wide of bazaar in Mashhad
34. Close up of costumer holding a Saffron package
35. Costumers speaking with Saffron seller
36. Close of seller putting Saffron packages in bag
37. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Fatemeh Ghobadi, costumer:
"Saffron cheers up the spirit and it is said that a little bit of Saffron in food will make you giggle! We preferred to buy Mashhad 's Saffron as souvenir. Other stuff like sugar-candy are also among souvenirs of this city, but the saffron is beyond compare"
38. Saffron packs in store
LEAD IN :
Saffron is the world's most expensive spice.
The red stigma of the saffron crocus flower is carefully removed and dried, making it a labour intensive, yet delicate task - that contributes to its high value.
Iran is the world's largest exporter of the saffron.
It's an agricultural task so delicate that machines can't do it.
Even if they could, the saffron flowers that need picking only sprout for two weeks in late autumn.
The combination of hand labour and the limited production window is why saffron is so expensive.
The Iranian government recently set $793 as a standard price for each kilogram of saffron.
Nimble fingers pluck the small, purple, late-blossoming crocuses.
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