Healthy Oilseeds, operated by Roger Gussiaas, Carrington, N.D., was recently named North Dakota Exporter of the Year by the North Dakota Trade Office.
Healthy Oilseeds exports organic and non-organic golden flax, brown flax and borage.
Gussiaas started Healthy Oilseeds in 2002, sending borage to a buyer in Spain. Today, Healthy Oilseeds is exporting to Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan. About 61% of its sales are international and 39% are domestic. International sales increased more than 60% in 2010 and 450% in 2009.
The North Dakota Exporter of the Year Award is presented to one business that has made significant advancements in the international marketplace. The award-winning business is required to have expanded its business to a new international market in 2010, increased its export sales during 2010, supported the larger statewide effort to expand North Dakota's global reach.
Past award winners:
• Red River Commodities
• Global Electric Motorcars
• Summers Manufacturing, Devils Lake
• SB&B Foods, Casselton
• DuraTech Industries, Jamestown
• Roll-A-Ramp, West Fargo
• WCCO Belting, Wahpeton
• Weather Modification Inc., Fargo
Healthy Oilseeds has found a good niche market with flax, Gussiaas says. Flax is rapidly becoming a wonder grain of health. It has the potential to help heal and prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other degenerative conditions. The health benefits of flaxseed have focused on the body's response to the high content of omega 3 fatty acids and fibers, especially lignan. Dietary fiber in flaxseed has been found to lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol). Omega 3 fatty acids also have been shown to reduce blood pressure, stroke risk and to increase time for blood clotting. he omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseed are metabolized to substances that exert an anti-inflammatory response and may have benefit for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.