The Positive Impacts of Purchasing Fair Trade QuinoaSeptember 16 2022
Plant Power for People and Planet! A legacy product line for Alter Eco dating back to 2008, our Organic and Fair For Life Fair certified heirloom quinoa is part of our mission to grow food in a way that restores ecosystems and the livelihoods of the farmers in Bolivia. Our quinoa is also one of the few Fair Trade options available on the US market as well, making it not just a whole grain superfood for you but also super good for ecosystems and farmer livelihood.
In the spirit of supply chain transparency, we would like to take this opportunity to share the latest updates on fair trade activities currently underway or planned with our quinoa-growing partners in the Southern Highlands of Bolivia. We currently work with 2 different cooperative producer groups: APAQUICTL and ASOPROAGPI. The quinoa is harvested in March/April of each year, threshed and cleaned in the field, and then stored in the producers' warehouses until it is exported to our co-packer here in the United States.
APAQUICTL is an association of small quinoa producers, who complement growing activities with livestock to maintain the health of the soils and as additional income for its producers. Fair Trade premium resources have been (or will be) used for:
- The purchase of quinoa post-harvest machines that facilitate cleaning tasks and reduce labor costs
- The purchase of manure which, when blended together with quinoa saponin (the seed coat that is removed in the cleaning process), becomes a very high-quality fertilizer that has helped increase quinoa yields by 50% compared to traditional methods
- Bio-inputs for pest control, authorized for use as per the organic standard
- The largest purchase that has been made is the acquisition of a combined harvesting machine, which will significantly reduce production costs and improve the quality of the quinoa that is delivered to the processing plant. Currently, it is used only as a thresher until advances in soil and crop improvement are completed.
- Future projects include the provision of drinking water to the farmer community and the construction of a ditch in the river
ASOPROAGPI is the other producer association we source from in Bolivia. Fair Trade premium resources have been (or will be) used for:
- Environmental and soil improvement aspects
- The acquisition of manure and the preparation of an improved fertilizer with quinoa saponin, similar to APAQUICTL
- Bio-inputs for pest control, authorized for use as per the organic standard. This has resulted in fewer pests and increased yields, while improving the conditions of soil life.
- Future projects include building a quinoa warehouse that will improve storage conditions and help traceability in the commercialization of quinoa
So when you purchase and enjoy our Organic and Fair Trade quinoa, you are having a direct positive impact on our Bolivian farmers and supporting the above missions! For more information on our Fair For Life certification, please click here.
To purchase our quinoa online, visit https://www.alterecofoods.com/collections/quinoa. Thank you for your continued support!