Sourcing Organic, Responsibly Traded Quinoa from Bolivia

Sourcing Organic, Responsibly Traded Quinoa from Bolivia

The quinoa we use in foods like our Organic Promise* Quinoa Multigrain Flakes and Raisins Cereal is part of some very special programs that are committed to making a difference in the world so you can feel good about each bite. Here’s how our quinoa makes its journey from soil to table.

In the remote high plateau of the Andes Mountains of southern Bolivia, organic and fair trade quinoa is grown and harvested by thousands of dedicated family farms. Many of these farmers have been cultivating and maintaining traditional practices on the same land for generations. They enjoy the natural attributes of the land like the cool climate and sandy soil, natural to the high desert region where these farms are located, to grow thriving quinoa. Farming in lands unsuitable for other crops, they heavily rely on the limited rainfall of the growing season and their llamas, to provide organic fertilizer (llama dung) as soil preparation for their quinoa seeds. During the harvest process they draw on their knowledge and expertise to pick the right time to harvest, as well as manual methods when harvesting the delicate plants.

As an origin supplier, Andean Naturals takes on a unique role with the Bolivian farmers and communities where they source their quinoa. They are committed to bringing customers high quality and responsibly sourced quinoa. Andean Naturals is a certified B-corporation, which means it is a United States for-profit company that publically considers livelihoods and the environment in addition to their profit when making business related decisions.

Andean Naturals takes a holistic approach through their direct work with 21 farmers’ associations. That’s nearly 700 farmer families, and more than 25,000 acres of land. Through a combination of environmental, social, and financial support and training, Andean Naturals teams up with farmers to protect the land and culture of their ancestors- while making sure they earn an income equal or higher than that which they would earn working in a city.

For example, to maintain their heritage, farmers keep about 10 percent of their quinoa crops to incorporate into their own diets. Andean Naturals also accompanies quinoa farmers (most of whom never stepped on an airplane) to trade shows, U.S. quinoa farms, and factories to give them a better understanding of market demand, needs, and expose them to technological innovations. This is a very important element to ensure these family-owned and operated quinoa farms can compete with large-scale agribusinesses that have recently begun planting quinoa in other regions of the world.

Kashi is excited to be partnering with Andean Naturals for their Soil Health Program, which aims to provide guidance on organic fertilization, irrigation and other methods that help improve soil health and quinoa crop yield, and to continuously improve on quinoa farming methods. Through this partnership we have supported more than 700 farmers and their families, with each family having at least one adult woman in the household. We also sponsored a group of five community leaders to travel to the United States for training, and they continue to look for ways we can directly support the quinoa farmers and their families.

With all this goodness, we hope the journey of our quinoa inspires you to pave a path of doing good, too. Start with a bowl of our Organic Promise* Quinoa Multigrain Flakes and Raisins and let it inspire unlimited possibilities.

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