EcoSo­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for Peru­vian quinoa

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As well as be­ing a nu­tri­tional pow­er­house with 'su­per­food' sta­tus, Ceres Or­gan­ics quinoa is help­ing farm­ers in Peru make a liv­ing legally, as well as mak­ing their com­mu­ni­ties safer, too.

Pre­vi­ously, some Peru­vians re­lied on the coca in­dus­try to make a liv­ing. Coca is used as tra­di­tional medicine and tea, but also for the pro­duc­tion of co­caine.

Ceres Or­gan­ics has worked in part­ner­ship with its quinoa sup­plier Andina (for­merly known as Or­ganic Sierra and Selva) for more than 15 years. In 2016, this so­cial in­volve­ment was for­malised un­der EcoSo­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Ini­tially, that sup­port in­cluded pro­vid­ing the farm­ers with pro­duc­tion ba­sics such as tar­pau­lins, which en­abled them to sort their quinoa more hy­gien­i­cally and e iciently.

"Each year we make com­mit­ments about the size of the crop we will pur­chase, to help them min­imise fi­nan­cial risk," says Ceres Or­gan­ics man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Noel Joseph­son.

"A so­cial pre­mium is paid for the quinoa we buy, and be­cause of EcoSo­cial’s trans­parency, we can see ex­actly where these pre­mium dol­lars are go­ing. This year we have con­trib­uted ap­prox­i­mately $17,000 as an EcoSo­cial pre­mium to sup­port ini­tia­tives by Peru­vian lo­cals, to help ad­vance their farm­ing prac­tices."

Andina has also es­tab­lished an or­ganic school, where farm­ers can learn to pre­serve their nat­u­ral meth­ods of com­bat­ing in­sects or scar­ing away swal­lows that peck the plants.

In ad­di­tion, with help from Ceres Or­gan­ics, Andina has also out­fit­ted the farm­ers' houses with so­lar pan­els and eco­log­i­cal kitchens.

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