EcoSocial certification for Peruvian quinoa
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.