San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 27, 2013
Alter Eco, the only fair trade brand and the leading provider of organic fair trade quinoa in the U.S., helped shed light on how the quinoa boom has been a benefit to one of the poorest regions in Bolivia, and revealed the real challenges for this emerging industry that’s working to catch-up to demand, during a recent conference call with media. A podcast of the conversation was made available to the public today, along with a summary of key learning’s from the call (see link below). Since the boom, the Altiplano region, home to a concentration of Bolivia’s indigenous people, has undergone a transformation from barren to the beginnings of modernization, and second-class citizenry to embracement.
During the UN’s declaration of 2013 as “The International Year of Quinoa”, Ban Ki‐moon extolled quinoa’s potential as an adaptable food that holds the promise of improved income for small‐scale farmers - who also tend to be among the poorest of the world. Alter Eco’s experience working with ANAPQUI, Bolivia’s National Association of Quinoa Producers - a community based organization that represents close to 2,000 farmers, prov ides a real world example that this promise can indeed be a reality, but only with the commitment of business and government.
“Quinoa Royal is absolutely changing the lives of our regional community for the better,” said Miguel Choque Llanos, Commercial Director of ANAPQUI. “Because of measures taken by the Bolivian government and our relationship with Alter Eco – we’ve been able to expand production while shaping a business that is part of and serves the needs of the Altiplano people.”
For the people of the Altiplano, increased demand for quinoa has yielded higher incomes, healthier diets and consistent employment. Quinoa’s boom has also fostered greater government participation in the region, but in a way that is meant to foster the industry – through investment and infrastructure. Quinoa growers now have a voice in government and policy, while the Southern Altiplano currently has the highest levels of high school graduates among rural areas of Bolivia.
“As demand and appreciation for quinoa continues to grow, we want to ensure that the farmers from the origin of the original crop – Quinoa Royal, continue garnering the benefits of their work and tradition, and are not left out of the marketplace,” said Edouard Rollet, President and Co-founder of Alter Eco.
Alter Eco has worked with ANAPQUI since 1998 through a partnership model that ensures farmers receive the benefits of their work and heritage, providing a higher premium for the crop while responsibly fostering the growth of the industry. Because of this relationship ANAPQUI has been able to add an additional factory line, provided financing to farmers at the time of harvest, and been able to support and expand their PROQUINAT program which implements systems and trains farmers in ways that help protect the land to ensure long-term viability.
For more information on how increased global demand for quinoa has economically benefited Bolivians, and to discover more about the real challenges that this emerging marketplace faces, visit Alter Eco’s dedicated media page: http://alterecofoods.com/about-us/webinar-quinoa-061313
ABOUT ALTER ECO:
Co-founded by Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet, Alter Eco is a values-based brand of specialty food products that brings delicious, exotic, high-quality and healthy ingredients from around the world to consumers in the United States, while directly benefitting small producers around the world. Alter Eco’s product portfolio includes quinoa, chocolate bars, rice and sugar. All Alter Eco products are 100% fair trade, organic and non-‐GMO. To learn more visit http://alterecofoods.com.