By Warren Beaumont
The Ancient Grain and gluten-free trend shows no signs of slowing down in natural and organic retail markets worldwide as consumers increasingly choose ancient super foods like chia, amaranth, cañihua and quinoa for their health and nutritional benefits. Quinoa demand has been very strong helped by its high protein, calcium and magnesium content and gluten-free status. It has also been leading new product development over the last few years.
So it was no surprise in the International Year of Quinoa to see that quinoa products were among the most prominent at the BioFach show held in Germany in February. And Olivier Perreol of pioneering French quinoa supplier Euro Nat says demand for its Primeal brand is still growing, even though products are more expensive. But he points out that Euro Nat ensures there are benefits to quinoa growers and the farming communities who produce Primeal quinoa on the Bolivian Altiplano by helping employment and improving sustainability.
“Our quinoa is exclusively organic and fair trade certified with farmers getting a premium and benefit, while we also address the environmental issues”, Mr. Perreol says. “Crop rotation and other practices are checked by ECOCERT organic farming certification and its insurance against production of the quinoa crops on the same fields is not allowed for three years.”
Euro Nat ensures the traceability and authenticity of the product and bio-equitable process from Bolivia to France, where Euro Nat is a member of the Bio Equitable organic and fair trade association.
Demand and exports are growing for the Primeal brand of quinoa, which is packaged and presented in many different forms such as flakes, puffed grains, flour, cream, soup, pasta, snack foods and others. New products include the Quico, a mix of quinoa, red lentils and carrots; and Quinori, a mix of red and white quinoa, whole rice, chick peas and sesame to join the Duo de Quinoa, red and white grains, and Quinoa- Trio, a combination of three white, red and black quinoa grains, all in 500gm attractive packs.
“Quinoa export sales are up 25% in France and Europe and interest is growing in North America and globally,” Mr. Perreol says. “EuroNat was the first company to set up in Bolivia, and since 1989, we have been working with Bolivian farmers and communities through a continued commitment to sustainable, fair trade and organic practices.”