Last year, Bolivian entrepreneur Teodosio Huayllani Marca embarked in a new venture, Sindan Organic, with the purpose of offering a diversified portfolio of superfoods of the highest quality such as quinoa, amaranth, sesame, cañahua and chia, to please the most discerning customers. Based on his 25 years of experience in a family business as leading producer, processor and trader of organic quinoa, Huayllani was aware of the growing demand for better quality control and safety standards required by food processors in the international market.
He sought a new challenge: In December 2011, Sindan was the first Bolivian firm to obtain the British Retail Consortium Certification (BRC v.5 Norm) for the processing and marketing of organic quinoa. This certification now allows Sindan direct access to strategic markets like baby food and gluten-free food processors, which are extremely demanding in terms of quality and safety. Sindan also obtained two additional certifications at the end of last year. ISO 22000:2005 confirms the company fulfills the requirements for a food safety management system, from reception and dried or wet cleaning and desaponization, to metal detection, and packaging and shipping of organic certified quinoa. ISO 9001:2008 certifies a proven efficient quality management system in the processing, marketing and exports of quinoa, amaranth and sesame. Huayllani and his team have commissioned the Association of Organic Producers Capura, a cooperative of organic and Fair Trade-certified Royal Quinoa farmers, to supply Sindan. The company also meets the requirements under the Norm NA NB 0038 for distribution and safe consumption of its products in the Bolivian market.
“It has been an amazing year and we feel satisfied with our accomplishments,” said Huayllani on the company’s first anniversary. “We have a competitive advantage and will continue to implement the latest methods and technology as market demands change.” Sindan’s strategy diversifying its product offering, adding other seeds like sesame and chia, and working with farmers in different regions of Bolivia will guarantee more business and development opportunities in the community. Currently, the company works with over 500 people including direct and indirect employees, and the families that produce organic and FAIRTRADE certified crops.
As Sindan continues to expand their offerings, their strict standards for hygiene, safety and quality will apply to all new products. Sindan expects to reach in the next few months a processing capacity of 3,000 tonnes annually. At the moment, products are exported to the U.S., France, the Netherlands and Israel. Plans for 2012 include expanding into the domestic Bolivian market as well, launching retail packages of quinoa grain, flakes and flour, as well as grain and derivatives of cañahua, under their own label. Ensuring food security, sovereignty of their country, and Bolivian development remain a priority for Sindan. By making significant investments in their own country, Sindan has not only made outstanding returns but has also enhanced local sustainability and social responsibility. As the organic market evolves and the link from farmer to consumer grows shorter, companies such as Sindan will continue to thrive by offering specialized products of the utmost standards in product quality and sustainable company practices.