Quinoa's rising popularity has meant a better income for subsistence farmers who grow the grain in the Andean highlands. It also has brought new challenges for producers, processors and traders who are aware that unless environmentally sustainable, the boom will not last long. As reported in previous O.W.N. editions, the Bolivian organic Royal Quinoa suppliers have been working on feasible ways to improve the quinoa sector and mitigate any negative environmental impact.

On the other hand, members of the Bolivian Chamber of Royal Quinoa and other Organic Products Exporters (CABOLQUI) have been busy over the past 18 months, preparing to obtain ISO certification. Four leading exporters––Andean Valley, Irupana Andean Organic Food, Quinoabol and Sindan Organic––have been ISO certified by Canadian firm Alliance ARC. “This experience has enabled the companies to recognize the value that a quality management system can provide to significantly improve their processes,” stated CABOLQUI general manager Paola Mejia.

These firms will be at BioFach, Nuremberg, this coming February 15–18th, along with recognized gluten-free pasta manufacturer Coronilla and trading firm Quinoa Foods. The Bolivian pavilion will offer tribute to the 2013 International Year of Bolivian Royal Quinoa.

Better technology, procedures and a commitment to obtaining excellent quality Bolivian Royal quinoa, already considered of the highest quality in the international market, will improve the competitiveness of organic food processing companies in the Andean country.