A major milestone that guarantees the place of origin for Bolivia's organic Royal Quiona took place at the BIOFACH 2017 world organic fair in Nuremberg, Germany on February 16, with the announcement of the new seal of Denomination of Origin for the Royal Quinoa of Bolivia’s southern high plains (The Altiplano) that seeks to differentiate the Royal Quinoa production of Bolivia from the rest of the world.
The announcement was presented to an audience of global Royal Quinoa customers and manufacturers who source from Bolivia, Bolivian suppliers and producer associations, and government officials.
"The Denomination of Origin is the result of years of joint work from the government and the quinoa sector. The denomination of origin working tables, along with an integral strategy of quinoa are the basis of the Plurinational State of Bolivia’s public policy for quinoa," said Cabolqui, the Chamber of Exporters of Quinoa and other Organic Products, based in Bolivia.
A seal of denomination of origin is a guarantee that the product was produced in a certain region. In the case of quinoa, in the only region of the world (in Bolivia) where Royal Quinoa is produced organically and in which the characteristics of the region result in extraordinary nutritional levels, Cabolqui said.
With the seal for the denomination of origin, buyers will also be able to identify Bolivia’s Royal Quinoa. To help consumers understand this difference, Bolivia is implementing a traceability program alongside the denomination of origin, to guarantee organic production for marketing internationally.
Despite the quinoa genome being studied and quinoa produced over the last 20 years by many countries, (including quinoa cultivated in coastal areas of Peru) they haven’t been able to achieve the grain size or nutritional levels of Bolivian Royal Quinoa, Cabolqui said.
Recently, Bolivia lost its position as the largest producer and exporter of quinoa in the world, while Bolivian Royal Quinoa still commands a price premium.
"However, Bolivian producers consider that this price differentiation is not enough for a crop that reflects the identity of one of the most arid areas of Bolivia, where quinoa, farmers and geography, form a triad that generates a product of the highest quality; Organic, 100 percent gluten free, from native varieties, where there is no direct or indirect contamination from other crops. Buyers also know this and is why the most demanding markets need to be able to differentiate Bolivian Quinoa from other common varieties," Cabolqui said.
The presentation of the Denomination of Origin was the result of a coordinated effort between the main associations of producers; ANAPQUI, APQUISA, CECAOT and the main Chambers; CADEQUIR (Chamber of Quinua de Potosí), CADEPQUIOR (Chamber of Quinoa of Oruro), CNPQ (National Chamber of Quinoa Producers) together with exporters through CABOLQUI (Chamber of Exporters of Quinoa and other Organic Products) and their companies, as well as exporting companies not affiliated with CABOLQUI.
"Bolivia’s government aims to comply with all national and international legal requirements of the Royal Quinoa Denomination of Origin seal, strengthen the Regulatory Council in such a way that it is an entity capable of administering this seal and implementing a traceability system that ensures the quality of our product," said Percy Belmonte, from the Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy of Bolivia.
"When the consumer sees this seal, they will know that they are buying a product that has not been genetically modified, which is 100 percent gluten free and organic. We are confident that Bolivia will regain its leadership as the largest producer of quinoa in the world," said the Bolivian Ambassador to Germany, Jorge Cárdenas.