Andean Naturals buys quinoa from small farms in the mountains of Bolivia and Peru and distributes it throughout North America.
The organisation aims to promote sustainable agriculture in the Andes, improve economic development in the farming communities, and increase the demand for quinoa as a healthy food in the US. It has a head office and warehouse in California and a processing plant in Bolivia.
Andean Naturals was set up in 2004 by five Bolivian entrepreneurs based in the US who wanted to help farmers in Bolivia gain access to the North American market. Since then the company has built a reputation as a specialist supplier of quinoa, and quinoa-based products such as flour, pasta and flakes.
Andean farmers face major difficulties accessing markets that pay fairly for their products. This means that in the past they have created "cash crops" using chemicals and imported seeds instead of the more traditional and environmentally-friendly methods they prefer.
As a result, these farmers have been unwillingly forced to degrade their own land.
Andean Naturals has offered a solution by offering reliable and fair market access to small-scale organic farmers. Thanks to consumer demand for this now premium product, and the organic methods involved, Andean Naturals has managed to ensure that Bolivian farmers are paid fairly for this valuable commodity.
The organisation uses a Shared Inerterest credit facility to off the 4,000 farmers involved pre-harvest payments. This means that they can receive payment for their produce before the quinoa is sold - quite often as a 'super food' to health conscious consumers in North America and Europe.
Watch our film below.