Quinoa has been grown in the Bolivian mountain region of the Altiplano for more than 5,000 years. At an altitude of 3,500 metres and more, where hardly anything else grows, this grain - also called Inca rice - is an important food resource and source of income.
Predominantly traditional structures can still be found around Salar de Uyuni. The farmers grow, harvest and process quinoa by hand. Machines are not much use in this inhospitable area. No industrially manufactured fertiliser is needed here. It is provided naturally by the passing lamas. Nor do the farmers need any pesticides. The bitter ingredients in the grain's shell provide a natural defence mechanism against predators and pests.
But traditional quinoa cultivation is at risk. A worldwide quinoa boom about eight years ago caused cultivation areas to be extended massively and forced cultivation in other countries. After soaring massively at first, prices came under severe pressure. The farmers in the traditional cultivation areas have been struggling with decreasing income ever since.
For this reason, the Altiplano farmers joined forces to obtain, in cooperation with the Bolivian authorities, the protection of the original production and the designation of their varieties as ""Quinoa Real D.O."" This ""denominación de origen"" protects the origin and local production from imitations and supports the cultivation of traditional, strong quinoa varieties.
Together with Migros we provide support to the ""Quinoa Real D.O."" project already now, before it receives the official registration. We source quinoa from the pilot project ""Quinoa Real del Altiplano Sur de Bolivia D.O."" Like all of Delica's quinoa from Bolivia, this quinoa has an organic and Fairtrade - Max Havelaar certification and is 100% retraceable.