Developing the value chain from production to sales of locally grown Ontario quinoa
Katan Kitchens and the Value Chain Management Centre have been working together over the last ten months on a 30-month project to develop the commercial scale production and marketing of Ontario-grown quinoa, funded by ARIO and OMAF & MRA through the New Directions Research Project.
Driven by consumers’ increasing interest in health, demand for quinoa has markedly increased over the last few years. To date, however, the vast majority of quinoa consumed in Canada is imported from South America. A combination of factors, including the cost and challenges associated with transporting quinoa thousands of miles, inconsistency in quality and reliability of supply, and the growing consumer desire to buy high quality local food, has heightened industry’s interest in producing quinoa in Ontario.
Test plots have proven that the quality of quinoa grown in Ontario is potentially higher than that grown in its native region of South America. This, along with local production potentially eradicating the transport and logistical issues associated with imported quinoa, makes it a potentially valuable alternative crop for Ontario producers, almost regardless of where their farm is situated across Ontario.
With knowledge from 2014 and previous trials, the goal is to bring quinoa production to full commercial development in Ontario in 2015. Katan and VCMI will be hosting quinoa farm tours in late August 2014 at two producer locations in Ontario. The tours are open to the public and act as an opportunity to expand producer knowledge on quinoa. For more information on producing quinoa with Katan, or to register to attend a farm tour, please contact service[a]katan.ca.
To view Katan’s blogs, research projects and more, visit quintaquinoa.ca
Jamie Draves — President and CEO, Katan Kitchens
Martin Gooch, PhD — CEO, Value Chain Management International Inc.