We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
Although nobody knows exactly who came up with this quote, its truth is universal.
Less than a century ago, all agriculture was integrally organic. This all changed when the chemical industry turned its interests to the agricultural sector after the Second World War. Nowadays, organic agriculture is the exception to the rule.
Soil is the basis of agriculture. Having a strong and fertile soil is the only way to produce the nutrients necessary for all living things. Sadly, the industrialisation of agriculture is a threat to the fertility of soil, which is on the decline worldwide. The intensified use of herbicides pesticides and chemical fertilizers in recent years has led to a growing decrease in soil fertility and to an ever intensifying increase in soil erosion.
However, the Coopain Cabana Cooperative aims at encouraging producers in using new agricultural techniques, such as planting nitrogen-fixing seeds like alfalfa during the set-aside period. This not only provides nitrogen for the soil (just like chemicals fertilizers based on fossil fuels, but without the agressive aspect) but also provides fodder for livestock.
The growers are all willing to implement such techniques. They only need to be given the methods and necessary funds to make the transition. That is what we attempt to do with the Fairtrade system!
Preserving ancestral methods
Human impact on the environment
Our ecological footprint indicates our human impact on natural resources and the environment. Today, we should all be striving to reduce our ecological or carbon footprint.
Did you know that currently, it takes the Earth one and a half years to replenish what we consume in one single year? This means that our natural resources are being consumed faster than they are being regenerated. If the entire world consumed resources at a similar rate to that of first world countries, we would need 2 to 3 planets like ours to meet the demand.
Quinola is committed to minimising its ecological footprint, by developing products that respect the environment and reduce our impact on the planet.
Gentle and Sustainable Farming
Our quinoa is traditionally farmed, this means no chemicals, no fertilisers and no tractors.
Quinoa is shipped to our shores from the Peruvian Altiplano, but despite the long distance, quinoa has a much lower environmental impact than many other crops grown in Europe. The carbon footprint of any large ship is less than one tenth that of a truck (based on carbon emissions per kilometre and per ton), and less than one hundredth that of air transport. And we won't change the way we do this either, minimising the negative impact on the environment is really important to us.
Low impact packaging
A great deal of thought has gone into our packaging. Our products are conditioned in Doypacks: a thin plastic packaging providing excellent food protection . This type of packaging has 4 major ecological advantages:
1. Doypacks are bisphenol A-free plastic packages that preserve food perfectly. No chemical transfer can occur during cooking. Moreover, the production requires less raw material than any other form of packaging.
2. Doypacks are extremely light (60-70% lighter than cans) making them much easy to transport. They are absolutely flat when empty and perfectly stackable when full, resulting in greatly reduced fuel consumption during transport.
3. The special formulation of doypack plastic prevents the release of toxic smoke into the atmosphere during incineration, which helps reducing the household waste and the ecological impact of their production, lifetime and destruction.
4. The cost of the raw materials and oil-derived products necessary to produce doypacks is lower than that of plastic trays or glass jars. A growing number of countries are working on developing techniques to fully recycle this packaging.
Plant proteins are as beneficial to you as to the planet
Plant proteins present in quinoa significantly reduce your own ecological footprint. Quinoa is an excellent alternative source of protein that can replace the consumption of meat or fish, as both have a high ecological impact.
Did you know that livestock are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which is even higher than that of cars, planes and all other forms of transport combined? (Food & Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, 2006).
The meat industry is also water-intensive. This is significant as water is set to become more scare in the coming decades.
Battery-reared animals are mostly fed GMO grain, contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
Eating alternatives to meat helps to keep our health and environment safe!