With 2016 fast approaching, it’s time to reflect on what’s been going on at The British Quinoa Company since this year’s harvest was wrapped up and the quinoa safely tucked away in stores. So, here’s what we’ve been up to…….
A proportion of this year’s crop has already been sent over to our processors where they help us to clean the harvested quinoa to a minimum purity of 99.9% through a vast array of sieving, separating and sorting technology. Grains are then tested for microbes to ensure that they are 100% safe and then delivered to our customers on a weekly basis, where they are then enjoyed by shoppers in Pret A Manger, Waitrose and through our on-line store.
With a keen eye for innovation, we’ve recently been busy trialling new Quinoa based products. We have teamed up with a local smokery just over the Welsh border to add a touch of extra flavour to our grains by fusing together a blend of oak, ash & beech smoke. On the hunt for new ideas, we have been making quinoa flakes and flour, perfect for adding a healthy alternative to your cereal mix or baking ingredients. Having spent time re-designing our pack size and artwork, look out for our new 300g conventional, organic & smoked packs hitting the market in early 2016!
In recent weeks Stephen and Joe have been talking to several customers interested in our British Quinoa and the supply services we can offer. During discussions an obvious theme is shining through that the grain is becoming more sought after by UK consumers. Originally an ancient South American crop, Peru & Bolivia are now producing more ‘keenwah’ than ever, signified by a new initiative to support sales by the Peru Trade & Investment Office in the UK. Whilst the increased supply has an obvious effect on competition, it provides new opportunities and forces us to be on the top of our game in producing the best quinoa grains on the market in terms of quality and value.
So, what about our new growers who started working in partnership with us at the start of the season? Well, we’re pleased to say that after a good growing season, and reasonably good yields, all farmers are back on board and wanting to grow more quinoa in 2016. With many lessons learnt in 2015, and a grower discussion day being organised in January, we are quietly confident we can increase British quinoa yields into next year and beyond.
And so, venturing into the New Year we hope 2016 will hold bigger and better things for British Quinoa. But as in all things in agriculture, we first must cross our fingers and hope for a settled spring to get our new crops established and growing away strongly!
From all at The British Quinoa Company – Have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!