Sheboygan, WI, April 17 2013.- Andean Naturals, Inc., a leading US importer of quinoa, has been named to the 2013 B Corporation Best for the World list.
Today’s announcement on Bloomberg Businessweek recognizes Andean Naturals’ achievement in earning a score in the top ten percent of all Certified B Corporations. B Corps are companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Quinoa, a pre-Columbian food of the future
Quinoa, a highly nutritious grain-like crop, is native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, where it thrives at altitudes in excess of 12,000 feet. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa, recognizing the family farmers of the Andes, whose traditional, sustainable practices have ensured the preservation of quinoa as a food source for thousands of years, and the potential contribution of quinoa to long-term global food security.
Connecting Andean farmers and American families
Worldwide demand for quinoa continues to escalate at an anticipated annual rate of 25 percent. US imports soared from 7.3 million lbs in 2007 to 57.6 million lbs in 2012. Andean Naturals has taken the lead in building bridges to connect South American quinoa farmers with US food companies and consumers. Andean Naturals facilitates the growth of the organic and fair-trade quinoa market while improving the lives of over 4,500 small family farmers through increased income, technical assistance and sustained demand.
Founded in 2004, Andean Naturals has offices in Foster City, CA and Sheboygan, WI as well as a processing plant in La Paz, Bolivia and a pre-shipment quality-control laboratory in Lima, Peru. Together with its joint-venture partner, Specialty Commodities of Fargo, ND, a specialized importer and distributor serving the food industry, the company supplies one-third of the North American quinoa market.
As an independent supplier, Andean Naturals does not sell to the consumer marketplace under its own name, but supports leading brands in the organic food market that specify the use of Bolivian quinoa in their products, which are widely available from major retailers.
What it takes to be Best for the World
Every Certified B Corporation meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. There are currently over 737 Certified B Corporations from sixty industries, representing a diverse, multi-billion-dollar marketplace.
In attaining Best for the World status, Andean Naturals earned exceptional ratings in the areas of self-governance, workforce relations, community engagement and environmental responsibility. The company achieved an overall score of 63 percent, with a total of 60 percent indicating excellence.
What it means to be Best for the World
“We are excited and proud to have earned this important recognition,” Sergio Nuñez de Arco, Quinoa Specialist and Founding Partner of Andean Naturals, said. “What really matters is what it means to the farmers who work so hard to help us provide the world’s finest quinoa to America’s brand-name food companies and consumers. We want the consumer to know and care about the small family farmers in the Andes. We hope to humanize the various aspects of the seed’s journey from the Andean fields to the consumer’s table.”
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