First tangible result: sustainable quinoa from Peru

First tangible result: sustainable quinoa from Peru

“How can we feed a growing world population in a sustainable and healthy way?” That’s the leading question the province of Vlaams-Brabant, Rikolto, University of Leuven and University College UCLL and Colruyt Group are trying to answer in the project ‘Wanted: Food for the Future‘. One answer is to create sustainable food chains from the global South. You can find the first concrete result in the stores of Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar: red, black and white Quinoa from Peru.

In search of sustainable food chains

In the project ‘Wanted: Food for the Future‘ several partners collaborate to find ways to feed a growing world population in a sustainable and healthy way.

Each partner brings a certain type of expertise to the table. The Province has an elaborate network of youth, companies and educational institutions. Rikolto has experience in the development of international food chain development and coaching of farmer cooperatives. The University of Leuven provides the scientific research for the project. And the UCLL involves the students in the debate. Colruyt Group engages in the development of sustainable chain projects and food products. Besides that, the group also funds educational projects through their Collibri Foundation.

The different partners try to stimulate the debate by co-creating with scientists, stakeholders and consumers. At the same time, they ‘feed’ the debate from practise with this sustainable food chain for quinoa from Peru. Possibly, the same will happen with seaweed in Indonesia and legumes in Tanzania: the first contacts look promising.

These crops are nutritious, have a low carbon footprint and offer new opportunities to the farmers that produce them. That’s why we label these products as future-proof.

Quinoa: a crop for the future

Quinoa is nutritious and could play an important role in feeding a growing world population in a sustainable way. All this thanks to several qualities:

  • Low blue waterfootprint: the production of quinoa consumes 5 times less water than rice and wheat.
  • A lot of proteins: quinoa contains all essential amino acids you need. The amount of proteins is more than most wheats.
  • A lot of fibers: you are saturated more quickly and are less hungry again, Thanks to the slow sugars
  • Small disease pressure: quinoa does not know many diseases
  • Stress resistant: quinoa resists frost, drought and salty soils very well. It’s easily cultivated in many regions.


© Wouter Van Vooren – Solid Food

Guaranteed market for the local farmers

‘Bone Selection Bio quinoa tricolore’ is available in stores from June 2018. You can find it in Colruyt, Okay, Bio-Planet and Spar. It’s the first result of a sustainable chain project. The local partner of ‘Wanted: Food for the Future‘ is the commercial and social organisation Solid Food Perú.


This new tricolore quinoa, a mix of white, red and black quinoa, is produced by 182 local farmers from the region Ayacucho in Peru. The producers are all smallholder farmers and coached by Solid.

Solid buys the quinoa from the farmers at a good price (higher than the average market value) en checks the quality of the products. The organisation also works on the logistics, processing and packaging, and afterwards sells the product to Colruyt Group, who ships the product by boat.

Colruyt Group engages itself to buy 34 ton quinoa during the first year. The collaboration provides the farmers in Ayacucho additional income and a guaranteed market in Belgium to sell their products.