Trader or producer

Organic food has become a very popular topic. Increasing number of people are trying to incorporate organic products into their diet. However, is everything labeled organic, really organic? Only five years ago I truly believed in the regularity of trade with organic food. Today it is not the case. Here I will share with you my personal opinion on this topic.

When I started to grow Peruvian Maca, in the first place in the Andes, I began to realize the irregularities in the trade with the organic Superfoods. Soon, I discovered that the key to the trade with the organic food, for the most important traders, is the organic certification. When we speak of the Peruvian Maca or any other variety grown in the altitude above 2500 m in the Andes, an organic origin is inevitable, simply because they are pesticide free due to the lack of knowledge about pesticides or mineral fertilizers.

Consequently, they are deprived of the right to sell their products as organic, which would mean they could charge more for their products. Next, a number of trading companies from the capital city Lima come into the picture. They offer to producers to finance their organic certification. In return, they guarantee to purchase all their crops at extremely low prices. This is just one of the many dark sides of Peruvian agriculture, something like modern colonization. This well-known model has become the standard practice in other parts of the world as well, mostly in the countries where the purest organic food is grown.

If you as a farmer wanted to obtain the organic certification from one of the renown organic certification agencies in Germany or Netherlands, you should bear in mind that you need to own a large plot of “clean” fertile land. However, you also need to invite the inspector from that agency in order to take and analyze samples from your land and crop. Once you receive the organic certificate, you have to renew it once a year. Big trading companies obtain such certificate by signing a contract of collaboration with a cooperative and financing the costs for receiving it. This enables them to sell Superfood to the developed countries as organic producers, although they are not.

European wholesalers and retailers are selling organic products with the same certificates, without any additional examination of the organic goods. Whatsmore, they obtain permanent licence for trading with organic products on the local market. This process is called recertification and it enables the organic products to be sold to the ultimate consumers. Further, in the trade business, the product is not analyzed, which leaves room for fraudulent actions. Yet, inexplicably, the number of organic products is growing. In the world, this is called the booming of organic certification mafia.

In Peruvian coastal lowland are grown: quinoa, chia, amaranth and other superfoods. Crops in this region are conventional or inorganic because it is impossible to grow them as organic because of insects, weed and foreign technology. These crops are often than mixed with the pure organic produce from the Andes, where the rules for organic farming are strictly followed. As well as conventional crops are often marketed as organic with all the necessary certification from the organic producers, while we pay dearly for these products which are not.

On EU market, most of Superfoods is sold from organically lower rated countries in Asia. Recertification agencies do not have the means to inspect the validity of the submitted Chinese or Indian documentation for the imported organic products. Chinese origin is easily removed at the resale of Superfoods by big European distributors who issue their own certificate to cloud the real origin of the imported goods. EU traders import the cheapest products and push out the companies that import the original Peruvian Superfoods. Let alone the fact how poisonous are the inorganic Chinese food produce.

Que es organico?
El Gringo