There is more to buckwheat than its value for sensitive baby food applications. Farming organic buckwheat generates the best possible habitat for bees and butterflies. Many organic beekeepers use our growing areas for their beehives. Our affiliated buckwheat projects in Germany and other European countries play an active role in the conservation of biodiversity.
Organic Farming Projects in South America
have played a crucial role in our activity portfolio from the very beginning.
The Andean grains Quinoa and Amaranth, until nowadays products of rural small-scale family farmers, were the first products, which became popular food ingredients in Europe due to our work to promote these ancient staples in the food industry.
And our philosophy has not changed over the years.
We work in long-term partnership with farmers´cooperatives, which we support by good prices, purchase guarantees and microcrediting, but also by active consulting in good orgnaic farming practice provided to our growers by our agro-engineers working in the field.
The economical independency for the famrers is of central importance in the principles of fair trade, which we follow.
Besides our farming projects in the main producing countries Peru and Bolivia, Quinoa has also been produced since ancient times in the Andean zone of Ecuador. Quinoa from Ecuador has a high protein level making it particularly interesting from a nutritional perspective.
The small-scale farmers´initiative Sumaklife, located in the volcanic Chimborazoe zone, consosts of around 200 family farms living at 3.000 m above sea level with quinoa farming and lama breeding as their only source of both, own food and income.
Quinoa farming does not only help them in covering their own protein needs, selling the quantites not needed in daily use to export markets allows an important income to the families and rural communities.
Marketing the crops of Sumaklife to the European markets, demanded investments into both silo storage facilities for safe storage of the harvested grains and specialized machinery for the complex quinoa processing. Since projcet start in 2008, Ziegler Organic has enabled the cooperative to invest into the necessary production infrastructure by credits given free of interest, thus granting safe products to the consumers and enabliung the famers to build up their own agro-industrial infrastructure necessary for the independent participation in global food markets.
Our farming project in China
Traceable farming and modern food processing factories – environmentally and socially sustainable
The organic pioneer Hua En Foods in Dalian has been leading organic company of highest reputation from day one in China. Founded and managed by Mr Chen and Mr Yuanhong, two famous acitvists of the Chinese Civil RIghts Movement, Hua En has assured highest product quality and food safety for decades.
HuaEn´s farming projects are located in rural Inner Mongolia and the Heilongjiang province for beans, lentils, seeds and grains. The farmers of the area have traditionally been working with organic principles since ancient times. The organic business provides safe income and conservation of traditonal living patterns to the rural population far from the Asian megacities in unpolluted environment.
China has an EU accredited control system for organic agriculture which guarantees both the compliance with EU organic requirements and compliance in social and labour questions. Regular and independent checks by accredited certifiers have proved this high standard over decades in farming and Hua En´s related processing factories making our China suppliers a flagship project in the global map of organic agriculture.
Organic Rice tradition in Piemont/Italy
One of our long-term partners in organic food ingredients is the family rice mill Riseria Provera in Italy.
The long tradtion of rice cultivation and processing in the Piemont area of Italy has been upheld by the family in the fourth generation. Being a pioneer in organic rice farming, Riseria provera has been contract partner for small-scale organic farmers in the regions of Vercelli, Biella, Novara and Pavia and represents both, highest rice qualities and organic transparency from farm to fork – secluded from other large areas of conventional and industrialized rice farming. The related farming areas have traditionally been planted in organic method. No wonder, the growing areas of the Provera projects have developped to a natural reserve where otherwise threatened herons have found a breeding site. Organic rice farming goes together with the protection of our endangered biodiversity as this example can illustrate.
Our regional project in Germany
Sustainability by regionality is today the word on everybody´s mouth when it comes to food production.
Long before today´s omnipresent discussion, Ziegler Organic started to offer regional products from German contract farming which had typically been offered as import products in the market before.
We are happy and proud to have initiated a growing project with the Bioland farm Abtei Maria Frieden and affiliated farmers of the region , which grow Bioland certified organic buckwheat, millet, amaranth, lentils, cress and alfalfa seed for us.
The secluded yet climatically mild mountain area of upper Franconia, far off industrial and traffic pollutions of urban areas, provides ideal conditions for organic agriculture. Andi Schwab, agricultural engineer and head of Abtei Maria Frieden coordinates the affiliated farmer´s group which comprises small-scale organic farmers in direct proximity to Ziegler Organic´s headquarter in Wunsiedel – also saving unneccesary and environmentally harmful transport ways.
Buckwheat as a crop plays particularly important role in our project. Not only is buckwheat essential ingredient in many baby food applications, the plant moreover provides an ideal habitat for critically endangered bees and buttferflies. Many organic beekeepers use our farming areas for their beehives. Our buckwheat project helps to preserve biodiversity and specialty crops like buckwheat or amaranth offer an alternative to ecologically problematic monocultures like corn which have today taken a large share of the available farming areas.
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