The 4th of December 2014 I visited Hi Europe in Amsterdam, the world’s leading health and natural food ingredients event. It is actually a business platform where companies from all over the world exhibit their ingredients and solutions for food and drink formulation, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and personal care products. This day I came with a special task: to see the products of the four Peruvian companies present at this forum and to interview their representatives. I asked them not only about their innovative and natural products but also about their contribution to corporate social and environmental responsibility within the chain.
(For the reader, it must be clear that the information below is derived from interviews with the representatives of the companies itself, and not through thorough solid investigation with third parties. Therefore, I cannot ensure full truth)
The first Peruvian company I visited was Molinos Asociados SAC. This enterprise dedicates itself to creating added value to the fruit of the Tara tree of the Peruvian Andes, which has many traditional applications. The company is lead by the president and CEO Herbert Telge and his two sons.
Tara seeds can be used for dying fabrics, tanning leather or making medicines. For example, the skin of Tara seeds are ground into a powder from which tannic acid is extracted, which in turn can be used, among others, to make leather supple.
The Tara tree has become part of an impressive boom for farmers in Peru. In Europe the Tara products are appreciated, not only because it is a natural product, but also because it has a positive social impact in the value chain as the production of Tara takes place in the poor rural zones of the Andes. It also has a positive environmental impact as the production of Tara contributes indirectly to the mitigation of climate change. The Tara trees namely grow in dry zones and their growth contributes to moisture retention and the scarcity of water is managed with modern irrigation.
You can watch my interview with Herbert Telge here below.
Next to the exhibition of the Tara products of Molinos Asociados SAC, Patricia Aguilar, commercial director of Agroindustrias Amazonicas , was presenting a very well known Peruvian product, namely the Inca Inchi Oil, which is already being sold in several big Peruvian supermarkets. This oil is the richest natural source of essential fatty acids Omega 6 (36%) and Omega 3 (48%), and is of great importance for cholesterol balance, blood circulation and prevention of cardiovascular attacks and infarcts.
Agroindustrias Amazonicas started with the development of the organic cultivation of Inca Inchi, a plant from the Amazon, around 2001. The Inca Inchi Oil is manually produced by small farmers there. This oil, derived from the Inca Inchi plant, is a high quality product (adequate technologies are used in the industrial process to preserve the quality of the oil and its proteins), and has both a good impact on the ecology of the Amazon as well as contributes to better living conditions of the small farmers. Furthermore, Inca Inchi Oil benefits the nutrition and health of people worldwide. As you can see in the picture above, the Inca Inchi Oil complies with the requirements of several certifications, such as the European and US organic label.
Watch my interview with Patricia Aguilar at Hi Europe in Amsterdam here below.
The third Peruvian company I visited at Hi Europe, was MG NATURA Peru SAC. I had the honour to speak with Genaro Valdivia, administrative manager.
The company was founded in 1999, dedicating itself to Peruvian natural products like Camu Camu, Amaranth, Cat’s Claw, Maca, Quinoa, Sacha Inchi, Yacon and many more. It considers itself as a social and environmental responsible enterprise, working only with genuine products from a known source, and making alliances with a select group of producers and companies. Some of their products are organic, fair trade or kosher certified.
Watch my interview with Genaro Valdivia at Hi Europe in Amsterdam, here below.
At the end of the day I got to interview Marta Madueño D’Urso, who is export and sales manager at Nunatura, which is a trademark application of the company Peruvian Heritage SAC. Nunatura sells superfoods, superdrinks and dietary supplements all based on natural ingredients, such as Maca powder, Acai powder, Sacha Inchi powder, and so on. In their mission they try to operate in a way that is in harmony with the needs of all the participants in the supply chain and they follow bio-trade and fair trade principles.
The most innovative product presented by Peruvian Heritage SAC was definitely the Shaman Energy Drink. A drink that gives long lasting energy throughout the day, based on natural ingredients and it really has a good taste! (verified by myself). This natural energy drink was created as an alternative to the traditional energy drink with caffeine, chemicals and sugar, which gives only a short energy boost. So the founders found four natural ingredients for the Shaman Energy drink, namely coca leaves and maca, from pre-Incan times, and Ginseng and Gingko Biloba, from the Far East.
It was so nice to see for me how Peruvian companies are using their natural wealth, coming from the rich biodiversity of Peru, as a tool to not only gain profits, and create healthy products, but also living up to international standards of quality and sustainability, and contributing as far as possible to better livelihoods of small farmers and the preservation of nature.