Sustainable quinoa from Cotopaxi achieves Friend of the Earth certification
Cotopaxi S.A. is the first quinoa (Chenopodium wild) producer to obtain the Friend of the Earth certification. Certified products can now carry the Friend of the Earth international eco-label.
The company, in cooperation with a group of small and large farmers, has cultivated quinoa in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador since 1886.
Cotopaxi – which is already GLOBALG.A.P. certified – is committed to social accountability as well as to environment conservation. Preventive pesticides are not used, thus reducing the number of chemicals applied. Farmers strive to decrease the emissions of carbon dioxide into the environment, the waste of water and the soil erosion.
An advanced management system developed by Cotopaxi guarantees a constant environmental impact control throughout the whole production chain, from farming cooperatives to distributors.
“Friend of the Earth certification provides important added value to our products”, states Mr. Francisco Paz of Cotopaxi. “We are proud to have been found compliant with all the strict requirements for sustainable agriculture.”
Quinoa Cotopaxi S.A.
La Calerita farm was acquired by Don Alejandro Maldonado on July 21, 1886. At the time of purchase, the land had been devastated by the last eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano in the year 1877. Don Alejandro’s son-in-law, Don Arcesio Paz Ante, a visionary and hard working man, labored over decades cleaning the land of rock and turning this inert land once again into agricultural land. His son, Alejandro Paz Maldonado, his grandson, Diego, and his great grandchildren, Francisco and Alejandro, have cultivated this land with the same love as their ancestors. Today, 119 years later, we offer quinoa cultivated with love, care and professionalism as a tribute to the work of four generations in what is left of the land that once was a great farm far away from the city of Latacunga. Today, the farm is in the middle of the city. Quinoa Cotopaxi S.A. was started in order to process this golden grain and bring it to its customers’ tables while following the most rigorous standards of excellence and quality.
Friend of the Earth
Friend of the Earth is a non-profit project for the certification of products from sustainable agriculture and farming. Coming from the positive experience of the Friend of the Sea certification for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, Friend of the Earth is rapidly growing as the leading international label for sustainable agriculture production.
Friend of the Earth certification requirements are based on FAO's SAFA guidelines for sustainable agriculture and farming. Certified production sites cannot be developed on critical habitats and producers must have a social and environmental management system in place, be compliant with national environmental laws, conserve existing ecosystems and reduce their impacts to a sustainable level.