ProChia Bolivia: Bolivian Chia companies serious about quality
ProChia Bolivia, the consortium supported by CBI which groups together 7 companies in the chia sector, is stepping up its activities towards improving the quality of their chia products.
Bolivia now counts with the first chia quality norm, unique in the world and established by the sector and adopted by the National Organisation for Norms and Standards (Ibnorca). This standard now applies to all exporting companies and describes a set of minimum standards of chia.
In December 2017, the ProChia companies held a specialist workshop facilitated by CBI, where the quality ambitions of the group were taken to the next level.
As a result, the participating companies have formulated a roadmap towards fully sustainable chia production in Bolivia. This roadmap addresses important items such as improved and standardised selection of chia seeds; better treatment of the soil, including more efficient crop rotations and biological treatments instead of use of chemicals; soil mapping and classification and finally substantial awareness and training for local producers regarding efficient and sustainable use of the soil.
In addition to this roadmap, the ProChia companies agreed on the introduction of a quality guarantee system to be introduced for the group. This system will count with a monitoring and control mechanism and a quality code. In future, chia from the ProChia companies, which meets these quality standards, will be recognised by a distinctive stamp, guaranteeing that all standards are met.
A new chia project will start in Bolivia early 2018. This project aims to study the characterization of chia and its functional nutritional facts, since little is still known about it. The Universidad Mayor San Andrés – Centro de investigación De Química, in coordination with the Camara de Exportadores Santa Cruz – CADEX - and ProChia Bolivia, will implement the project. It is expected that the results of these studies will help to identify new potential use and applications of chia for national and international markets.