This past month Nutiva CEO John W Roulac headed to South America to meet some of our farmers and workers who grow our organic Chia. Nutiva is working hard to keep up with the surging demand for this ancient Aztec superfood. While our warehouse was bulging with container loads of Chia seed this fall, demand has outstripped our supply very quickly in the fall. Dr. Oz’s recent TV episode really boosted nationwide interest in Chia! As the leading supplier of organic Chia in the world, Nutiva is also focused on insuring the communities which supply the might seed also benefit. As part of his fact-finding trip John asked the a few of the local people and farmers what they needed to improve their quality of life. Out of this Nutiva is focusing on three important community projects: • Solar Lantern Project - Bringing renewable sun energy into rural people’s homes can replace the dangerous kerosene lamps that can blow over from winds and catch fire. In fact, 5 homes in our Chia-growing region have had fires in the past year. Solar lanterns provide bright light at night and are re-charged during the day by placing them in the path of the sun. • Local Fruit Trees - While communities do benefit from jobs by growing organic Chia for export, we want to encourage more local food production. John Roulac noticed in walking the fields that there were many small strips of land next to the irrigation canals where a few fruit trees were already growing. So he has come up with the idea to supply up to 12 fruit trees free of charge to the dozens of Chia farmers for planting in what is now unusable land because it’s uneven or too small an area to grow row crops. The trees we plan to help plant and can be consumed by the farmers family or friends, or sold at the local markets will include orange, lemon, coconuts, mango, and tamarind. • Water Projects - Many rural peoples in Peru do not have access to running water in their homes and thus walk long distances to obtain water. The goal is to put together a plan to drill for water and to have the water pumped to some of the homes.
Nutiva’s support of these vital projects is our way of demonstrating our core mission of Nourishing People and Planet. (Find out more about the Nutiva 1% Donation Program here.) Commerce is a powerful tool in shaping outcomes in the world. Thanks to Nutiva’s customers and fans to allow us to continue our good work to source and provide healthy and organic foods from hemp,coconut, and Chia superfoods. Chia seed has come a long way since being banned by the Spanish back in the 1500′s. While the tiny seed is better know in the USA for the Ch, Ch, Chi, Chia pet craze back in the 1980′s, its nutritional wonders are just now being discovered. Chia is a rich source of healthy Omega-3 good fats, fiber, and protein. It swells to 9X its weight in water and makes a great addition to everything from oatmeal to smoothies to Chia fresco drinks.