Successful Completion of Pure Ontario Quinoa Project Is Announced!

Katan Kitchens and industry collaborators with the Pure Ontario Quinoa project are excited to announce conclusion of the project with several successful outcomes, advances, and partnerships formed over its duration.Collaborators have worked to develop key components of a marketing development project that will help Katan achieve their goal of producing the first local high-quality quinoa seed for full commercial production in Ontario by 2015. Katan would like to acknowledge Innovation Initiatives Ontario (IION) and Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) for their collaboration and support throughout the project.

Past discussions with distributors had identified concerns over purity, access, traceability and safety of imported quinoa; especially as demand continues to far exceed supply. Project members believe that adopting assurance systems to guarantee the highest purity, quality and traceability of quinoa and other superfood grains in Ontario will help safely fill this gap between supply and demand. Preliminary research indicated that local Ontario quinoa has a higher protein content and overall nutritional profile than commercially available imported quinoa; creating the opportunity for unique leverage of this product. Key components of product differentiation including quality, purity and traceability of Ontario grown and processed quinoa were evaluated in conjunction with market demand and feasibility data in order to establish projected market impact. T

hrough collective collaboration (consultations, research and assessments), project members successfully produced a number of business tools that will serve as a foundation for establishment of the local quinoa market across northern and southern Ontario. In order to prepare for growth, an agronomic assessment was conducted to demonstrate the viability of quinoa in Ontario and identify practices that produce the highest quality and yield of seed. A gap assessment was then conducted to pinpoint areas for future research and demonstrate motivations for future local development.An evaluation of the ideal producer for partnership in commercialization of quinoa was also created to help Katan efficiently identify a fit between a local producer, their land, and the company’s goals. A thorough assessment of site location, building layout, necessary equipment and construction plans for the specialized quinoa processing facility were conducted to determine the ideal site for development. Included in these plans were consultations on traceability and identity preservation systems throughout the entire value chain, in addition to regulatory certifications, quality assurance requirements, and sustainable energy options for construction and maintenance of the facility. Many of these assessments can be applied to production and processing of other new superfoods in Ontario in the future. The entirety of the business tools created from this project will be shared with the agricultural industry in Ontario to help develop agri-food and agri-food products for future new opportunity crops. Capital is currently being raised to develop the planned specialized processing facility, with the aim to bring the local, high quality, Ontario-grown quinoa to full commercialization by 2015.

This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. sampleLogoSetup