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Americas: Ardent Mills, quinoa farmers for transparency

Ardent Mills is launching its Great Plains Quinoa with the largest quinoa growing network in North America.

The company will bring transparency, scale and the consistent quality needed to support the mainstream growth of quinoa with consumers, food manufacturers, bakeries, retailers and restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.

“We are very excited about the relationship we now have with Ardent Mills,” said Joe Dutcheshen, a quinoa farmer.

“We have seen the positive impact their commitment to double organic wheat acres had on North American farmers and the organic wheat supply and know that level of commitment will have a similar impact in the quinoa market.”

“Ardent Mills is joining forces with North American quinoa farmers to ensure both supply and predictable pricing for quinoa whether as an entrée, side dish, in artisan-style bread or in many other culinary applications,” said Bill Stoufer, Ardent Mills COO.

Both the Dutcheshen family and Ardent Mills have a long history with quinoa in the North America.

Joe Dutcheshen began evaluating different varieties of South American quinoa seeds on his family farm in 1992.

While Ardent Mills began promoting quinoa as the star of its Ancient Grains line in 2007.

“Quinoa is recognized as a true superfood,” says Dutcheshen.

“As a pharmacist and multigenerational farmer, I was looking for a crop that was healthful and could provide a value add from the farm to the consumer.”

“Quinoa does both! Quinoa is in the same plant family as other nutritious foods – spinach, beets and amaranth.”

“Through traditional selective breeding over a period of 15 years, we have produced a North American quinoa that is acclimated to the cooler climate, has a variety of natural resistances and a shorter growing season.”

Market potential

Leading the movement in ancient grains, quinoa usage has shown double-digit growth in entrees, sides and children’s menus, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor 2016.

From 2012 to 2016, sales from products containing quinoa have grown sevenfold.

Quinoa continues to surge in usage and is increasingly included in nutrition bars, ready-to-eat cereal, oatmeal, gluten-free foods, tortilla chips, crackers, snacks, prepared dinners and side dishes, all in a variety of packaging.

The Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa line includes seeds, whole grain flour, flakes, crisps, custom multigrain blends and mixes.

All of these products are available in bulk, 50-pound bags and small pack options.

Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa can also be blended with red and black varieties.