Tritordeum, a new Mediterranean cereal, has won the first prize in the category Sustainable Ingredient in the Sustainable Food Awards 2018 organized by Ecovia Intelligence.
The premier Sustainable Food Awards event has been hosted alongside the Sustainable Foods Summit on the evening of June 7, in Amsterdam. The aim of the awards is to give recognition to companies that are helping build a sustainable food industry – like Agrasys, the start-up company introducing Tritordeum into the market.
“Tritordeum is a project that ensures sustainability in several ways. From the base, it is a project respectful of the natural environment, the people and their surroundings. So it is an honor to be recognized as a sustainable ingredient”, highlighted Verónica Guerra, the communication and marketing manager of Agrasys, who collected the prize together with Wiro Nillesen, Tritordeum value chain manager in The Netherlands.
Tritordeum is a Mediterranean cereal – the combination of durum wheat (Triticum durum) and wild barley (Hordeum chilense) – with benefits for the environment, the consumer and the farmers.
As a crop, Tritordeum is sustainable and has a better ecological footprint. It is a robust cereal, adapted to the inclemency of climate change. It stands up well to drought and high temperatures. The fact that Tritordeum makes efficient use of water and has good resistance to diseases makes it a more sustainable cereal with reduced environmental impact.
Tritordeum is cultivated in the Mediterranean area – Spain, Italy and the South of France, in both conventional and organic production systems. Nowadays, 70% of the production comes from local farmers with the organic certification.
“The value chain of the Tritordeum has several characteristics that make it a fair and sustainable cereal chain”, said Guerra.
Agrasys works with local farmers under repurchase agreements with fixed prices, supporting local rural economies and following a philosophy of respect for sustainable principles. “Unlike what happens with many other cereals, we respect very much the first link in the chain: the farmer”, explains the entrepreneur. The project has been implemented in each region with local farmers under agreements that ensure stable, fair incomes that are not affected by external market variations.
“Moreover, this cereal has a value chain focused on the control of the seed, grain, and flour to ensure full traceability throughout the whole path from growers to processors and then to consumers and it ensures just margins, particularly for our farmers”, added Guerra.
Once harvested, the company supervises all steps in the transfer of grain from the field to the nearest mill. After a traditional milling process, the grain becomes quality flour. “So thanks to this controlled process, Tritordeum is a totally traceable cereal”, concluded Guerra.
Photo caption: Wiro Nillesen and Veronica Guerra, collecting the award