June 25, 2020
Foreign Trade

ProChile Supports the Internationalization of Indigenous Peoples: Lupine Flour from Mapuche Producers Begins World Conquest

ProChile Supports the Internationalization of Indigenous Peoples: Lupine Flour from Mapuche Producers Begins World Conquest

This product, characterized by its high protein levels (57%), is ideal for enriching recipes without using eggs, making it suitable for vegans. It is also suitable for celiac, as it is gluten-free, and is beneficial for people with diabetes or who suffer from food allergies. Sweet lupine provides all the essential amino acids, and its grain also contains essential antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which regulate cholesterol levels.

This exciting product is produced and exported by the NG-Seed company of the Padre Las Casas commune in the La Araucanía Region. The company consists of five cooperatives that include more than three hundred families from fifteen Mapuche communities.

The company emerged in 2013 as a strategic alliance with the CGNA Agro-Aquaculture Nutritional Genomics Center of La Araucanía. “This company was created to add value to traditional agricultural production based on the technology developed by CGNA. It is a way for small producers to generate an attractive volume of supply for the industry, achieve economies of scale, and simplify the relationship with customers as NG-Seeds SA is a single interlocutor”, explains Jaime Huincahue, the company’s Foreign Trade Coordinator.

Last year, the Chilean company Terrium began selling sweet lupine flour on Amazon. Three 900-gram packages retail for $19.99 and the company reported excellent results in customer feedback for the flour’s pleasant taste and high protein levels. Jaime Huincahue, a representative of NG-Seed, assures that “since we have been at Amazon, we have doubled sales, which has us very hopeful”.

NG-Seed is a beneficiary and participant of the international promotion program of indigenous origin companies that ProChile has carried out since 2017 with the National Corporation for Indigenous Development. Through this program, NG-Seed has been able to opt for personalized training, such as export coaching, workshops, field trips, and business rounds with Latin American markets.

Indirectly, NG-Seed is present in various markets through eCommerce, a platform that has become key in its growth. The ProChile program and CONADI have been able to obtain knowledge on how to sell on these platforms. They participated in digital marketing workshops and are part of ProChile’s Marketplace platform, ChileB2B.

“The international market has expressed an interest in understanding beyond the label. Consumers want to know how the product was produced, under what conditions, and who did it, which allows adding value to the offer of small companies with Mapuche cultural belonging. By 2020, the proposal is to continue working with indigenous peoples, and replicate it in companies belonging to all indigenous peoples of the national territory,” explains Jorge O’Ryan, general director of ProChile.