A journey to the source of goji
In August, we travelled to Ningxia, one of the smaller provinces of China – read here why goji is not only a delight for us but also a chance for the region of origin
When it comes to China, we have to deal with a lot of unsettling sometimes frightening information – it is a country that is often not easy to understand from our part of the world. On the one hand, China stands at the forefront of future developments. On the other hand the label „Made in China“ on different kind of products like food, toys for children, plastic in all forms raised suspicion in the past which – unfortunately – sometimes turned out to be substantiated. We are afraid of environmental pollutants, chemical contamination and maybe last but not least unworthy conditions for workers in relation with products „Made in China“. And polluted Gojis may serve as onother example on the list of suspicious products. There were found pesticides in gojis in the past and if you search the internet you‘ll find articles from respectable publications asking „Goji – a superfood or dangerous for life?“
Click through our gallery!
Our gojis from Ningxia – beautiful, healthy and cultivated organically
How tropextrakt ensures perfect quality of goji products
Hovewer, when it comes to the fruit goji itself, we feel more than confident – it is a great natural product with every potential to serve as a wonderful and precious ingredient. It is full of nutritive substances such as vitamines and antioxidants. With great content of fine aromes the goji is able to enrich a lot of food with both, taste and healthy ingredients.
For that reason, tropextrakt invests extensively into the quality management of all goji products that we offer such as goji juice concentrate, goji juice (NFC) and goji dried berries. Since we included goji into our range of products more than ten years ago, we focus on farmers and contractors that don‘t use pestizides.
This specific goji partner holds e.g. the following certificates:
- ISO 9001 2008
- ISO 22000
We not only check that our partners own these certificates, but we also control the quality through laboratories on the ground. On the next level – as with all other fruit raw materials that we import from exotic countries – a lot of testing of the batch samples have to be done before the product reaches the european customer. It might be worth knowing, that delivering perfect quality is in our most own interest as a firm. Regarding the import of fruit ingrendients from third countries, the importers like tropextrakt are considered legally as producers and are liable accordingly. So, representatives of tropextrakt travel regularly to the most exotic places of the world to find the best partners that meet all quality demands. And they return to check not only the quality of the delivered food ingredients but also the conditions on the ground. It is not unusual that the joint path of development with our partners help them to achieve long-term more return on investment
A travel story in pictures: Goji from cultivation in Ningxia up to current products in the supermarkets
On the ground, in the province of Ningxia
For our supply of goji, we had spotted the perfect partner in the province of Ningxia. This sparsely settled, mostly desert region lies partially on the Loess Plateau and in the vast plain of the Yellow River, and features the Great Wall of China along its northeastern boundary. Over the years an extensive system of canals has been built. Extensive land reclamation and irrigation projects have damaged the ground and caused a loss of fruitfulness. It is a relative poor region, the southern part belongs to the poorest regions of China. In 2000, 17% of the GDP were earned in the primary sector while this sector employed 58% of the working people. One third of the agricultural income is produced by animal breeding with a high concentration per area which causes the mentioned damage of the ground.
The relatively poor region of Ningxia owns a rich heritage of cultural treasures:
Here the West Xia Imperial Tombs in Yinchuan, Ningxia Province, China
Specialities that are cultivated in the region for centuries may be a great opportunity for the farmer‘s future. The cultivation of these selected raw materials on a higher quality level may enable more gentle and considerate treatment of the natural resources – especially with a view to organic planting – and at the same time enable higher profits for the farmers. The range of special local products includes wool and skin of wild argali sheeps, facai (a moss that serves a a vegetable), licorice roots and – correct – goji beeries! The consumption of the latter is said to be responsible for the remarkable high age of some of the habitants of the region Ningxia. We make it available for the rest of the world in the form of goji juice concentrate, goji juice (NFC) and goji berries.As you can check in our pictured travel story, we were happy to find everything in perfect order recently when we had a close look at the production process, the working conditions and when we run through different procedures of quality assurance on the ground of the origin of goji.