Oaxaca, Mexico – Since 2014, Masienda supplies only the highest quality ingredients to the United States and beyond, incorporating a business model that provides fair market prices for smallholder farmers in Mexico.
In order to realize its mission, Masienda uses Ultra Hermetic™ technology. California-based Jorge Gaviria, founder and CEO, has been doing business with GrainPro® for two years. Masienda’s partner farmers grow non-GMO heirloom maize, beans and chilies, which they store in GrainPro Cocoons™ and SuperGrainbag® Premium RZ.
As a chemical-free grain storage and pest control solution provider, GrainPro develops products that cover the entire post-harvest chain. In fact, Masienda plans to integrate more GrainPro products in their processes, as they continue to expand.
According to Gaviria, Masienda regards GrainPro as the industry leader in safe, effective post- harvest handling. “Landrace maize is particularly susceptible to grain weevils and moths,” he said. “Therefore, we wanted to avoid the product losses during post-harvest handling, without the use of chemical treatments or pesticides. GrainPro technology effectively allows us to safely store our grain without compromising Masienda's unparalleled product integrity,” says Gaviria.”
The SuperGrainbag is a premium liner that is designed to enclose commodities in a super gastight and watertight environment to prevent the exchange of gases and moisture. Meanwhile, the Cocoon is designed to safely store five to three hundred metric tonnes of bagged commodities. Both products are able to protect stored commodities against infestation and fungal contaminants for more than a year, and preserve their freshness.
The popularity of their Masienda’s heirloom maize created continues to create quite a demand in the United States and the European Union. In fact, Masienda will soon introduce their own line of value-added products, including, but not limited to, tortillas and masa harina. Having GrainPro on their side ensures their growth will be aligned with their mission.
(Photo: Ivan Vasquez, Masienda Lead Community Organizer, shows the 5MT Cocoon used to store their heirloom maize in Oaxaca. Photos Courtesy of Masienda)
TARLAC, PHILIPPINES – Trial installations of GrainPro® Cocoons™ at the facility of one of the top feed millers in the Philippines yielded excellent results when opened on September 29, 2015 after six months of storage.
The feed mill company procures large quantities of raw materials, specifically corn and rice bran, to take advantage of bulk discounts and low market prices. Like any other commodity, the usual challenge is to preserve the quality of these raw materials which is not attainable using regular warehouses and conventional sacks as it develops infestations and molds, affecting potential profits negatively. The trial commissioned to look for alternative grain storage solutions that will preserve the quality of these input products.
A total of five metric tonnes of rice bran and five metric tonnes of corn were stored in March 2015 using GrainPro Self Verifying Cocoons™. The Cocoons were inspected after three months last June 2015, and after six months this September 2015. Both readings conformed to the expected performance of quality and quantity preservations of these commodities.
The inspection was done by counterparts of both parties, the feed miller’s and GrainPro personnel, who arrived at similar conclusions about the trial. The inspection team noted that there were no foul odors and caking on the stored commodity. Dead insects were also found on the floor of the Cocoon after unloading the commodities, a proof that if there were infestations on the commodities stored at the beginning of the trial, the Cocoons were able to eliminate them naturally (without using harmful chemicals) during storage. A remarkable observation coming from the feed miller inspectors was that aside from the fresh odor, the visual quality of the commodities did not change and appears as fresh as the day it was stored.
With such promising trial results, representatives from the feed milling company see the potential in the long-term use of Cocoons to store their maize and rice bran.
12 years ago, the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture stored large amounts of maize in Ultra Hermetic™ GrainPro Cocoons™. Their goal was to determine how long the Cocoons can keep commodities safe from moisture ingress, infestation and fungal growth.
The Cocoons were recently opened by local agriculture experts. Inside are well-preserved maize without infestation and fungal growth. While it's not advisable to preserve commodities for such an extended period of time, this is proof that GrainPro's Cocoon can safely preserve commodities for long periods and protect it from factors that could result in its deterioration.
This movie documents the result of the maize that were stored in Cocoons for 12 years in Rwanda.
The testimonials in this movie are from actual witnesses and observers who were present when the Cocoons were opened.
Russian premium and specialty coffee importers Hummingbird Coffee had one goal when they started: to sell better quality green coffee.
They understand that roasters have a great appreciation for good quality coffee beans. “We started in 2011 in Moscow after five years of consuming green coffee as roasters in Sakhalin Island,”explains Valentina Moksunova, Co-owner and Head of Operations.
According to her story, originally, they didn’t realize that green coffee beans from the farm to their doorstep take quite a bit of a journey. As a trader, they found out that the typical route takes up to half a year.
She explained that changing seasons and climate zones during the journey of coffee deteriorates cup quality greatly.
“We first used GrainPro SuperGrainbags™ for our third shipment to seal quality inside, protect coffee from loss of aroma, moisture and taking in foreign odors (such as the jute itself) on it.”
Valentina said that the move proved very successful in protecting and preserving the quality of the beans during shipment. “As roasters ourselves, we know the value of fresh green coffee and our customers appreciate it as well,” says Valentina. “Today, we are using GrainPro SuperGrainbags for 90% of our coffee selections.”
Hummingbird Coffee is a proud member of the Specialty Co¬ffee Association of Europe and the Specialty Coff¬ee Association of America.
Because of its superior ability to protect commodities from insects and molds, Ultra Hermetic™ storage (UHS) technology developed by GrainPro, Inc. has grown to become an effective storage alternative for a wide range of agricultural commodity products.
Among its advantages is the use of a modified atmosphere within the storage container. This eliminates the need for chemical treatments and climate control to preserve stored products. The recent widespread adoption of this technology is mainly due to the increasing demand for safe and sustainable solutions that are easy to use, affordable and highly effective.
In India, where spices are an important seasoning commodity, the significance of UHS couldn’t be more pronounced in preserving the high quality of this highly valuable commodity. Here, UHS is widely used to preserve the aroma and flavor of spices such as coriander, red chili pepper and turmeric. UHS is also relied upon to preserve other high value crops such as coffee, cocoa and basmati rice.
Major Indian food companies such as Jayanti Spices, Sresta Natural Bioproducts, Arvind Ltd and Suminter Organic Foods are just a few names in a growing list of users of UHS developed by GrainPro. These companies rely on GrainPro to store and fumigate spices organically, helping them to control infestation, and preserve the aromatic qualities of their spices for short and long durations.
While the coffee and cocoa sectors have long known about the benefits of shipping high-value commodities in GrainPro, the global chia seed market is now following in their footsteps.
Chia, a highly nutritious seed grown mainly in Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico and Australia, is an ancient seed once widely used by the Aztecs as a staple crop. Today, because of chia’s high Omega-3 content, the seed is widely sought after by consumers in North America and, increasingly, in Europe.
This year, some of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay’s largest chia producers started using both GrainPro Cocoons and TranSafeLiners™ (TSLs) to protect the commodity in storage and during the long transoceanic shipments. Growers and importers cite the importance of GrainPro’s Cocoons in protecting the seed and eliminating the infestation in storage.
While both coffee and cocoa are high-value crops, chia is two to three times more expensive at the retail level. Protecting this highly valued crop is critical to the producers and importers.
Chia is shipped in 25 kg polypropylene bags. The chia bags are placed inside GrainPro’s TranSafeLiner, which hermetically seals a shipping container. When transport times are long, with large fluctuations in temperature and humidity, only a TSL will protect the commodity from cross-contamination, infestation, effects of oxygen, humidity, and water damage.
In addition to chia, traders of other high value commodities, such as black pepper, sesame, dry ginger and cashews are also turning to GrainPro’s Ultra Hermetic storage and shipping solutions.
Guatemalan coffee producers and traders Flora S.A., is one of our top customers in Latin America. Known for the quality of their coffee, Flora is not afraid to try out new solutions and technology to guarantee the freshness and overall quality of their products.
In April 2014, seven Cocoons were installed at their farm, Finca Tempixque. GrainPro’s Diego Lavarreda, Regional Manager, and Grupo Tecun, GrainPro's Guatemala distributors, provided much needed support during the three-month trial. In July, the Cocoons were opened and the stored coffee was sent to customers in the United States who responded favorably. According to Diego, the average moisture content of the stored coffee is at 11%.
Flora was so pleased with the results that they allowed a nationally televised agriculture show to film in their farm. They also increased orders of SuperGrainbags and TranSafeLiners.
Diego told us, “We will continue offering support to Flora so that they continue using Ultra Hermetic storage (UHS).” Flora’s experience with UHS is a good example for other companies that are looking to protect their commodities without the use of chemicals.