July 16, 2024
Trading Of Chia

Chia Trade

In this informative article about the trading of chia, we publish information about the international trade in chia seeds and their sustainability. The information is obtained from our own sources and from other sources.

Chia seeds are a very nutritious food that was first grown by the Aztecs in Mexico in pre-Columbian times. The seeds are high in unsaturated fatty acids, including ALA, which is considered very healthy. In addition, the seeds are high in protein and fiber, but low in carbohydrates. They are considered superfoods.

The chia plant (Salvia hispanica L.) comes from southern Mexico and Guatemala. The commercial reintroduction took place in Argentina in the 1990s. Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina are now the main producers, but France and Australia are also starting production.

Since the introduction of the harvest in Europe in 2009, the market has grown in double digits. The import volume in 2016 was around 20,000 tons. The novel EU food law has slowed the market development, but the import process will be easier from January 1st, 2018.


Chia is from southern Mexico and Guatemala. It was an important Mesoamerican staple food and medicinal herb in pre-Columbian times. Pre-Columbian civilizations used chia as a raw material for medicines, nutrients. It was used by the Aztecs as a pure food, mixed with other foods, or mixed in water and drunk as a drink.

Currently, chia seeds were only consumed by small groups of people in Central and North America, most were mixed with water, along with lemon juice and sugar, and consumed as a refreshing drink in Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, as well as the southern United States (California and Arizona).

In the early 1990s, a group of North and South American scientists, nutritionists, and farmers began to work together on the commercial production of chia in Argentina to reintroduce the lost nutrient plants into Aztec tradition and civilization. A project was started. These efforts included the selection of new areas of production and the development of practices aimed at bringing chia to market as a new commercial product. (Ayerza, 1998)

Chia Market?

The chia boom has been going on for years and with the growing consumer interest in healthy, untreated foods, ingredients like chia, matcha, and olive oil have become standard items in kitchens, grocery stores, and wholesalers.

And rightly so; Chia seeds are nutritious, high in fiber and protein, and contain a complete essential amino acid profile that is only available in a few plant-based raw materials. Of course, it is also vegan-friendly with a high concentration of essential omega. 3 fatty acids, including six percent alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and 1.94 percent omega-6 linoleic acid – these essential fatty acids inhibit inflammation and have a positive effect on hyperlipidemia, lower and high blood pressure, and boost brain functions and metabolism.

Chia Business

It is a farmer’s right to base his livelihood on products with high market demand. Chia plants, which originally come from Central and South America, also thrive in other regions such as Africa. As early as 2017, the German economics magazine Handelsblatt reported growing import figures from Uganda to Germany.1 The price African farmers pay for chia seeds is significantly higher than, for example, maize; However, it is more resistant to shocks because the plants are more resistant to extreme weather conditions and less expensive to grow.

However, the chia business is risky: according to Handelsblatt’s article, overproduction in Mexico has already brought about increased price pressure and Competition could increase even more if varieties are obtained for regions with different climatic conditions. However, for buyers in the food industry, there is another more pressing issue, namely food fraud.