Our History

A brief background history on Quinoa

The origin of Quinoa (keen-wa) dates back thousands of years ago, as it is indigenous to the Andes Mountains of South America.

Quinoa (a pseudocereal) is high in carbohydrates, protein, and an excellent source of nutrients, fibre and essential vitamins.  Infact, quinoa belongs to a rare group of foods which are considered to be complete protein sources, meaning that through consumption the end user is exposed to all 9 essential amino acids the body requires. It is also gluten-free which enables people who are gluten intolerant, or simply choose not to consume wheat or wheat products to add it to their diet.

Sowing quinoa on the Canadian Prairies.

While there may be no mountains in Saskatchewan; agriculture is a very important and prosperous industry in the Canadian province.  The cool and dry climate of Northern Saskatchewan in particular, has a lot of similarities to the regions of South America where quinoa has traditionally grown.

In 1992, Joe Dutcheshen, a pharmacist/farmer from Kamsack, Saskatchewan began testing different varieties of quinoa on his family farm.  Dutcheshen, a third generation farmer from the East Central part of the province, wanted to diversify his farm to include non-traditional crops, and soon developed an interest in quinoa for its nutritional and frost tolerant nature.

Due to Dutcheshen's success with the crop, Northern Quinoa Corporation was incorporated in 1994 by a group of local area producers and businessmen from both Eastern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba.

As time progressed NQC recognized the need to handle other food grains to complement their existing services. NQC presently handles commercial and food grade grains including all pulses, legumes, cereals, oilseeds and some spices. These products are sourced from area producers, cleaned and then packaged under the watchful eye of our quality control managers. The area in which NQC sources its grain is virtually the three prairie provinces of Canada and the northern United States. The vast area in which we operate enables us to pick the best quality of product to pass on to our customers.  The majority of our customers reside in North America, Asia and Europe.

Northern Quinoa does not carry any GMO products in their facility.  Many of our products carry organic certification with PRO-CERT and all products are Kosher certified COR 541 by the Kashruth Council of Canada.

In 2012, to further meet the demand for Canadian Quinoa, NQC’s office and processing facility relocated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  In order to serve you better, a retail store was added onto our Saskatoon facility, in which customers are encouraged to visit to view and purchase great NorQuin products.

As a business we pride ourselves on having the highest quality, locally grown products that are readily available to our customers at a fair price.

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