Have you ever tried your hand at baking a souffle only to stare through the oven’s window and watch in anticipation as nothing happened?
Maybe you didn’t whisk the eggs right or forgot to add the correct measure of baking powder, or your oven didn’t pre-heat properly. The truth is, countless elements can lead to a flopped baking adventure.
Making chia seeds a successful part of a brand’s product line is just like baking a souffle. It’s not just the timing and size of a wholesale ingredient order that determines the success of the journey. It’s the amount of attention that’s given to the external elements that influence that order that counts.
What’s the weather like today?: The climate’s impact on the chia harvest
The salvia hispanica plant, from which chia seeds are harvested, is a resilient crop. As part of the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family, the chia plant is low-maintenance and can flourish in fairly harsh conditions.
But that doesn’t mean the harsh conditions don’t affect the final crop yield.
These are the major weather conditions that can have a huge impact on the growth of the chia plant and seed yield:
Chia plants need warm temperatures to start growing (between 60°F and 70°F is the sweet spot) – which is exactly why it’s perfect for the South American climate. But degrees above 90°F can reduce germination and lead to stunted growth.
A deficiency of nitrogen in the soil negatively impacts flower formation and lowers the ultimate seed yield.
Frosts and cold fronts
Frost will, as with most other plants, kill immature chia crops, while mature plants, on the other hand, may be able to withstand frost, but it can prevent them from flowering.
If we rewind the clocks to 2021, you can get a taste of just how devastating weather changes can be for a chia harvest. A disastrous cold front that swept across Paraguay in June 2021 affected up to 80% of the total chia harvest and led to a greatly diminished crop yield.
And the susceptibility of chia seeds is only becoming more of a concern as climate change continues to affect weather conditions. But fortunately, Paraguay isn’t sitting back and waiting around doing nothing.
The holistic approach of Paraguay’s climate change comeback
Even though Paraguay does not have a formal climate change adaptation strategy, there are projects in place that are actively battling climate change in the region.
Projects like the Ecosystem Based Approaches for Reducing the Vulnerability of Food Security to the Impacts of Climate Change in the Chaco Region of Paraguay and the Poverty, Reforestation, Energy and Climate Change Project are changing the future of Paraguay’s farming communities.
What makes these programs so impactful is that Instead of addressing only one aspect of the agricultural landscape, they take into account the entire social and agricultural ecosystem that affects the community and the country’s future.
And isn’t that precisely the type of holistic approach we talked about in the intro? Yes, it is.
So how can brands and ingredient buyers adopt the same holistic approach in their supply journey?
Why annual contract volume matters
Ordering the right amount of chia seeds in a volatile market is important, especially when it comes to securing enough inventory to last until the next harvest season.
And when harvest yields can be impacted so dramatically by mother nature, it’s best to keep things holistic and keep in mind these key points when placing orders:
Because of the harvest’s volatility, market fluctuations can lead to unpredictable price fluctuations as well. Ordering the right amount of chia seeds at stable prices can help you avoid overstocking or understocking, which can lead to financial losses.
Chia seeds are commonly planted over May and June and harvested in October. But as you saw above, weather changes can impact this harvest cycle. When the cycle shifts, ingredient shortages can occur in periods when brands bargained on new stock arriving. This adds a vital layer of inventory planning to each order.
Chia seeds are enjoying newfound popularity due to their wide range of nutritional and health benefits. And ordering the right amount of chia seeds when the harvest is at its healthiest can help businesses ensure a higher quality product than if they put off their orders for later.
Taking stock and kicking … well you get the picture
Ingredient Brothers is all about keeping things holistic. We’re so much more than a wholesale importer and ingredient supplier; we’re inventory management partners who know how easily the ecosystem around a harvest can affect the final result.
We’ve baked a couple of metaphorical soufflés in our time and perfected the ingredient ratios, preparation methods, and baking times to get the wholesale ingredient journey just right. Ready to create your culinary masterpiece? Reach out to us for hands-on collaboration. And for a comprehensive view of the ingredients and expertise we offer, explore our catalog and let your culinary imagination run wild.