South America is appearing to unravel, with poverty and income continually in decline.

Some of the issues of the current situation started following a corruption scandal when the President Martín Vizcarra closed the Peruvian Congress on Sep. 30.  This resulted in violent protests against the end of gas subsidies, forcing Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to abandon first the capital and then his policy. By mid-October, huge student protests started against a transportation hike. President Sebastián Piñera’s declaration of a state of siege worsened the Chileans anger, thereby expanding both protests and the scope of their demands. After four weeks, the government had to accept a plebiscite for establishing a new constitution, which had become the main demand of protesters.

The Presedential elections in Argentina ended with the Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández winning in the first round in Argentina.

Chile’s call to a constitutional reform may be a hopeful test of how can institutions resolve the anger. The coup in Bolivia suggests a less hopeful road to deal with such uncertainty.

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, has struck a deal with indigenous leaders to cancel a disputed austerity package and end nearly two weeks of protests that have paralysed the economy and left seven dead. Some of the demands included higher taxes on the wealthy and the firing of the interior and defence ministers.

Argentina has a rocky history with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When Fernández took office in December 10, he inherited an economy in recession and in the middle of a debt crisis, with increasing inflation and poverty levels.

What will the government’s plan for success consist of? Among other issues, the top turning points he is concentrating on is stabilizing the exchange rate, reducing inflation and avoiding hyperinflation, negotiations with the IMF, and Aid for the needy, development of small- and mid-sized companies (PYMES) and consumption.






Tradelink International is the bridge between your company and our extensive network of vetted, reliable chia seed growers across South America.

Below is a brief update on the chia market globally which you may find of interest. Our experienced team reaches right into the fields, inspecting crops in the fields, ensuring quality in the processing plants, and offering testing of our product right through the process to the point your containers are sealed and shipped to you. All critical points of control are carefully audited.

Although Argentina has sown a lot less area this year but having exceptional yields so we could reach the 8,000mt in total although this is a very rough estimate as there is no official data to be had. The devaluation in Argentina is helping drive exports through good offers.

With Paraguay’s early crop already harvested and processed and a good deal of it shipped, the initial price slump is slowly leveling out at prices similar to last year in organic and back to normal pricing in conventional. Paraguay has sown a lot more but the harvest has been riddled with frost and also wet weather resulting in yields as low as 150kg a hectare instead of the normal 350kg. Average yield is expected at 220kg / hectare which means that we will see about 20,000 mt come out of Paraguay this year, not too much more than last year.

Bolivia’s crop is the same as usual, most of this product is pre contracted so the 11,000mt estimated to come out of this country this season won’t impact on the market.

As always, TradeLink is bringing true quality control at origin for both organic and conventional chia, finding quality issues early in the process ensuring you only get chia that complies with the agreed specifications. Next harvest season will be in June/July, don’t miss out on your contract!






Argentina produces a stunning 125mmt of the world’s grain production. Its share of world grains and by-products’ trading is 15%, involving exports of 86mmt of grains and oilseed products.

Wheat production in 2019-20 is recorded at 20.8 million tonnes, the planted area for this marketing year has grown by 200,000 hectares to 6.4 million hectares.

Due to 2018-19 strong returns, producers increased inputs and technology to achieve this higher productivity in 2019-20. The average yield was estimated at 3.25 tonnes per hectare, which is higher than the average yield of the past 5 to 10 years.

Argentina’s grains industry has largely self-funded its industry good functions. Rather than rely on government funding and action, the grains industry has established and supported its own set of industry-good organizations.

Farmers remain optimistic due to favorable returns this year and mainly good weather during the production period. Furthermore, wheat as a winter crop for weed and erosion control and financial liquidity for operating expenses remains popular as does a wheat followed by soybean planting rotation.

The projected climate change is likely to deliver warmer and wetter growing conditions in Argentina’s grain-growing provinces. These conditions favor an increase in crop production, although groundwater management, disease and plant pest problems and ongoing climate variability pose persistent challenges. In some situations, greater availability of water will provide opportunities for crop irrigation.

The likely increase in crop production, combined with the shift away from livestock production over the past two decades, does mean that Argentina is likely to remain an increasingly important exporter of grain. Better breeding and greater use of best practice crop technologies also promises to improve the quality of Argentinian wheat.






Planet Care and sustainability is coming to the forefront of food production. Food production produces more greenhouse emissions, uses more water than all other mankind activities combined.

This matters.

Big multinationals, dare I say it, are being forced to accept that sustainable food production is not only vital, but has huge customer importance.

Red and yellow quinoa field in the andean highlands of Peru near Cusco

Too little importance has been give to the likes of Norman Borlaug, who won the Noble peace Prize in 1970 for his work in biotechnology which raised the production in the fields, saving possibly billions of lives. It has been controversial too, because of the earlier reliance on genetic engineering and chemicals. However, people need feeding. What about the worlds population of 736,000,000 that is in extreme poverty They need cheap nutritious and accessible food…. BUT…that is sustainable. The work needs to continue. Biotechnology which produces new hybrids and varieties is ever vital to feed the estimated 8.3 billion people by 2025. We face new challenges of climate change and the need of urgently preserving our forests and marsh lands from the ever increasing demand from farmers, we need increased production, better water management and new techniques for agriculture.

Before we wring our hands and lament the issues, let’s be assured there are solutions. There is enough land on earth to feed the world, in fact enough in agricultural use already, 19.4 million square miles of it to be exact. Anyone that has driven by road from Cordoba Argentina to Bahia Blanca (a distance of approx. 1000 km) will see the POTENTIAL to increase production is immense just in this ‘small’ area of the world.

With proper management and new techniques, organic farms could vastly increase production, especially in the small plot farmers. Add that to the new technologies for the mega farms. Scientists are working on new hybrids which resist drought, that don’t need chemicals, new methods of cultivation, water conservation methods, improved precision machinery with GPS and drones, and it can be done! No one policy will do it alone, all good ideas and initiatives need to be put on the table. What are yours?







Firstly, welcome to 2020! It has come fast! It doesn’t seem long ago when 2020 was some futuristic year which we may or may not see! Well, it is nearly here, and futuristic it is, with all that is being developed, XAI (Expandable Artificial Intelligence) , self driving cars, blockchain, 3D printing, Drone Taxis, shooting for Mars, Impossible burgers…. That gets me to the point that interests me most, food! We might be overlooking the gains made in food, arguably the most important resource on the planet. Without food we can’t live, we can’t make our dreams come true.

So what have we seen in food over 2019 and what is the trend? There are three overriding words which I think explain it. HEALTHY SUSTAINABLE FOODS. This can be real or perceived, such as Impossible Burgers, Organic Products, Free from Foods, Healthy Convenience Foods and Healthier Fast Foods, Protein Balls/Bars, Meal Kits for home cooking, and products that use food waste. ‘New’ Ancient grains will be ‘found’, teff, millet, faro, spelt, freekeh to name a few. The ‘superfoods’ of the last decade such as chia and quinoa are finding their value in mass market products and becoming more mainstream as multinationals include them as they become much more than a fad, but rather a sustainable healthy alternative. New protein sources mainly plant based, (beans and pulses), but also insect proteins such as cricket powder… and the alternative flours such as cassava flour, banana flours for better gut health. Oh and what about A2 milk, organic wine, nut based butters etc ………? Food is so fun, so vast! We can’t expand much longer in this short overview, but we must touch on one more thing.

Sustainable Foods are vital and we will see new varieties of rice and wheat and eco-friendly crops, using less water, needing no chemicals and with higher yields (see a more in-depth report later in this article).

From Tradelink, stand by and watch this space for our new products and initiatives. We have been working hard to make the customer experience more seamless, while smoothing out the complexities of South America, so you can enjoy the benefits of buying direct. Expansions in our Australian Office, and our new company in United States will benefit our customers everywhere.

So once again, thank you! Thank you to our customers, thank you to our service providers and growers that make our business possible, thank you to our Team and stakeholders. 2019 was a special year (25 years since the South American office was opened). It has been an exciting ride, we had our rough and tumbles, our highs and lows, but here we are looking forward to a new decade and shooting for the stars! We hope you will join us for the ride.

Yours Sincerely

Mark Steele and the Team






We have been supplying Tapioca products for many, many years but this year we received important requests specifically for Organic Cassava Flour, a flour that can be used as a much more direct replacement for wheat flour in gluten free products as well as a world of other applications.

Our product development guys got onto it and quickly identified the main growing regions and where we could source organic product with a fully traceable supply chain.

It wasn’t easy, the journey took us through Asia, Africa and many parts of South America in our search for the ideal product. Its not only traceability, its quality of the root, humidity in the region, starch content, sustainability of supply amongst other details that make what seems to be a simple project a very complex one.

In this journey we stopped off at Brazil and added conventional cassava flour to our project, launching the first loads halfway through the year. We boast, along with our exclusive partners there, a production capacity of over 400mt per month the whole year round, and like usual, we source direct from the fields.

Our organic project is very close to coming to a full launch. Several tests have been done, including industrial runs by some very appreciated clients, and we are nearly there!

The organic plants in Sri Lanka are nearly ready for harvest where we will have 120mt per month of product. To complement Sri Lanka we are completing trials in another mill of South American product where we hope to be able to supply another 240mt per month of product.

Below are some pictures of the journey, trust you enjoy, and just a few fun facts about cassava are:

• It originates from South America. Cultivation of cassava started in Peru 4.000 years ago.
• It grows on fertile, well-drained, moist soil in areas that are frost-free.
• Cassava grows in the form of shrub that can reach 9 feet in height. It produces multiple light-green or reddish branches.
• Tuberous root of cassava consists of 4 to 8 individual tubers that grow at the base of the stem. They are usually 8 to 15 inches long and 1 to 4 inches wide. Thin brown bark covers whitish interior of root.
• Root of cassava is third richest source of carbohydrates (after rice and corn) in the world. Besides sugars, root of cassava contains vitamin C and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.
• Cassava takes between 6 and 8 months to cultivate but yields between 20,000kg and 30,000kg per hectare!

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Read more on our Tapioca!