Inner Mongolia

Goji berries – the superfruit with Chinese roots

Mr. Wang, an organic farmer

Mr. Wang, an organic farmer, has two farms with a total of 50 hectares of land in the northern part of Inner Mongolia which is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China and which should not be confused with “Mongolia”, which has been an independent state since 1921. The climate in this area is temperate continental with long, cold winters and short, warm summers. These climatic conditions are ideal for cultivating goji berries.

Our cooperation with Mr. Wang and his two daughters began more than four years ago and a close partnership has developed over the years. Mr. Wang is a man of vision; his life is characterised by two great passions: organic farming and goji berries.  Organic farming and goji berries. That’s why Mr. Wang specialised in sun-drying and freeze-drying goji berries.

The super fruit goji berries

Goji berry is the English term for the Lycium barbarum.  They are also known as boxthorn, Chinese wolfberries or wolfberry. In China they are called Níngxia g?ouq?i. The small goji fruits, which grow on deciduous bushes, are harvested in summer and autumn and are very difficult to pick. After harvesting, they are processed into juice, cooked, freeze-dried or sun-dried. The leaves of the young plants can also be eaten as leafy vegetables. Goji berries are no longer a secret ingredient – they are now an integral part of Chinese cooking and also a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine. They contain many essential nutrients and vital substances which are not present in other foods to the same degree, which is why they are considered to be superfoods in modern specialist literature.

Processing

The goji berries are harvested by hand between 15 July and 30 August and then dried in the sun. The first drying phase takes 4 to 5 days. Afterwards, leaves and foreign bodies are blown off with a blower. A second sun-drying phase of 3 to 4 days then ensues. The dried goji berries are then sorted according to size and colour and picked over using a metal detector. Prior to loading, residual and microbiological analyses are carried out in an external, accredited laboratory (Euro fins). The cultivation and processing of the goji berries is certified by Ecocert in line with EU organic regulations. The processing plant also has HACCP certification. Employees are paid a minimum wage throughout the whole year. Child labour is not permitted.