Colombian Tahiti Lime
The Colombian fruit sector has been working with the government to create a horticultural plan that prioritizes an increase in the production of Tahiti Lime. One of the advantages is that this product is highly durable and due to Colombia’s location in the tropics, production can be done for most of the year. Already, Colombian Tahiti Lime is being exported to various countries in Europe including Belgium and the United Kingdom. There is a strong demand for Colombian Tahiti Lime even from other South American countries. For instance, in 2018, Argentina’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism authorized sanitary eligibility for the entry of Colombian Tahiti Limes into the country. The benefit is an even wider market for Colombian Tahiti Lime. In fact, it is also estimated that the United States’ most imported citrus fruit from Colombia is Tahiti Lime. During Q2 2019 the Farmfolio team conducted due diligence to over 20 lime farms and the team has secured sourcing which equates to more than 1,500 acres from lime producers.
Go to Market
The principal customer for the Lime facility will be the La Dona Fruit Co, which is a Farmfolio company. La Dona fruit is already distributing Pineapples in global markets and has been preparing to cross-sell limes to its existing customers. The initial feedback has been very strong, particularly in windows of production opposite Brazil and Mexico.
La Dona Fruit Co launched its import and promotion desk in Rotterdam, Holland. Founded by Edna Vergara in 1977 and re-launched in 2018 with Farmfolio, La Dona Fruit Co specializes in the Ultra-Premium Pineapple from Chorrera, Panama. In 1999, Edna Vergara lobbied the Panamanian government to allow her to experiment with the newly developed MD-2 pineapple seed developed by Del Monte. After several trials, Enda gained permission to begin commercial development in Chorrera. Fast forward to 2007, Edna organized and built the first internationally certified packing facility and was named the first female agriculture person of the year in Panama. Today, La Dona exports its golden pineapples to 10 countries with a focus on high color and high sugar content pineapple.
In partnership with Farmfolio, Edna and her son Paul Vergara successfully raised over 4 million USD to expand the farm, upgrade facilities, and establish direct import companies in Asia, Europe, and the United States. The newly opened Dutch promotion desk will service EU, Middle Eastern, and Russian markets.
Beginning in late July 2019, La Dona will offer its Ultra-Premium “Perfect Pineapple” shipped via air, High Color Super Sweet Pineapple and Sweet Pineapple shipped via container. All products will be available for pickup or delivery from La Dona’s cold storage facility in Ridderkirk.
Farmfolio Promotion Desk
Farmfolio Founder and Director of International Marketing for La Dona Fruit Co, Dax Cooke states: “Edna Vergara and the La Dona brand are symbols of hope for all small farmers with vision and perseverance. The love and passion that the Vergara family put into their work are why La Dona Pineapple is the very best in the world! Through our import/ promotion desks, La Dona will change the game in terms of service for customers by offering 48-hour delivery from our Ridderkirk cold storage facilities.” Cooke will be heading the European launch of La Dona Fruit and plans to establish a regional presence in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Madrid, Milan, Munich, and Paris. The company expects to ship 500,000+ cases of its premium fruit to EU markets annually amongst other tropical fruits.
The Republic of Colombia is a sovereign state largely situated in the north of South America with land and territories in North America. It is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, on the west by the Pacific Ocean and shares part of its northern border with Panama. It is a capital city is Bogota and the country’s urban centers are concentrated in the Andean highlands and the Caribbean coast.
Topographically, Colombia has the second-highest biodiversity in the world as its territories encompass the Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, deserts, islands, and coastlands. The implication is a wide diversity in plant and animal species. Historically, Colombia has been an agrarian but rapidly urbanized in the 20th century. With its population of 49 million inhabitants (2018), it is the third-most populous country in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. This population is expected to grow to 55.3 million by 2050.
Colombia is considered the gateway to South America as it is located in the continent’s northwestern region, and connects the continent with North and Central America. The country is an attractive investment destination for companies and investors looking to do business in Latin America. The country boasts of vast natural resources and a well-diversified economy with an estimated GDP of over $330 billion (2018) expected to grow to about $415 billion in 2023 (Statista). It is the third-largest economy in Latin America with an annual GDP growth of 4.9%.
The Colombian production of horticultural products is concentrated in the regions of Antioquia (27.1%), Santander (12.9%) and Valle del Cauca (9.3%). Colombia’s investment portal estimated that exports of fruits and vegetable sector reached 48 destinations around the world in 2017. Some of the notable recipients are The Netherlands, with exports of US $61.8 million, the United States, with exports of US $19.1 million and the United Kingdom, with exports of US $18.3 million.