The Business Year

Colombia's climate and harbors make it the next big frontier for the food and vegetable industry, and, fortunately, the sector enjoys full backing from the government.

Floor Veer

Founder & Manager, Orange export

We add a great deal of value to our products with certifications. We seek to improve production organically and by providing technical support. We have an agreement with farmers to purchase their yearly crop at a price that is higher than the minimum price. Every 15 days, we send a technician or agronomist to the farms. That allows us to stay on top of growth. In organic agriculture, its important to prevent having problems, so we have to work ahead, which is an important part of our process. Second, we pre-finance all the products that farmers require, namely fertilizers, applications, and so on, at no extra cost. That includes many organic products from Bogotá, Cali, and Medellí­n that farmers do not have any access to. In order to raise the profile of Colombian fruits in foreign markets, our quality needs to be consistent. We are improving constantly according to the suggestions and feedback of our clients. For example, European buyers seek suppliers in Santander because they receive a constant flow of high-quality limes. In 2019, we will double our lime exports and hopefully add two more crops to our portfolio. The dynamic certification of certain farms that are specifically marketed for Germany’s supermarkets will add further value to the company. We will also start a processing plant to produce juice from limes that are not fit for fresh exports.

Darí­o Cano

General Manager, Nativa Produce

Our primary market is Europe, to which we export 80% of our products. We also export to the US, Canada, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Moreover, we are one of the few companies to reach a significant market in Russia with our entire Colombian line. Also, we had the opportunity of being the first Colombian exporter to bring cranberries to the US; we recently made our first shipment of blueberries to Europe. We are currently in negotiations with China within the framework of signing FTAs with Asian markets. We have great potential in Romania, and are closing businesses in Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. We believe in the strength and significance of agriculture, and the company has the social responsibility to help Colombian farmers operate professionally within the value chain. To achieve this, we make associations across the regions of Colombia and set up groups of farmers. They form a small company and distribute large product volume from small plots. A single farmer with 1ha delivers limited product, but 20 such farmers are a different proposition altogether. Additionally, farmers working in unison have a stronger hand in seeking supportive resources from local governments. We have over 40 associations in operation, the largest number in Colombia. We aim to become the best option for horticultural and fruit products by 2020 on the back of great quality, an excellent production process at the pre- and post-harvest stages, competitive pricing, and best service.

Jorge Riaño

General Manager, Jorge Riaño

Novacampo started 70 years ago to export exotic fruits from Colombia in a different way. We wanted to educate the growers on how to deliver all year-round. We are still working to have suppliers who deliver year-round under the same conditions. This is difficult to achieve because growers still focus on short-term benefit. Initially, Novacampo produced the fruit it exported, but we changed our strategy and today we try to find producers who work under a contract for a fixed price and period. At the same time, we give them enough knowledge that they can produce fruit that meets the requirements demanded by the EU. We are looking to be the best company in terms of production, quality, and exporting. At present, there is greater demand for delivery of reliable products, not only in terms of quantity and quality, but also in terms of delivering a safe product that also fulfills environmental requirements. This is the future. Novacampo has to be a company that tries to meet all the environmental and social requirements of the consumer. Physalis and Avocados are two products whose demand is growing in Europe. Pineapples from Costa Rica are well known, but Colombia is doing a good job given the number of packing houses. The next interesting line is organic limes. Colombia has a major advantage because it only takes 11 or 12 days to ship from Cartagena or Santa Marta to European ports like Antwerp or Rotterdam.



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