Organic fresh produce distributor OTC-Holland announced the expansion of its assortment with the introduction of year-round organic limes from Colombia.
After an intense period of preparation, analysis and exploration, OTC and a Colombian growers cooperative have combined their knowledge and strengths for the development of the project.
The first limes arrived last week at the OTC bio-handling centre in Poeldijk, the Netherlands.
“Due to the high demand of organic limes from the market, we started to develop this project. Thanks to the 35 certified local growers who are part of this project and a local exporter, we can provide our customers with organic limes throughout the year,” OTC product development manager Alexander Restrepo said.
As part of a Colombian government subsidy programme, the cooperative was set up six years ago to give small farmers a chance to be self-sufficient.
Restrepo assisted these growers in obtaining organic certification, with a focus on delivering quality and continuity at a fair price.
The company said the cultivation area was located in southern Colombia at 400 metres (1,312 feet) above sea level, with relatively low rainfall but good irrigation possibilities making the climate ideal for growing limes.
The group said the limes had an “intense green colour and solid skin”.
“The pulp and peel of this organic lime is a fresh flavour of many dishes and beverages. The limes are packed in the 4 kg [8.8lbs] ‘MmmBIO’ boxes, which are especially designed for this project.
The company said Restrepo had recently provided a compost workshop in collaboration with a local exporter and an experienced organic coffee grower, teaching growers how to make organic compost themselves rather than relying just on large companies.
As a result, growers have started with a pilot compost programme.