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Organto ships its first organic limes from Colombia to Europe

Organto ships its first organic limes from Colombia to Europe © Organto
© Organto


Organto, an integrated provider of organic and value-added organic fruits and vegetables, announced the expansion of its organic limes portfolio with the first shipment of limes from a strategic Colombian supply partner scheduled to arrive in Europe for commercial distribution last week.

Organic and non-GMO limes were added to Organto’s portfolio earlier this year after successful market testing during which Organto marketed various varieties and sources of lime products with select European based customers. As a result, Organto has now entered into a number of strategic import programs for the year-round supply of organic and non-GMO limes with current supply coming from Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Spain.

Rients van der Wal, co-CEO of Organto and CEO of Organto Europe B.V., said: “We are pleased to expand our organic and non-GMO limes portfolio and to be able to supply growing markets on a year-round basis. We believe demand for limes has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to do so going forward, as consumers seek out the unique health benefits derived from high antioxidant and vitamin C levels.” 

Organto is expecting weekly sales of limes of approximately CDN $45,000 to $60,000 by the end of the fiscal year, with the objective of increasing the lime category to annualized revenues of approximately $10 million as the Company builds out its supply sources and expands its customer base over time. Organto has arranged for the delivery of limes from its suppliers on a year-round basis, with higher volumes expected during April to August each year.

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Colombia invests in organic lime

Colombia invests in organic lime © Eosta

© Eosta


When the first shipment of Colombian limes from “Persian Limes” arrived at organic fruit specialist Eosta in Waddinxveen last week, they came with a very nice surprise. On the 800 boxes of fresh green limes, almost a hundred postcards were stuck with personal messages from the farm workers of the valley of the river Poblanco. For them, the first shipment of Colombian limes to the Netherlands means a fresh new start for the Colombian countryside, after decades of poverty and guerrilla warfare.

In early 2016, Volkert Engelsman, director of Eosta, travelled throughout Colombia with Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, and Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture. Santos was about to conclude an historic peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla movement, for which he would later be awarded the Nobel Prize. It was high time to revitalize the countryside after it had been destroyed for years by the cocaine trade. To this end, Santos turned his attention to organic agriculture for export as a dream alternative. Engelsman saw the possibilities and promised the Colombian growers help in switching to organic farming.

A better place to live

Now it’s finally here. With Eosta’s advice, Juan Pablo Duque has planted 300 hectares of trees in recent years and achieved organic certification. This year the trees really started to produce fruits. “Thank you for buying our very first export fruit!” it says on one of the many cards, stuck on a pallet full of juicy green limes. “These limes have been grown with love and passion, by people who love the countryside. We’re going to make our region a better place to live. Thanks for your trust and keep buying them from us! Valentino Bedoya, field worker.” Over the next few years, the area will be extended to 2000 hectares.

Both socially and ecologically responsible

Eosta’s lime specialist Nicolas Coste is delighted with the first harvest: “The limes are really top quality and are selling like hot cakes. Plus, there’s a great story behind it. The plantations provide equal incomes and healthy jobs, even childcare. They protect all sorts of native species of plants and animals. For Colombia, this represents a great opportunity to restore agricultural landscapes, to bring back agriculture and to change Colombia’s international image positively. It’s a really nice company. Check it out at our website with code 410!”

Together towards a healthy future

Volkert Engelsman, director of Eosta, responded by sending a warm video message to Juan Pablo Duque and his employees: “Congratulations! In the face of Covid-19, it is even clearer that we need to make changes as regards biodiversity and agriculture. You are the pioneers of a future in which agriculture is not only about kilograms per hectare, but also about soil health, biodiversity, positive climate impact and health for farmers and citizens. We look forward to working with you for many, many years!”

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FarmFresh Conservers are used in lime exports from Brazil to Eurasia

FarmFresh Conservers are used in lime exports from Brazil to Eurasia


Protected in EPS packaging manufactured by Termotécnica, fruits maintain freshness and nutritional quality, with lower logistics costs, during long transit times


Brazil, one of the world’s largest Tahiti lime producers, is also the fruit’s largest exporter to the European Union according to Abrafrutas (Brazilian Association of Exporting Producers of Fruits and Byproducts). Even though only 7% of production is destined for the international market – about 70 million tons –, lime exports in the last decade have doubled in the country. And in 2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic along with health professionals’ recommendation to increase consumption of FLV (Fruits, Legumes and Vegetables) to strengthen immunity, the worldwide demand for citrus fruits is growing.

Developing conserver solutions under the FarmFresh brand, working together with partner producers and traders, Termotécnica has contributed toward the increased participation of Brazilian fruit in foreign markets. Now in July, a large shipment of Tahiti limes has just been dispatched to supply the Eurasian market, packed in FarmFresh conservers.

Due to the long transit time, about one month between harvest in Brazil until consumer availability in these purchasing countries, the qualities of FarmFresh EPS conservers provide great advantages throughout the entire chain. With this packaging and preservation solution, fruits imported from Brazil can sustain the long transport journey, arriving in the most distant markets with greater freshness while maintaining their nutritional values. “Our post-harvest solutions not only value but are also a great asset for Brazilian fruit producers, since they ensure that fruits are packaged, transported, delivered and displayed to their customers in various countries with the same quality, freshness and care taken during the cultivation and harvest processes”, states Termotécnica’s Superintendent Diretor, Nivaldo Fernandes de Oliveira.

In this true race against time, from producer to consumer, Termotécnica’s post-harvest solutions extend the fruits’ shelf-life by up to 30%, maintaining their nutritional properties longer. Certified by tests in European laboratories (AgroTropical and HDG), these results confirm less food waste and losses, making the FarmFresh line sustainable and suitable for packaging fruits from harvest to consumers, lower impact and vibration forces while in transit as well as better retail display.

Patented technology and designs allow for high thermal insulation, ease in stacking and transport. This also translates into more days with healthier, fresher food on store shelves providing many advantages for the retailer. Also, regarding operational and logistics cost issues, the benefits of FarmFresh EPS conservers, against other materials, are proven. Compared to cardboard packaging, for example, EPS conservers are up to 60% lighter, reducing weight by approximately 30%, which also means savings on air freight.

With health safety at the top of consumer concerns worldwide, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment requested the European Commission, in March, to recognize packaging as an essential component for maintaining the uninterrupted flow of product groups identified as critical, such as “health-related and perishable goods, notably foodstuffs”. Termotécnica defines FarmFresh line’s positioning as the ideal “travel companion” so that fruits, grown by Brazilian producers, arrive in perfect condition in demanding markets such as those of Europe and Asia. “We present the test results and quantify the gains according to each situation. With longer shelf-life and all the characteristics of logistical efficiency, such as reduced freight, we help customers increase competitiveness and, consequently, their sales volumes and market share worldwide”, affirms Nivaldo de Oliveira.

And with the WorldStar 2019 award, granted by the WPO (World Packaging Organization), one of the packaging market’s most important recognitions in the Food and Save Food categories, Termotécnica has established itself as a global reference in post-harvest solutions, making Brazilian fruits, legumes and vegetables gain a more prominent place in international markets while at the same time combating food waste.

About Termotécnica

With a 58 year history, Termotécnica is one of Latin America’s largest EPS processing companies and one of the most sustainable companies in Brazil, according to Exame Guide 2019. With an entrepreneurial spirit, it develops solutions from Packaging & Components, Conservation, Agribusiness, Cold Chain, Cargo Handling to Building Construction materials. Headquartered in Joinville (SC), South Brazil, it has production and recycling units in Manaus (AM), Petrolina (PE), Rio Claro (SP), São José dos Pinhais (PR) and Pirabeiraba (SC).

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Global lemon and lime crop up 5% and sets new record

Global lemon and lime crop up 5% and sets new record

The world’s production of lemons and limes in 2018/19 is projected to be up 5% to a  new record of 8.2 million tons, according to USDA data. Increased volumes have been recorded in Mexico, Argentina, the EU and Turkey, which should more than offset the drop in production in the US. Consumption and exports are both expected to set new records.

The world’s largest producer, Mexico, expects its lemon and lime output to rise slightly, to a record 2.6 million tons, thanks to an expansion in production area. Similarly, Argentina’s production is projected to be up 7% to 1.6 million tons, due to favourable weather conditions. Production in the EU is up 10% to 1.6 million tons, due to both favourable weather and increased area. Meanwhile, Turkey’s output is set to rocket 15% to a record 948,000 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions.  South African output is also forecast to climb, in this case by 4% to a record 480,000 tons, on the back of favourable weather and a larger production area. However, US production is expected to drop 4% to 777,000 tons due to the unfavourable weather in California. 

The largest market for lemons and limes is the EU and accounts for over two-thirds of exports.

Source: USDA 

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Lime prices in the US at twice normal levels


Lime prices in the US are double where they were at the same time last year. This has led to the world’s main producing countries, Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia preferring to export to the US, often at the expense of Europe. Brazil has responded to this opportunity by increasing its shipments to Europe, leading to a fall in prices. Prices in the US are traditionally high at this time of year with Southern Hemisphere production coming to an end while Northern Hemisphere production has yet to hit its peak. Guatemala is particularly well positioned as its campaign gets underway just as prices in the US reach their maximum. The high prices in the US are reducing demand for lime. However, these prices will no doubt very soon attract supplies from other countries and result in a fall.

Another key market for limes is Germany, with most limes on the market there coming from Brazil and Mexico, although Egypt is starting to make inroads too. Thanks to a steady supply, the average wholesale price is normal for this time of year and stands between €0.20 and €0.23 per unit. With the rising temperatures across the company, demand for limes has increased considerably.

Elsewhere, South African lime producers are concentrating on the domestic market where they can obtain better prices. In Israel, producers are hoping for better growing conditions than those faced over the past three years. The heat waves have accelerated fruit ripening and led to smaller calibres, which are unsuitable for export.