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20 Years of BioTropic - Organic for one World
It's BioTropic's birthday: 20 years ago, the first sea container arrived in Duisburg - filled to the brim with organic bananas from the Dominican Republic.
Shortly after, bio fruits and veggies from all over the world followed. Apples, avocados, mangoes, lemons and many others. The supply of organic fruits from reliable sources was the idea of BioTropic founders and todays' shareholders Hubert Bois Naturkost, Naturkost Elkershausen as well as Terra Naturkost. By now, BioTropic is represented in seven countries, to operate more efficiently on-site: Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
Bio-bananas by BioTropic in the Dominican Republic,photo: BioTropic GmbH
Most of BioTropics goods coming from overseas are ending up at the Dutch harbor of Rotterdam, after finishing their journey by ship. From there, the products are distributed throughout all of Europe. The bananas have a stop-over in Duisburg, at the BioTropic headquarters before being sold. There they are ripened to the desired level in their own special ripening chambers. In their anniversary year, BioTropic is expanding the facility to be able to ripen avocados and mangoes as well. Rounded off with a sorting mechanism which will sort the fruit according to quality.
Sascha Suler, manager of the offices in Duisburg explains: "To develop reliable supply chains, the long-term cooperation and personal support of the organic producers are most important." Company-own agricultural engineers are consulting the producers when it comes to production planning as well as problems with cultivation. They furthermore monitor soil and fruits, take samples and have them analyzed by independent laboratories.
Suler is emphasizing: "It is our goal to promote organic cultivation worldwide. This entails the active support of environmental protection and good labor conditions." Therefore, BioTropic is maintaining their own agricultural projects in Central America and West Africa, in cooperation with local partners. They are implemented in the form of Private Public Partnerships (PPP) - supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
In the Dominican Republic, for example, an Eco-Center was built. This educational institution for ecological agriculture also includes renewable energies, compost cultivation and water treatments. All of these are important topics which are discussed with the local population.
In the Ivory Coast, modern cultivation practices and new value chains have been implemented by, for example, drying and juicing of fresh fruit. Through this, long-term work opportunities with a steady income have been generated. Around 190 containers with pineapples, mangos and coconuts in organic quality are being shipped to Europe annually.
"We want a good and reasonable cooperation and we want to give people a job for all 52 weeks of the year," says Suler. "That's development assistance to us, not just sending money somewhere."
Source: BioTropic GmbH
Publication date: 8/18/2017
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