Germany is desperate for Colombian Demeter-certified limes. Now, Orange Export SAS can start supplying them. It took three years of intensive training and conversion. But last week, Abelardo Herrera, an Orange Export SAS grower, received his Demeter certification. He's the first lime grower in Colombia to achieve this.
Ray van Vilteren, right center, awarding the certificate to Abelardo Herrera, left center.
Orange Export SAS is based in Colombia. It's a fast-growing commercial cooperative of 64 organic lime farmers. "In 2018, Orange Export started introducing biodynamic farming techniques," says Ray van Vilsteren, Orange Export SAS's co-founder and director.
"This was under the inspiring international guidance of Klaus Merckens and Ingo Morthorst. It's been three years of working together and a steep learning curve. However, Abelardo is the first of many Orange Export growers to obtain his full-Demeter certificate."
He's sure Abelardo's success will inspire other organic farmers to take the next step toward Demeter certification. "Orange Export currently has seven growers who are switching to Demeter. But we hope to increase this number further in the coming years. Biodynamic cultivation can now gain a true foothold in Colombia," adds Ray.
Orange Export SAS's limes are destined for the European market. "Lehmann Natur is our main client. They're eager to bring Demeter limes to Germany. Lehmann Natur should be able to order the first of these limes by the end of March."
"I'd like to thank our Demeter partners, Lehmann Natur, Klaus Merckens, and Ingo Morthorst. They've inspired and shown patience and support in this pioneering Demeter project in Colombia. I do so on behalf of Orange Export SAS," Ray concludes.