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Adriana Atique, of Ocati:

"We have the capacity to offer cape gooseberry and passion fruit from Colombia all year round"

Cape gooseberry, of which Colombia is the world's largest producer, and passion fruit are among the country's most exported exotic fruits, and their demand in the international markets is evidenced by the growth in export figures regularly shared by DANE.

Ocati, the largest exporter of exotic fruits in Colombia, with more than 30 years of experience in the market, produces cape gooseberries in the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyacá and Antioquia through small producers, to whom they provide certified nursery-grown plant material for cultivation. Passion fruit is grown in up to 10 departments in the country and is produced indoors to reduce post-harvest risks, explains Adriana Atique.

"At the moment, we are working with a large team of passion fruit producers in Colombia to whom our company offers healthy and quality plant material that improves productivity and lengthens the life cycle of plants and crops. At Ocati, we have a research and development department that is constantly studying passifloras, so we can provide knowledge to all our growers," he says.

"For both our cape gooseberry and passion fruit producers, we set a fair purchase price and buy 100% of their production. We try to ensure there is a continuous production, since we have the commercial capacity to market the fruit all year round and, in this way, we can guarantee economic stability to our suppliers."

"Moreover, we have a technical team that is in charge of technical assistance and gives recommendations to growers on pesticide management and applications. Our environmental commitment goes beyond fair operating practices and the sustainable use and consumption of water and energy, and our purpose is to give back to nature as much as we can." In this regard, packaging plays a very important role.

"We are often not aware of our environmental impact. In this case, we saw the opportunity to make a small change with the cape gooseberry boxes and use biodegradable cardboard. Thanks to this packaging, we can reduce the use of inputs such as plastic, which is very common in fruit packaging. Also, thanks to our years of experience and our quality team, we can ship our cape gooseberry in biodegradable boxes without the quality being affected.

Ocati is a family-owned company that was founded in 1988 and is specialized in exotic fruits. The company started its exports with a shipment of cape gooseberries to Germany by air - specifically 50 boxes that landed in Frankfurt - and, after more than 3 decades, it has a team of more than 500 employees "which is really a big family", says Adriana.

The company produces its fruit in Colombia, where it focuses on the production of cape gooseberry and passion fruit, both conventional and organic, as well as dehydrated cape gooseberry, among other fruits, and in Ecuador, where it focuses on the production of yellow pitahaya. Its fruit reaches different markets, such as Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Asia, the United States, Brazil and Canada.

"At Ocati, we work hard every day to meet the demands of our customers. As a company, we are always growing, so we do expand our production as the demand increases. The difference is that at Ocati the important thing is not what we do, but how we do it: expanding our production means doing so in a responsible way."

"That is, with soil and crop certification, since we guarantee that all our cape gooseberries and passion fruit comply with the MRLs, training for producers, support from our agricultural development team, research on the risks and benefits of our fruits, developments from the quality area allowing us to fully understand the behavior of each fruit, and improvements in packaging to ensure it is comfortable and efficient in meeting the different needs of our customers."

"Ocati will be present next October at the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid, in pavilion 10 and stand 10H03C. Any companies interested in us and our products will be welcome."

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