German Producers Visit To See Organic Produce

May 5, 2006

With visions of selling Germans more of Costa Rica’s organically grown mangoes, pineapples, coffee and other products, Costa Rican organic producers met with a delegation of German importers at a seminar in San José April 27 to establish contacts for potentially exporting more organic products to Europe.

A few representatives from BTA, an umbrella organization of German importers, were in Costa Rica on a visit organized by GTZ, a German technical cooperation that works in rural sustainable development in Costa Rica.

“We’re looking to make business-to business contacts to import more Costa Rican organic products to Germany,” said GTZ coordinator Ulrich Rottger, explaining that last week’s seminar was the first step in evaluating the possibility of expanding the market of organic bananas, mangoes, coffee and other products Costa Rica exports to Germany.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) advisor Felicia Echeverría shared Rottger’s enthusiasm for Costa Rican organic products. However, in order to increase its exports, Costa Rica must significantly up its production, she said. Passing a proposed law that promotes organic agriculture by providing significant tax breaks to organic farmers and opening lines of credit for them (TT, April 7) would be a crucial step in increasing the $5 million in organic products Costa Rica exports yearly, Echeverría said.

Katalina Sánchez, exporting manager at Tayutic Valley, a company in the Caribbean slope town of Turrialba that has been exporting organic sugar, coffee and macadamia to the United States, Canada, Germany and other European communities for 10 years, said she and other organic producers are eager to have the opportunity to export more of their products.

“Here in Costa Rica, there are only 4 million potential consumers; we could be selling a lot more outside the country,” Sánchez said.

 

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