In May 2015, Klaus Dürbeck was on a sourcing mission in Colombia to audit new potential companies for the Natural Ingredients Export Coaching Programme of the Import Promotion Desk (IPD). The aim of the current project is to reduce poverty by facilitating and promoting sustainable Colombian imports to Germany and the EU. A further objective is the sustainable development of small enterprises to generate rural income.
The companies that the expert visited are west of the Colombian Andes in the Pacific Region. This region is characterized by a tropical rain forest climate with its typical features of heat and humidity throughout the year and a high biodiversity of natural vegetation and plant production. The climate is also right for tea production. Tea is among the grown crops a relatively new one and cultivated in about 1800 meters above sea level. The picture shows a tea plantation of Camellia sinensis var. assamica. The aim of the company auditing was to:
- visit and assess the production and processing facilities,
- provide advice on required documents and certificates for joining the project,
- provide advice on selection of samples, brochures and posters for a potential trade fair participation in Europe.
The expert audited companies in collaboration with the Colombian export promotion programme PROCOLOMBIA in Cali, Medellín, Pereira and Manizales. These cities were known for its drugs cartels during the 70s and 80s. However, nowadays fresh and processed fruits and vegetables take a leading role in the local economy.
IPD, in collaboration with SEQUA GmbH and the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), is active in Colombia since 2012.