Focus on growth – Europe's largest organic lime distributor Lehmann Natur reports from their trip to Colombia

A flagship project for Colombia in which profitability, ecology and social responsibility are combined: Organic lime smallholders produce for the European market. The close partnership and constant purchase of goods between Lehmann Natur and the small farmers’ cooperative secure the livelihood of the farmers – the goal is a large growth until 2027.

Profile or our partner

Location :  Santander, Kolumbien

Founded in: 2016

Size:  Producer group with a total of about 60 smallholders

Acreage: 450 hectares

Product: Tahiti Limes

Certifications:  Organic, Gloabl GAP, GRASP, ICA, partially Demeter and Fairtrade

Lehmann natur has already been working together with the farmer cooperative for 5 years and has contributed to the growth of the company since the beginning of the cooperation through constant guaranteed purchases.

“We started together with five smallholders and have been able to increase the number of farms together to over 60 within the last six years – by 2027 we want to expand the project significantly and plan to double the number of smallholders and keep on growing,”

says Martin Jacobfeuerborn, Head of Purchasing at lehmann natur.

The cooperative’s farms are located between 800 m and 1,200 m above sea level. This is the optimal height for limes in the region, as it develops a protective zest and good juice content. The Santander region offers an optimal combination of altitude, high sun exposure and nutrient-rich soils to produce a high-quality product. A targeted build-up of the soils humus content avoids erosion, regulates the temperature, preserves moisture and stores CO2 in the soil.

On the farms, an average of 3 months passes from flowering to the fruit until it is ready to be harvested. Production is available all year round and the limes are harvested every 7-15 days, depending on the size of the farm.

Climate-friendly packing warehouse

Location: Zona Franca Bucaramanga

Opening: end of April 2022

Size: around 3,300 m²

Special features: solar panels, rainwater collection system and the latest technology materials to insulate heat

Thanks to the packing warehouse, further growth is made possible.

Through the Organic, Fairtrade and Demeter certifications, our partner is able to add value to the product, which allows small farmers to compete on the world market. At the same time, jobs and a stable income are secured. In the future, through the partnership with Lehmann Natur, production is set to double the number of organic limes per year by 2027.