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“The cheaper we can import a product, the more competitive we can be in the marketplace,” says Reinhold von Eben-Worlée, CEO of the Worlée Group. The Hamburg-based company benefits from reduced customs duties on the import of rose hips from Chile. It saves about €24,000 per year due to the trade agreement between the EU and the South American country, which abolished these tariffs.
The agreement between the EU and Chile came into force in 2003 and abolished many trade barriers. “Free trade allows us to pass on high-quality raw materials to our clients at competitive prices,” explains von Eben-Worlée. Free trade, he continues, ultimately benefits the consumer, because it facilitates access to high-quality foreign products.
Worlée NaturProdukte GmbH is part of the Worlée Group, a family-run medium-sized business that employs about 200 people. The company imports dried natural products from around 80 countries to Germany, ranging from pineapples, passion fruit and ginger to onions and mushrooms to bamboo sprouts and cashew nuts. Founded in 1851 as a simple import business, the company is today considered a pioneer in environmental and sustainability questions. Its product range includes many organic and fair-trade products.