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Colombia produces a wide variety of types of fruit, yet many are little known to European consumers. Luxembourger Harald-Sven Sontag’s Colombian origins and knowledge of the South American country gave him the idea of helping Europeans to discover the delights of guanabana, lulo, mora and other Colombian fruit.
In 2014, he founded TUKI, which produces and sells Colombian fruit juice. His timing was perfect as the previous year the EU had signed a trade deal with Colombia and Peru. The agreement has made it easier for European firms to do business with the two countries. This has been instrumental in enabling TUKI to grow.
The TUKI range now includes five juice flavours. They are entirely natural and contain no colouring or preservatives. To ensure the juice keeps its flavour and nutritional quality, TUKI uses a method called 'Pascalisation'. The juice is processed under very high pressure so as to stop deterioration caused by organisms such as yeast, mould and bacteria.
TUKI sells 40,000 bottles of juice a year through shops and directly to consumers online. The juice is on sale in Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany. Sales outside of Luxembourg account for 20% of turnover and Harald-Sven is now aiming to double sales.
Helped by the EU’s trade deal and with its rising popularity requiring ever larger quantities of fruit, TUKI is planning to source fruit directly from Colombian producers. Buying directly will help increase profits and enable Harald-Sven to further expand his company, including hiring two more people by the end of 2016.