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Gea makes a traditional pumpkin seed oil typical of the regions of Styria and Prekmurje in Slovenia. Founded in 1904, it now employs 97 people and had a turnover of €25 million in 2016.
It has a long tradition of producing vegetable oils, including pumpkin seed oil, linseed and walnut oil, rapeseed and seasoned oils. Its products are ISO certified, meaning the company carefully manages its environmental impact.
Gea already exports to 25 countries worldwide, and international interest is growing.
Now, GEA is preparing to start exporting to Argentina, where consumers have already shown an interest in its products.
The EU-Mercosur could help Gea by opening up markets. The agreement would cut/end Mercosur customs duties, enabling Gea to offer Argentinian consumers better value.
The agreement would also simplify procedures at Mercosur countries' customs, making it easier to export goods.
The deal would designate Slovenian pumpkin seed oil as a Geographical Indication (GI) in the four Mercosur countries. This would protect it from unlawful imitations, as in the EU.
Argentine consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy diet. So we believe they'd be interested in our products. But we must be able to deliver them fast to maximise their shelf life. This would be one big opportunity with an EU-Mercosur deal – easier customs procedures would mean our goods would reach consumers faster.