By Tom Baker | Reporting from Buenos Aires
Global sales of organic products are predicted to reach $60bn over the coming year and although 2010 may have been a difficult time for the European industry, Latin America has continued to show healthy growth within the organic market.
It is perhaps no surprise then that Spanish organic olive oil brand LA Organic are reported to be increasing their presence within Colombia.
Since October 2010, LA Organic olive oil has been available to consumers in eight cities around the country including Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Pereira, Armenia, and Manizales. Now El Pais reports that they are expanding to reach consumers in the town of Cali as well.
Company Director Elisa Alvarez, said the decision to move into the Colombian market came about due to consumers there becoming more aware of the benefits of eating healthily and because there is a growing demand for high quality products within the region.
And if Colombia’s tastes are becoming more gourmet, LA Organic should do well. Since 2004 the company, owned by the Gomez de Baeza family, has been working alongside local farmers to produce high quality organic olive oil in the Andalusia region of Spain. This year the Italian guide Flos Olei 2011 included LA Organic among its top 20 organic olive oils, awarding the brand 90 points out of a possible 97. Last year LA Organic joined forces with world-renowned French designer Philippe Stark, to create a series of packaging designs.
But it’s the focus on producing quality organic olive oil that Ms. Alverez believes has made it possible for the brand to expand and to grow in popularity with Colombian consumers, for whom the LA Organic philosophy of making olive oil both free from artificial ingredients and with olives grown in pesticide free groves, seems to resonate.
In 2010 this philosophy saw the brand not only maintain its footholds within North America, Asia, and Australia, but it also increased its presence within Europe, partnering with UK chain Waitrose, a company with over 200 stores around Britain.