The EU-funded project supports organic farmers in India, improves farming methods and optimizes the value chain from sowing to export to the European market
Berlin/Nuremberg in February 2019.
The jackfruit has its origins in the Western Ghats Mountains, an extremely biologically diverse region of India. It is the largest tree fruit on earth and can weigh up to 15 kilograms. The green, knobby, almost pear-shaped fruit is characterized by a “banana-pineapple” taste when ripe. Harvested when it is unripe, it has a rather neutral taste and its texture is surprisingly similar to poultry meat.
Miracle fruit with tradition: potential often underestimatedTraditionally known as “poor man's fruit,” farmers originally kept only a few trees for their own use. In many cases, the trees that grow wild in the region are not harvested at all and the fruit rots. Due to its richness in vitamins and fiber and the antioxidants it contains, jackfruit is now enjoying increasing popularity among vegetarians and vegans, particularly as a meat substitute, and demand is continuously growing. This is also the experience of the Lotao company (LPP Lotao Pack- und Produktions GmbH), which has been selling jackfruit products on the European market for two years and is intensively involved in the cultivation, value creation and properties of the “miracle fruit”.
Funded development project is based on a relationship of trust that has developed over many yearsThe extensive collaboration with an agricultural research foundation in Bangalore and another foundation that looks after and supports several hundred farmers in the region around Karnataka has now resulted in an EU-funded development project for the next three years. Lotao, together with the project partners, ensures that the production of the jackfruit organic farmers involved is professionalized. The quality of the young fruit harvested locally and processed into cubes should be improved and standardized so that it can develop into a sustainable, fair and lucrative sales market.
“In this project, we train the farmers on the subject of “young jackfruit”, distribute small jackfruit trees to the farmers free of charge, set up collection points and invest in product development together with the Indian cooperatives,” explains Lotao founder and managing director Stefan Fak. “ In this way, we promote sustainable organic cultivation, combat the issue of monoculture and ensure that our partners are ready to deliver,” says Fak.
The program also includes the expansion of on-site infrastructure and the construction of cooling, storage and packaging facilities. The scientific support of the project by a research group from the University of Neubrandenburg is also part of the project, in addition to the development of further products and new strategies for using the harvested and surplus harvest components as livestock feed and as organic compost.
Sales increase planned by 200 percentThis project means a lot to Lotao GmbH: “We have looked intensively into the cultivation methods, history and ingredients of the Asian fruit,” reports Stefan Fak. “Through the development project we have the opportunity to cover the entire value chain from sowing to sowing to help shape the harvest through to processing. This is a gift but also a challenge that we are happy to accept,” says Fak.
Lotao currently sources around 100 tons of portioned fruit pulp from the region every year. During the project period, the volume is to be increased to 300 tons per year. In the long term, up to 500 tons per year could even be made available.
For interview requests and background information as well as high-resolution images, please contact the Lotao press office. Further information about the Lotao product lines can be found at www.lotao.com . Recipe ideas, videos and current news can also be found in the blog of Lotao founder and Risolier Stefan Fak at www.risolier.com .
About LPP Lotao Pack- und Produktions GmbHLPP Lotao Pack- und Produktions GmbH, based in Berlin, was founded as Lotao GmbH in 2011 by Stefan Fak. The company is dedicated to exquisite Asian specialties, primarily in organic quality, and sells them on the European delicatessen and organic market. In addition to the “Lotao Deli” rice line, the extraordinary range also includes products made from coconut, pasta made from rice, sugar and legumes. With the “Lotao Green” product range consisting of jackfruit, Lotao is now conquering the market for meat substitute products. Further information at www.lotao.com . Press contact:
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