Soraya Bahrami

Soraya Bahrami

TropiWorld serve's as a one-stop shop for exotic produce, having forged farmer associations in Colombia, Thailand, Peru and Kenya. “We pack and export from source to Europe and the Middle East, plus a little to East Asia,” said sales director Soraya Bahrami. “We are set to add more sources shortly, including the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Mexico.”

Products include mangoes, pineapples, dragonfruit, mangosteen, rambutan, papaya, passionfruit, coconuts and avocados, most of which are sent to market by air. “We are starting to shift many products to container,” explained Bahrami, “but we do specialise in airfreight. Unfortunately most of these products would not reach the shelves otherwise.”

In order to ensure the highest quality, packaging remains crucial to the company’s success. “The packaging varies a lot depending on the market,” said Bahrami. “We’re using a lot of long-life bags to keep the product fresh, but we’re currently also converting all our packaging to biodegradable options.”

According to Bahrami, the aim of the company is to become one of the biggest exotics distributors in the world, adding new markets and products in the coming years. “We’ve started sending to Eurasia now,” she said. “There is a lot of interest from consumers in eastern Europe. The Middle East’s also a big market for us now, as we can offer a direct channel.”

In addition to retail, TropiWorld also serves hotels and restaurants. “We’ve had so much interest,” said Bahrami. “Such rare and exotic fruits and vegetables have been neglected for a long time, but the move to healthier diets is helping. These products are becoming more accessible and prices are coming down as our volumes increase. We are also looking at the ripening side of the business, for products like avocados, mangoes and pineapples.”

For TropiWorld, a major priority is the treatment of its workers, according to Bahrami. “We look after our farmers really well and always make sure we give back to the local community,” she said. “It is crucial to pay your farmers in a fair and timely manner, for example. In the end, it all comes down to relationships in this business.”