Daabon Organic is a family-owned company founded more than hundred years ago, based in Santa Marta, Colombia on the country’s Caribbean coast. Organic bananas, coffee and palm oil shortening are Daabon’s signature products. The company owns significant tracts of land in Colombia, such as plantations for bananas and palm oil, as well as four palm oil refineries, including one that will be South America’s largest. While palm oil is controversial elsewhere because forests are being burned down and biodiversity is being destroyed to produce it, Daabon both plants and grows sustainably.
Daabon began this focus on organic, sustainable and traceable production more than twenty-two years ago. Any Daabon product can be traced to find out exactly where it was picked, and even on what day. The firm’s slogan is “From the soil to the market,” and it has earned a slew of certifications, including BioTropico , USDA Organic, RSPO, GMP HACCP, Social Accountability, and JAS Ecocert here in Japan. Its carbon footprint is negative.
Daabon Organic is also a big believer in supporting local communities. For about half of the boxes of bananas sold in Japan, for example, the company donates a hundred yen per box to FLOTRABAN, a workers organization in the Santa Marta community. As Daabon Organic Japan, the firm donated thirty musical instruments to a local primary school in Santa Marta in 2014. The parent company also helps local residents by providing the community with inexpensive housing and access to potable water.
Japan is considered the easiest point of entry to Asia, and Daabon Organic Japan was launched in 1999 when the parent firm began sending coffee beans and other products here. Now Daabon Organic Japan sells organic bananas, coffee, sugar and palm oil products under the Organic Mountain brand. Organic bananas are Daabon Organics’ most popular item, and the company brings about 65,000 kilos of them to Japan every week. The fruit ends up at large supermarket chains such as AEON, and is also sold through co-ops such as Nisseikyo and Radish Boya. This year Daabon Organic Japan also entered the organic soap market, working with some of the largest companies in the industry in Japan. Daabon International was the first company in the world to produce organic glycerine.
You can find Daabon’s organic coffee, organic sugar and palm oil shortening on Amazon Japan. Alishan Organic Center—another HealthyTOKYO partner—also sells Daabon-branded coffee and palm oil shortening through its online shop. The company’s organic palm oil shortening has zero trans fats, is unhydrogenated, non-GMO and vegan-friendly—great for baking and deep-frying.
Daabon Organic interacts with its Japan-based customers primarily through Facebook and Amazon at the moment, but is looking to strengthen its brand and create a bigger market presence. It has received very positive feedback from customers, who say Daabon’s freeze-dried coffee tastes like real fresh-brewed coffee. They also say the bananas are sweet, and they love the texture. Santa Marta gets the most hours of sunlight of any place where people grow bananas, which is reflected in their taste.