JUNA's Blog

MunchRaw’s Mora Lime Swirl Cheescake!

Posted on by juna

On MunchRaw.com vegan recipe blogger Erica Bermudez proposes an exciting cheescake recipe using the Andean Blackberry (Mora andina)!

Erica writes: “My favorite no-bake dessert has to be raw vegan cheesecakes. From vanilla bean to more adventurous flavors, such as this Mora Lime Swirl Cheesecake. You can find the recipe at the end of this post.

How did this recipe come into being? Well, I had a friend that had a birthday coming up, so I thought I’d make her a bunch of lovely raw lemon berry mini-cheesecakes. I usually use Heather Pace’s recipe found here, but I found myself lacking the sufficient amount of lemons and I was all out of mixed frozen berries! What to do?


Read more on MunchRaw.com.

Fun with Guanábana in Dominican Republic

Posted on by juna

Watch Italian tourist Maurizio chopping up the fruits and mixing a delicious Guanábana-Coco juice with the locals in Dominican Republic!!

Colombia at the British Museum

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The British Museum, in partnership with the Museo del Oro in Bogotá, is hosting a magnificent exhibition called ‘Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia’. The exhibition runs from 17 October 2013 through 23 March 2014.

Over 200 fascinating objects show the technologically advanced and sophisticated gold working techniques, including the use of an alloy composed of gold and copper, and the use of textiles, feathers, stones and ceramics. These beautiful and detailed works display a level of complex craftsmanship that perfectly marries art and skill, and show the differences in techniques and designs across the region in pre-Hispanic Colombia.

With the exhibition as stage, JUNA was proud to be part of the event on 28 November where Proexport (Colombian Embassy office of commerce) presented Colombia’s new international tourism campaign “Colombia, Magical Realism”. The campaign highlights unique experiences that tourists can enjoy in Colombian destinations, such as hiking on beaches in the midst of a parade of sea turtles, discovering a lost city, sailing with whales or visiting historic places immortalized in famous literary work

British Museum

Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7323 8299

Opening Hours:
Every day 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Fridays until 8:30 p.m.)

MORA ANDINA – the different blackberry

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Yes, it’s a blackberry – but unlike the one you know. The Mora Andina, the Andean blackberry, is a botanical species found only in the Andes, with its own particularly refreshing taste! What’s so special about this berry?

JUNA’s Andean blackberry nectar may seem less exotic than the other flavours (“What’s that white Guanabana stuff anyway and how do you pronounce it?“), but the taste experience offered by the Mora Andina immediately transports the consumer to a distant and unfamiliar place.

Rubus glaucus, commonly known as Mora de Castilla or Mora Andina, grows in most Andean countries at altitudes of up to 3000 meters. As such, it’s a South American mountain berry rather than a tropical berry. In Colombia alone, nearly 15,000 farmers grow Mora Andina on small parcels of land, often in highly remote areas of the country.

The berry is rich in calcium and phosphorus and has potent antioxidant properties.

In addition, it has a low natural fruit sugar (fructose) content, which accents its uniquely refreshing, acidic and slightly bitter tones. As a consequence, with 47kcal per 100ml our Mora product is low in calories, far below the average smoothie on the market, despite a small addition of fructose to round off the taste.

At JUNA we’re proud to have the Mora Andina among our NEW FRUIT GENERATION!

Peru and Colombia meet in Bath

Posted on by juna

Andean fusion in Bath: JUNA’s Colombian fruit juices at Tambo Peruvian Kitchen. Since the very beginnings of JUNA in the UK, Bath’s Tambo has been a loyal fan and reseller of our natural fruit drinks. What’s this snug café all about?

Tambo is a small family business with roots in Bath, UK and Caraz, Peru. British Olivia is married to Peruvian Carlos and they offer in their beautiful little café in the centre of Bath delicious food, all freshly made on-site by them.

Tambo owners Olivia and Carlos

Three months ago Tambo was delighted to win the Bath Good Food Awards 2012 for the Best Express/Takeaway.

As well as special Peruvian ingredients, Tambo prefers organic products, free-range eggs, fairly-traded and direct trade products, local suppliers and environmentally friendly compostable packaging. For example, their delicious coffee comes from a women’s co-operative in the Lambayeque region of Peru and supports women and their families through the Cafe Femenino Coffee Project.

And their juices come from Colombia! Olivia says: “Our customers love the uniqueness of the JUNA juices: the smoothness of Guanabana and the tangy and exciting taste on Lulo. They like their naturalness and freshness and the fact that they are so different. Some people come exclusively to buy their JUNA at Tambo.

Tambo is the ancient Inca word for ‘inn’. A relay of Inca runners could carry a message many hundreds of miles across the empire. Tambos were the inns where the runners would rest, eat, drink … and wait for the next message to come along.

So come on in to Tambo when you need refuelling!

Tambo Peruvian Kitchen
1 Grove Street
Bath, BA2 6PJ
Tel +44 (0)7753 748 779

Opening times:
Mon-Fri: 9am – 3pm
Sat: 11am – 3pm

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Jacobs’ new book: The Robber of Memories

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Distinguished travel writer Michael Jacobs unveiled his latest book in London on November 6 entitled The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Colombia. Jacobs marked the occasion with festive food, drink and music from Colombia, a place to which he developed an ever closer bond when navigating the Magdalena river.

Ed Vulliamy from The Observer writes that “as Jacobs navigates the mysterious river and distant land, he also explores great questions about our time, lives and deaths, and about banality, the end of adventure … Jacobs loves this land and its people. Like Colombia itself, the river had become ‘with all its beauty, dangers and violent history, like a drug to which … I had become addicted’.” It is as much an account of the Magdalena’s history and its meaning for Colombia as it is an insight into Jocobs’ personal struggle with his parents’ mental demise and death.

Travel writer Michael Jacobs presenting his new book

Jacobs is an Honorary Researcher of the Hispanic Studies Department at Glasgow University and writes regularly for The Telegraph, Financial Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent and El País. As well as writing, the British-Italian travel enthusiast is a regular broadcaster on Spanish National Radio, and a chairman of the Dolman Travel Book Award.

The book launch was hosted at the multi award-winning Moro restaurant in the Angel area of London. Owners Samuel and Samantha Clark are close friends of Jacobs’ and helped throw together a rich and delicious mix of Colombian dishes for the evening. La Papayera, a traditional Colombian band in London, got the crowd to dance and cheer to their Merengue and Vallenato tunes. And Moro’s long bar served JUNA cocktails all night, made from Colombia’s GUANÁBANA, LULO, MANGO and MORA fruits.

Moro owner Sam Clark mixing a LULO cocktail

A true Colombian moment on a Sunday night in November, in the middle of London. Unforgettable, despite the title of Jacobs’ new book.

Read the full review of Jacobs’ book from The Guardian.

The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Colombia
by Michael Jacobs
Published: 1 November 2012, Granta Books
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781847084071

Moro Restaurant
34 – 36 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE
Tel +44(0)20 7833 8336
Opening times:
Mon-Sat: 12pm-2:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm
Sun: 12:30-2:45pm
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JUNA’s labels, made in Cali

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JUNA’s shrinksleeve labels for its 250ml bottles are made by Cali-based company Suprapak using PLA material, an innovative, biodegradeable polymer. For JUNA this was a decisive reason for working with Suprapak, given that there are very few label makers in Colombia who use compostable polymers for their products.

In addition, Suprapak, founded over 40 years ago, today focuses on catering to clients who need many different label references in relatively small quantities.

At JUNA we currently require 8 label references (the 4 fruit flavours in both English und German language). And the volumes are far below those required by the leading beverage giants.

Last month, JUNA co-founder Christian (second from right) again traveled to visit Suprapak in Cali to approve the latest labels in the printing press and discuss the final details, such as colour intensity and text alignments. At Suprapak Jesus Alberto Llanos (left) coordinates the overall project with JUNA. Lucía Lasso (second from left) ist responsible for international business development and Dony Mora leads the company’s graphic design team (right).

Suprapak S.A.
Cra. 34 No. 13A 171
Km 2 Autopista Cali – Yumbo
Cali – Colombia
Tel: +57 (2) 666 8118

From passion to business: Colombia gets a new brand

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With countries competing for tourists and investors from abroad, national governments and economies are increasingly in the branding business, seeking to convey a business proposition, an emotion or idea that captures their target group’s attention.

Incredible India” or “Malaysia, truly Asia” are campaign slogans that have stuck, maybe because they are catchy, maybe because they have been repeated over and over again on international news networks and airport billboards.

Colombia is no exception to the branding frenzy. On 7 September, luckily coinciding with Colombia’s smashing 4-0 football victory over Uruguay, the new “marca país” was revealed to the public, a modern-looking combination of shapes with the bold letters CO above “Colombia”.

Reactions have been mixed. What does CO stand for anyway? The designers of the new brand explain that this is the official ISO code for Colombia and the country’s internet domain (.co), but for many critics this is way too technical. At JUNA we like to associate it with the prefix “co” as in “together” or “joint”. The new logo is accompanied by the slogan “La respuesta es Colombia” (“Colombia is the answer.”) – supposedly to questions such as “Where should we go for our honeymoon?” or “What market should we prioritize for our investment fund?”

For the past 8 years, the Colombian government and its export promotion agency Proexport ran the “Colombia es pasión” campaign, consisting of a heart shaped logo and accompanied by the slogan “The only risk is wanting to stay”. This campaign was predominantly designed to put Colombia back on the tourism map, highlighting the warmth and openness of the Colombian people and suggesting that traveling to today’s Colombia is not anywhere as dangerous as people outside Colombia like to think.

With Colombia’s security situation improving, international image slowly changing and tourism back on the rise, it was maybe time to refocus the brand and make it more business-like. As a Euro-Colombian business, JUNA can relate to that. Today’s Colombia is a new Colombia. But we continue to believe that Colombia “es very much pasión”…

Marca país Colombia
Carrera 6 No. 77-42
Bogotá, Colombia
Tel +57 (1) 756 7777

INTERVIEW: From the life of a Colombian agronomist…

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William Arizmendi regularly tours the fincas of small farmers in Boyacá, Colombia to check on their lulo and mora plants and help them enhance their agricultural practices. William’s technical assistance work forms part of the JUNA Project, aimed at improving the lives of fruit growers and their families in remote parts of the country. We asked William about his work and about the challenges and opportunities for Colombia’s fruit growers…

Q: What is your favorite fruit?
A: The Mora andina [Andean blackberry]. Its contrast of acidity and sweetness is fascinating.

Q: What made you become an agronomist?
A: [The] Boyacá [region] has rich land and lives from agriculture. That’s where I grew up. Rural life is a part of me. My work allows me to be out in the green, in the open, in the mountains and under the immense Andean sky. It’s a way of life.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: Building personal relationships with the farmers, being at their service and giving them a chance at a better life by spreading technical knowledge and recommendations.

Q: What do you do when you visit the plantations?
A: First and foremost my job is to build friendship and trust with the growers. They need to trust me in order to accept my help and follow my advice. We are talking about their economic subsistence, so trust is key. My mission is to convince them that cleaner agricultural practices and less contamination are better for their crops, their environment and for themselves.

Q: What’s the secret to minimizing harmful pesticides and fertilizers?
A: Access to information and technical assistance. Growers need the facts they don’t have, they need to know alternatives to what they are doing today. What is helping is that many food and beverage producers today demand stricter standards. So farmers are beginning to listen more. Often the solutions are quite simple: reduce the quantities of pesticides or fertilizers to the adequate levels; replace existing substances with less toxic ones already available in the market; use organic fertilizers by composting and recycling their own bio waste.

Q: What are the biggest worries faced by small farmers and their families?
A: Their main problem is that they never know whether they can sell their crop at a price that allows them to live. Most of them are exposed to intermediaries and the market, over which they have no say or control. Uncertainty is their single biggest fear.

Q: Do small growers appreciate the importance of good agricultural practices?
A: I think many are beginning to realize that things are changing. However, there is also the fear of their plants and fruit will be attacked by plagues. So a first natural reaction is to apply chemicals, and rather more than less. Overcoming these fears and working towards better methods is not easy. But it’s doable and we have to do it.

Q: Why are Colombia’s fruit growers not as organized as coffee or cocoa growers?
A: What happens is that Colombia’s fruit production takes place on tiny parcels of land all over the country. The production is not concentrated in certain parts of the country or on larger extensions of land, as is the case with coffee for example. The only solution is that every fruit growing region gets organized at the local level by forming associations or corporatives and that eventually these local and regional groups start coordinating and building leverage at the national level. That way they can start improving the conditions of their members.

Q: What are your hopes for the JUNA Project?
A: It’s a great project, and most importantly, a serious one. It’s not only about the product, but the people behind it. The project’s key component – a guaranteed fair price – attacks the core of the farmer’s biggest problem: uncertainty. That motivates them to look into the future and to invest in their farms and in themselves.

William Arizmendi lives in Tunja, Colombia, with his wife and three daughters. He is a certified agronomist and teaches at the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA), Colombia’s national institute for vocational and technical training.

Pesticide Detectives: FYTOLAB Colombia

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Since last year, Colombia counts with its first EU-certified laboratory for residue analysis of pesticides and mycotoxins in food and feed: FYTOLAB Colombia, part of the Belgium-based group. For JUNA this is very good news. As part of our quality control system, JUNA commissions regular laboratory analyses of our products, in particular to ensure compliance of our products with the European Union’s maximum pesticide residue levels. Having a certified lab directly in Bogota gives us access to expert technical advice and guidance close to home. And we no longer have to send different fruit samples to labs in Europe thousands of miles away.

Why is FYTOLAB investing in a separate presence in Colombia and shipping in state-of-the-art lab equipment from overseas? Carine Declercq, General Manager of Fytolab, says: “If you look at Colombia, it’s right there among the world’s top agricultural exporters. And the country has only tapped into a fraction of its export potential. It makes sense for us to be here. Demand from exporters such as JUNA is growing by the day.”

FYTOLAB has its origins in the research activities on pesticide residues of the Department of Crop Protection Chemistry at the University of Ghent. Over the last few decades, the expansion of European residue legislation and increasing public awareness about the importance of minimizing residues has led to growing commercial demand for sophisticated laboratory testing. In Ghent, standards for routine laboratories were considerably reinforced over time.

FYTOLAB Colombia is officially accredited ISO 17025, so quality and technology in Colombia are at the same level as in Europe. The mission of FYTOLAB, as a group and also for the Colombian unit, is to support the exporters and the local market with high quality analysis within a short time. “When excellence is your standard” is the credo of FYTOLAB.

JUNA’s primary contact at FYTOLAB Colombia is Venezuelan-born Andrety Colmenarez, Head of Laboratory. Andrety is helping JUNA navigate the technical jargon of pesticides analysis and legislation and facilitates communication with JUNA’s agronomists who work with small farmers to control, standardize and minimize pesticide use in Colombia. The commercial relationship is handled by Milena Rico, who is also responsible for the marketing.

FYTOLAB: www.fytolab.com
FYTOLAB Colombia: www.fytolab.co