Our project is called Barranc del Llop (literally, Wolf's Ravine) because it's the name of one of our favourite fincas. It owes its name to the ravine that runs next to the finca. It's located in the village of Antella in the province of Valencia, very close to the Júcar River, in the small valley formed by the ravine. We've never seen wolves around here, but we do have many wild mountain goats that sometimes choose to prune the tangerine trees.
We grow citrus fruits and have several farms in different parts of Valencia and Andalusia. We have specialised in tangerines of the Orri and Tango varieties, clementines of the Clemenules, Esbal and Oronules varieties, and oranges of the Navelina variety. Barranc del Llop has an area of 12.81 ha.
The land is divided into various terraces and sectors, located at different heights. It commands an extraordinary location, surrounded by woodland with shrub pasture, full of rosemary plants, oleanders, trees and other native plant species.
The finca is very close to the Júcar River, making our drainage basin an area of major ecological interest.
We bought the finca in 1997 and finished planting it completely in 2000. We also have an area of unexploited forest, which creates a balance between nature and the cultivation of citrus fruits. During our history, this finca has been in constant evolution until the conversion to organic farming, which we began in 2018. We have twenty-five years of experience in agriculture, so this finca reflects our progress as a company.
The farm's water comes from a well on the land, registered with the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation, where we have our hydraulic pump that supplies the water. The irrigation system used on the finca is drip irrigation, divided into several irrigation sectors according to the variety of the fruit. We also have a system with soil moisture probes connected to the cloud, which means that we can monitor the soil moisture and the water needs of the trees to increase water efficiency and irrigate at the right time.
We hold SPRING certification within the GLOBAL GAP certifications. This certification shows our commitment to sustainable water management. It evaluates us with many criteria, which range from the legal compliance of our water sources to the monitoring of consumption and the continuous improvement of water management.
The agricultural management of the trees follows organic farming practices according to European regulations. The finca began the conversion process on 16 June 2018. Apart from using only certified organic fertilisers and material, we sustainably manage non-native weeds. We cut them back to control their spread, but they also serve as shelter and food for beneficial insects.
Apart from being surrounded by mountains, with plant species that help us conserve natural enemies, we have an area of 3,800 square metres of uncultivated land between the different plots. This helps us maintain a plant refuge for beneficial insects.
The project employs twelve people working in both production and project management. Our management team for this project has been with us for less than a year, while our farm manager has been with us for seven years and the rest of the production staff boast extensive experience. The regular workers at Barranc del Llop are local, but at busier times we call in a team from Mali, who have been working with us for twelve years now. What's more, we hold Ecovalia certification, which recognises our responsible practices in terms of timetables, working conditions, social security, wages, etc.
We're passionately committed to the proper management of all waste generated by our activity. All organic waste from pruning and crop management is crushed in the rows between the trees, which harnesses mineral nutrients and increases organic matter. The waste generated with fertiliser containers and treatments is managed through the SIGFITO packaging management system.
The quality of our fruit is determined by its flavour and nutritional value. We collect the fruit directly from the tree, varying the size of the fruit naturally. We select the fruit without fungi or major bruising that could compromise its flavour and its food safety. Minor damage caused by bumps or pests is considered acceptable. What's more, we see it as another quality hallmark that shows our commitment to the sustainable management of the ecosystem and the reduction of food waste.