Finca Clavero has been part of the family since 1982, when my father bought it. Although the farm belonged to my father, he bought it for my grandfather to run. My granddad was a man who loved the countryside, so in a way I see it as a gift from son to father. At the time, the farm was christened with the family name 'Clavero', which is still used today. Back then, it wasn't common to grow mangos and avocados in the area, so my father and my grandfather were pioneers who decided to plant crops that were considered exotic for the period.
For many years, the farm was managed by my father and my grandfather. They were both born and raised in Benamargosa, a nearby village. The farm is located in a place known as La Crujía, which lies between the River Vélez and the River Benamargosa, an area protected from strong winds next to the road that goes between El Trapiche and Benamargosa. The farm has a house that was built in the 1980s for the family to live in. I've spent many summers there since I was a child and today I enjoy it with my children, conveying my love for the land. Unfortunately, my father and my grandfather are no longer with us, but I sustain the love of farming that they instilled in us as children.
Since my brother and I have been managing the farm, it has been very important for us to modernise it. The irrigation systems were obsolete because they had been installed many years ago, so our priority has been to upgrade them. We've changed all the rubber hoses and now we can control the system online, which helps us optimise watering, prevent leaks and give each tree exactly how much water it needs. The irrigation water comes from the River Benamargosa irrigators community, but we also have a well that we use in the event of emergency. An adult mango tree needs about 10-20 litres of water per day, while an avocado tree consumes about 40-50 litres per day during the summer.
Another important point for us was receiving the organic farming certificate. Both my brother and I regularly consume organic products, as this is a conviction of ours in order to improve our health and the planet's health. That's why in 2018 we entered the conversion process, and in 2021 we were awarded this quality seal.
Four local people work on the farm. Our longest serving employee has been with the family for more than twenty years, and the other three are relatives or acquaintances of his. At harvest time we contract more people from the area to support us with these tasks. I also have Carol, who helps me with administration and social media. They all earn salaries in keeping with the Málaga collective agreement.
We have beehives on the farm. Some are perennial and are there all year round, but during the flowering season we install more to make the trees pollinate better. We let the grass grow and mechanically weed it in the spring. In addition to protecting the soil, this increases the local biodiversity as it allows other species to settle on the farm. What's more, we incorporate the pruning remains into the soil to enrich it in organic matter and increase its fertility. We pick the fruit by hand. Each mango and avocado is inspected on the farm, and once again when preparing the box. If any pieces are blemished or overripe and can't be sent out, we sell them to the local market or leave them to form compost on the farm.