Finca El Rompido is located in the municipality of Cartaya, in the province of Huelva, Spain. The area is truly idyllic, with Cartaya having one of the country's largest natural pine forests, which cover more than 11,500 hectares.
The farm owes its name to its proximity to the beach of El Rompido, a natural feature of enormous interest and which forms part of the Marismas del Río Piedras y Flecha del Rompido Nature Park.
The farm covers approximately thirty-two hectares and is dedicated entirely to the organic farming of blueberries. In the vicinity, we have other berry plantations, citrus fruit orchards and Mediterranean forest.
Agriculture is a major economic driving force of southern Europe, and our commitment is to help the rural development of families who work in the industry. We advocate stable and quality employment. That's why we certify our farm with the GRASP standard, which analyses the occupational and social risks of our employees, and helps us improve their conditions.
Our origins in agriculture stem from Valencia. Our ancestors grew citrus fruits there, and we continue to do so today. On our travels throughout southern Spain, we discovered and fell in love with the coast of Huelva. And thanks to our curiosity about the local agriculture, we found out about berry farming. That's when we embarked upon the new adventure of producing organic strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Blueberries are grown in greenhouses because they are shrubs that need specific conditions to favor their growth. Factors such as excessive wind and dryness damage and weaken the crop, so it is inevitable to use this protection. The greenhouses perform their function without mechanical sources: we do not use heaters or assisted ventilation; it is the sun that helps us to heat our blueberries. Of course, every time we renew the cover, we use authorized recycling points.
The irrigation system is drip-based to optimise the use of water, which comes exclusively from official reservoirs, so we respect natural aquifers as part of our policy of sustainability and protection of nature. On average, a blueberry bush needs the same amount of water as a lemon tree. To take advantage of every last drop, we use tensiometers to determine the exact amount of water that the plant needs at each moment of the year.
To foster integrated pest management by means of natural predators, i.e. bugs that eat other bugs, and to maintain a well-balanced ecosystem, we're committed to crop association, avoiding the plowing of corridors and edges of plots where trees and adventitious host plants grow. What's more, the use of herbicides in and around the entire farm is strictly prohibited.
Blueberry harvesting is always manual. Imagine what that means with such a small fruit! That's why at the height of the harvest we employ about 210 workers, who help us most years. Many of the team work with us throughout the year, as all the farming techniques are artisanal (as we're an organic farm) and we don't use herbicides or pesticides. Some of our workers have been with us since the beginning of the project, contributing their experience and knowledge about the crop.
When it comes to immigrant workers employed during peak times, we help them with travel costs, we provide accommodation, we have break rooms/canteens, and we arrange recreational activities on days off.
Any fruit that fails to meet the minimum quality standards or ripens on the plants prior to harvest is used for the organic production of purees, frozen food, jams, etc.