Ours is a simple story about nature and almonds that began in Avola, Sicily, about a century ago. After being passed on from generation to generation, the story continues today. The name Na.ma (Natura & Mandorle came about thanks to the Tiralongo family's passion for the world of agriculture - and almonds in particular. This name perfectly represents the combination of our passion for the agricultural world and respect for the land.
We combine innovation, tradition, and respect in the way that we manage our land. Each of our products is the result of a transparent supply chain, and we concentrate on nature and quality from start to finish. We have always cultivated our almond trees using traditional and environmentally friendly techniques. Our almond groves are located both in the hills and on the plains of our land. The microclimate in our area facilitates their cultivation since the mountains create shelter from winter frosts, and the proximity to the sea favours their flowering from mid-January onwards. The decision to continue growing traditional Sicilian and Avola almonds is a bold choice in itself. We have chosen to not intensively cultivate plants of new species because we want to preserve the traditional plants of our territory, even if it as at the expense of higher yields. In fact, our plants grow dry, and it is the winter rains that provide them with enough water to survive! We do not use pesticides or chemical fertilisers, and there are olive trees among the almond trees to ensure biodiversity within our fields. This ensures that we end up with an exceptional, healthy and natural final product.
My family has always been involved in this industry, so it was inevitable that my brother and I helped our parents on the farm from a young age. The same passion that our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents had, has been instilled in us as well. It is very hard work and in some ways it is not rewarding at times, but in other ways it is very rewarding, and you can only stick at it if you are truly passionate, as we are. The contact with nature, the smell of the fields in the morning, and the colours of the fields at sunset alone is repayment enough for us!
Our mission is to make people understand that dried fruit is good for us, but that not all dried fruit is the same nor is it grown in the same way. Adopting traditional and non-intensive techniques will give us less harvest and less profit, but it allows us to ensure a product of unparalleled quality, and a better future for those who will come after us, since we respect the land and strive to keep it healthy and productive!
Our trees - unlike intensive systems - are grown in dry conditions thanks to the traditional cultivars adopted and the microclimate of our area. We harvest our almonds by hand with the help of harvesters only. Our specialised employees, regardless of their specific role, all have regular employment contracts and equal working conditions.
Our company has been using organic farming techniques, and has been certified as organic, for many years. Our cultivation and processing techniques minimise environmental impact so that our activity on the farm is eco-sustainable. We control the wild grasses on our land as these play a fundamental role in winter. They cover the ground around the almond trees and so shelter the surface roots from possible frost. In spring they encourage pollination (bees are attracted by the many flowers, pollinating the almond trees as well), and in summer they retain the moisture from the last rains. When ploughed, the grasses release their nutrients into the soil. At the end of the harvest, the malli - the green and brown husks of the almonds that serve as a natural fertiliser - are also released into the fields. While the husks are used for bio mass production due to their high calorific value.
Our company is family-run, apart from myself and my brother, my father and mother also help out. There are other employees who help us carry out our tasks within the business, they are mainly women who are experts in product selection and processing. For their work, we provide them with the salary stipulated in the collective agreement, as well as some company benefits and free product supply.
All our harvest is used, meaning that there is practically no waste produced. Any part of the harvest that is unsuitable for our own products, is sold as animal feed. The pruning remains on the farm, and mallows are shredded and released on the fields as natural fertiliser. In practice we have no waste as even the husks are used as fuel!