In the 1990's and 2000's I was working as head of the SEO/BirdLife delegation in Aragon. When the opportunity arose to become a member of a new company created for organic rice production, I didn't think twice about it. I was enthusiastic about the initiative and started to collaborate. Shortly afterwards, I assumed a greater involvement through organic pasta made with durum wheat from Aragon that Riet Vell began marketing in 2003. So, when I was offered the job of coordinating the company in 2005, I was delighted to accept. A job that integrates agricultural production with environmental conservation is an enormous and particularly attractive challenge, and even more so at a time of ecological crisis in which we find ourselves.
In the 1990s, SEO/BirdLife, an environmental organization dedicated to the study and conservation of birds and their habitats, began working in the Ebro delta to promote the conservation of this important wetland. It soon realised the key role that rice fields have played and continue to play in this space, but also the problems caused by the large amount of agrochemicals required for their viability in conventional farming. For this reason, at the end of the 1990s an experimental project was launched to evaluate the viability of organic rice cultivation as opposed to conventional. After its completion in 2000 and in view of the results, SEO/BirdLife itself promoted the creation of a company to buy a farm and start the first organic rice farm in the Ebro delta. The company was called Riet Vell and more than 200 people and small environmental associations from all over Spain were involved in its creation, providing the necessary capital to start up its activity: cultivating and marketing high-quality organic rice and favouring the conservation of biodiversity.