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Cortijo el Puerto R&D: almond crops in hedgerow system have been issued the organic certification | Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra Ecológico Cortijo el Puerto

Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees ladybug

Quality, Ecology and Innovation are core features of Cortijo el Puerto. Our almond crops in hedgerow system have been issued the organic certification, granted by the CAAE (Andalusian Committee of Ecological Agriculture). This recognition adds to the other major crop of the farm, the Olive, also Organic certified.

News like this are cause for celebration!!!

We overcome the limits of the olive grove and we extend to the almond tree, that makes IngeOliva a national pioneer of the organic certified almond tree in hedgerow system.

Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees blooming

But it has been a long way…

In 2013 we became the first farm in Andalusia to introduce this new system based on two innovations: the first, rootpac 20, result of the research of Agromillora, world leader in the nursery sector.

What does this mean? It integrates a plum hybrid (Prunusbesseyi x Prunuscerasifera) endowed with a dwarfing pattern that converts any variety of almond tree that is grafted, into almond trees of low vigor, with the consequent adaptation to hedgerow formation. This allows early maturity and production, reduces pruning work, and enables automated harvesting with the same harvester as the olive tree.

Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees harvester

This innovation was joined by a second one: The use of varieties resulting from the research of the CITA of Aragon: Isabelona and Soleta whose objective was to obtain a similar fruit to the varieties most valued by consumers, Marcona and Desmayo largueta, but including multiple improvements in the field in terms of agronomic management: like late flowering avoiding the early and self-fertile frosts, thus allowing pollination without the need to cross pollen of different varieties. At the same time, traditional varieties such as Lauranne, Ferraduel and Guara have also been worked on.

Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees

Finally, we manage this pioneer system of hedgerow cultivation under the regulations and ecological practices, achieving the CAAE certificate.

Enrique de la Torre Liébana, CEO of Cortijo el Puerto, highlights the environmental commitment of the project and comments on the path, not without difficulties, of a process that entails three years of conversion:

«For us was crystal-clear that the most innovative cultivation of the almond tree had to be perfectly compatible with organic environmental practices from the very beginning. It was not exactly a bed of roses!!!, but a path with pitfalls, handicaps and difficulties, as any pioneering movement that is also conditioned and limited in its possibilities of action by clear and resounding principles of environmental respect «.Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees hedgerow system

«Not everything is acceptable, and in Cortijo el Puerto we know it well. We want to do it even better, which is why, with effort, head and affection, we have devoted these last three years to this project, in which plagues have appeared, a high incidence of fungal diseases, problems of adaptation, etc. that we have been solved with patience and a good dose of innovation». 

In Cortijo el Puerto we rely on organic farming. We like to define ourselves as a project of environmental sustainability and ecosystem regeneration in which high quality and nutritious food products are also produced.

Cortijo el Puerto organic almond trees

Our starting point: to be free of Synthetic Chemicals, to take care of the fertility of the earth with healthy soils, and to produce food with all its natural properties. On the other hand we are committed to Biocontrol agents in a balanced ecosystem: Squads of insects fight with us fulfilling a concrete military tactic: lacewings, ladybugs and beetles fight the aphid in citrus and almond trees; the larvae of lacewings are predatory against moth and butterfly that damage the olive grove; bees, bumblebees and wasps pollinate the flora, ensuring the reproduction of plants and the survival of species.

 In addition, in alliance with technology, we incorporate Precision Agriculture to make farming an intelligent rural area. Aerial images with diverse information about the plantation are obtained, the crops are managed remotely and in real time, and the intervention is carried out with the accuracy of a surgeon. Sowing, tillage and harvest are done respecting the rhythms and principles that ensure the health of the soil and plants, and, in a derivative way, produce a healthy nutrition for animals and for human beings.

Cortijo el Puerto organic almonds certified 

On the farm, we use technological tools for an efficient production and respectful of the environment and other traditional measures. The Innovation and Ecology alliance offers, we point out, excellent results, in which the quality of the products and environmental sustainability are fundamental (IngeOliva has been highlighted as the most awarded company in the olive oil sector worldwide last January in the EVOO World Ranking 2017). 

This Organic certification of your crops is an official recognition to this project that implies a daily work and a philosophy of work with which we try to make a difference. 

Thank you all!