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Spain: Organic avocados and mangoes bound for Switzerland

Ecoservicios Integrales Agrícolas is one of the longest-standing agricultural firms in the town of Axarquía, Malaga. It owns a total of around 100 hectares for the production of tropical fruits, and the jewel in the crown is the plantation known as El Molino del Potril, one of the oldest in Andalusia in the field of organics, as it has the certification since 1989.

"We are one of the largest organic producers and we have reached an agreement to export our entire production to Switzerland," reveals the manager, José Luis Armenteros. Overseas is where we have found the best customers for mangoes and avocados.

El Molino del Potril owns 14 hectares devoted to mango cultivation and another 13 to organic avocados, all certified by the prestigious "Bio Suisse", and where some very special treatments are used, such as Potasic soap, copper (in very restricted doses) and even pheromones to compensate the absence of chemical products to fight against pests and illnesses.

As for fertilisers, they mostly use organic matter in the form of composted manure from sheep and goats, as well as authorised products rich in humic and fulvic acids, which are slightly more expensive than in conventional production. Labour costs are also higher, as for example, the number of workers needed for traditional land-clearing is greater than that of chemical mowing. 

In fact, final prices are between 15 and 20% higher than with traditional fruit, so Armenteros warns public institutions to be extremely vigilant to prevent organic fraud.

Regarding varieties, there is a special emphasis on the most marketable ones: Osteen, Tommy Atkins, Keitt and Kent for mangoes, and Hass, Fuerte and Reed for avocados.


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