Bio Campojoyma's founder and manager, Francisco Jesús Montoya Sánchez, had the idea of growing organic kumquats in the Spanish province of Almeria after tasting delicious pastries containing this citrus on one of his business trips to Germany. "We soon discovered that kumquat thrives in the climate of our province," says Francisco Jesús Montoya. Two years ago, Bio Campojoyma became the first company to plant kumquats in Almería, and just like with the firm's other crops, and as its name suggests, they went for organic.
This season, Bio Campojoyma has started exporting kumquat, mainly to Germany. Every week, 10,000 kilos are marketed. The harvest lasts for eight months, from November to June. The peak is reached in the winter months.
Bio Campojoyma grows this citrus in a biodynamic way, seeking a natural balance in the surroundings of the plots. The cultivation takes place on 3 hectares in the municipality of Los Gallardos, where the company already has orchards with organic lemons. “The kumquat requires a lot of manual labor, so we also contribute to generating employment in the area,” says Francisco Jesús Montoya.
Kumquat is a small citrus with a sweet taste, but with a sour and aromatic touch. Surprisingly, even the peel is edible. It is very popular as an ingredient in jams, candied fruit and pastries, but is also perfect in salads or can be enjoyed simply as a snack.
Besides its taste, kumquat also has great nutritional properties. It is rich in flavonoids and vitamin C and is a great natural antioxidant that promotes cardiovascular health. The fruit also contains folic acid and is therefore recommended for pregnant women. Its vitamin C content makes kumquat suitable to prevent anemia, and it has antiseptic properties that are beneficial for the proper functioning of the digestive and urinary tract. Lastly, kumquat has a significant amount of fiber, so it also has a satiating effect.
Sustainable and innovative company
“We are a young company that was founded in 2004, but which has firmly believed in sustainability and innovation from the start,” says the manager. “For this reason, we are always looking for varieties with which we can have an edge, and we are investing heavily in citrus fruits like lemons and now also kumquats. Always organic, of course. Our philosophy is biodynamic, which also enables us to create jobs and thus contribute to the economic growth of our province. That's more than welcome in these times, I think," he says.
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