"Business can go hand in hand with ecological awareness” Francisco Javier García, ARTOLIO partner of Spain
The ARTOLIO project consists of a team with a great variety of interests, and business is one of them. Ultimately, olive oil is a product with culture and personality, but it is also a business for those who live off of it. Francisco Javier García, ARTOLIO farmer from Cadiz (associated with the Jaén team) and expert in finance, joined olive oil production because he was interested in the olive oil market of Spain.
“I came across this project through the University of Jaén, because I was willing to improve the quality of my oil. If a product has low quality to it, it is of no interest neither to the businessman nor the client, so we always strive to improve our oil” adds Francisco Javier, whose olive trees were profitable at the beginning, but he insists that they still had to think of how to improve the quality of their extra virgin olive oil when they started off their business. They eventually made it with the help of the university of Jaén and Sebastián Sánchez, current partner of ARTOLIO in Spain.
However, there were other considerations to which ARTOLIO was helpful. Firstly, the expenses of resources were high, since Francisco Javier was using a motor diesel to work. With the help of the funds from ARTOLIO, he replaced it for solar panels, effectively cutting down on the contamination levels of the production. Secondly, the watering system was also replaced for an underground one, which will better dose the amount of water spent each day. These changes helped his groves greatly, both to save costs of production and to damage the environment less.
“After my participation in the project, I have considered stepping into the more organic and eco-friendly production. Business can go hand in hand with ecological awareness.” With the aid of the solar panels, Francisco Javier’s trees will be tended in the most respectful way towards the ecosystem that surrounds them, and his new irrigation system will also contribute to saving water. There are not only aspects that would save money in terms of resources but they will also help spread awareness about the environmental impact of olive oil production in his area. In ARTOLIO, we encourage our participants to respect the environment, without forgetting about the business aspect of olive oil production, a mixture of passion for agronomy and marketing.