A gift for all humanity
In a mythological contest between the Roman gods Neptune and Minerva for the right to name the city of Athens, Minerva’s gift of an olive tree was judged to be more beneficial to humanity than the horse offered by Neptune. Minerva’s olive tree was welcomed for its long-life, its nutritious fruits, and its oil - useful as food, medicine, and fuel.
Andalucía has been the heart of Spain’s olive oil production for millennia, and it’s here we find the farm of Alberto Candau, the latest generation of Candaus to cultivate olives.
Over the past 30 years, Alberto and his father have transformed their traditional 540 hectare family farm into a modern family business. Introducing modern irrigation and integrated pest management solutions, they have turned the Candau farm into an intensive-yet-sustainable operation that meets demand for healthy, tasty, and sustainable Mediterranean olives and olive oil. Yet, while the farm embraces modernity, the Candaus’ love and respect for their high-quality produce remains as traditional as ever.
A perfect match
Vital to transforming the farm was UPL’s ProNutiva programme, which the Candaus describe as a “perfect match” for their intensive-yet-sustainable approach. They are now the first olive farmers to produce oil grown entirely using ProNutiva products, with Alberto’s customised ProNutiva package comprising conventional and biological insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. By working with UPL’s experts, Alberto was also able to successfully navigate the shift from traditional farming methods to ProNutiva without compromising the environment or the quality, volume, and profitability of his crop. The Candaus are also carefully managing water and energy usage on their farm, while embracing minimum till approaches to its fields.
A better future
Looking ahead, Alberto is confident that producers and consumers want the same thing: A better food future where high-quality, healthy, safe, and tasty products don’t cost the earth – financially and environmentally. As the Candaus moves to commercialise their brand, Alberto is convinced that they took the right decision to become more environmentally and economically sustainable. “It’s the only way we know our company will still be here for the next generation,” he says and advises other farmers to make similar changes by investing in technical advice and productive partnerships. At UPL, we’re proud to have offered those services to Alberto, and we’re ready to offer the same to farmers around the world looking to build sustainable food futures.