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Jaén Launches Initiative to Increase Sustainability of Farms, Mills

Through the Seralma Verde project, Jaén's provincial government will advise and support producers seeking to transform olive oil waste products.
Pedro Bruno presents the Seralma Verde project. Photo courtesy of the Diputación de Jaén
Jul. 20, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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The local gov­ern­ment of Jaén, one of the largest olive oil pro­duc­ing provinces in Spain, is offer­ing a series of new ser­vices to coop­er­a­tives and mills in an effort to help increase their prof­itabil­ity and reduce costs.

Pro­duc­ers through­out the province, as well as in the rest of the coun­try, have been suf­fer­ing from per­sis­tently low olive oil prices for more than a year now, with many say­ing they are mak­ing a loss on their oils.

See more: Spain Bets on Biore­finer­ies to Find New Rev­enue for Small Pro­duc­ers

The olive sec­tor as a whole is fac­ing dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and per­haps the most dif­fi­cult is the com­pet­i­tive­ness of our mills and coop­er­a­tives,” said Pedro Bruno, Jaén’s deputy of agri­cul­ture, live­stock, envi­ron­ment and cli­mate change.

There­fore, one of the strate­gies to achieve it may be sus­tain­abil­ity, tak­ing advan­tage of the by-prod­ucts of the olive grove so that income or cost sav­ings can be obtained that con­tribute to this decline in the prof­itabil­ity of the indus­try,” he added. In short, to make our olive oil indus­try more sus­tain­able from an eco­nomic and envi­ron­men­tal point of view.”

Through the ini­tia­tive, which is being called Seralma Verde or green soul, Jaén’s local gov­ern­ment will pro­vide tech­ni­cal advice on projects and help mills and coop­er­a­tives find part­ners to develop these projects.

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The gov­ern­ment plans to focus on four main areas: trans­form­ing olive tree prun­ings into wood pel­lets; clean­ing and recy­cling olive stones, so they may be trans­formed into bio­mass; trans­form­ing olive pomace into envi­ron­men­tally-friendly fer­til­izer; and pro­duc­ing bio­gas from olive waste water and fatty pomace.

The ben­e­fit of these projects is three-fold: the mills and coop­er­a­tives are get­ting rid of waste they nor­mally have to pay to have removed, cre­at­ing by-prod­ucts that can be used by mills and coop­er­a­tives or sold to other busi­nesses, and becom­ing more sus­tain­able.

We hope to diver­sify the pro­duc­tive activ­ity of the oil mills and coop­er­a­tives by cre­at­ing new ser­vices linked to the olive grove, cre­at­ing new jobs and extend­ing those that are already gen­er­ated due to the har­vest­ing cam­paign,” Bruno said.

We intend to attract and mobi­lize new invest­ments, reduce CO2 emis­sion lev­els through the use of renew­able ener­gies and demon­strate that we are a province that believes in sus­tain­abil­ity and is com­mit­ted to it,” he added.





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