Aceite Uno Helps Fund Research on Childhood Leukemia

Uno takes its name from a foundation dedicated to research on childhood leukemia.

Víctor Forti (Pablo Esparza for OOT)
Jan. 26, 2020
By Pablo Esparza
Víctor Forti (Pablo Esparza for OOT)

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Our motto is that Uno is not a good oil just because the oil itself is good, but because it does some­thing that has an impact on soci­ety. That was one of our goals” says Víctor Forti, founder and man­ager of Aceite Uno, as he walks through his estate in Mancha Real.

A seem­ingly infi­nite exten­sion of olive groves cov­ers the hills around. We are at the heart of the sea of olive trees, in the Andalusian province of Jaén.

Uno (mean­ing one in Spanish) takes its name from the Foundation Unoentrecienmil — one among 100,000 — ded­i­cated to fund­ing research for child­hood leukemia and to improve the well­be­ing of chil­dren suf­fer­ing from the condition.

Collaborative econ­omy is one of our guid­ing val­ues. I believe that, in some way, you have to give back what you get from soci­ety. So we thought: what could we do which is good for peo­ple and for the rest of the world? We got to know the foun­da­tion and we decided to coop­er­ate with them,” Forti tells Olive Oil Times.

The Foundation Unoentrecienmil was founded by José Carnero, whose son Guzmán was diag­nosed in 2010 with acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia, a kind of can­cer that occurs in just three out of 100,000 kids. 

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Above all, there were two thoughts that made me stand up: One was the con­fi­dence that he was going to be that one among 100,000 to over­come that for­mal­ity,’ ” Carnero writes on the web­site of the foundation.

And also, from the very first moment, I had the full cer­tainty that every­thing hap­pens for one rea­son: to improve some­thing, to change some­thing, to trans­form some­thing,” he adds.
In 2010, Carnero started a blog where he shared his expe­ri­ence and his son’s dur­ing the treat­ment of the disease. 

Soon after, that project served as a basis to cre­ate the foun­da­tion, which in the last nine years has man­aged to deliver eight grants of €100,000 ($111,000) to projects research­ing child­hood leukemia. 

Those val­ues matched Forti’s will of fol­low­ing the prin­ci­ples of the col­lab­o­ra­tive busi­ness. So he decided to give 30 per­cent of Uno’s prof­its to Unoentrecienmil.

That’s why (our oil) is called Uno,” Forti says. Since olive oil is a really healthy prod­uct, I think this col­lab­o­ra­tion makes sense.”

But apart from pur­su­ing a good pur­pose, Forti also wanted to pro­duce a high-qual­ity oil from his family’s olive groves. 

I stud­ied law and then got into the leisure and hotel busi­nesses, but my fam­ily has always worked in the olive groves. And, since I was a kid, I have always liked com­ing to the fields and work­ing here. So when I had the chance — because my par­ents were grow­ing old and they couldn’t man­age it — I took a step for­ward and I said: Ok, I’ll do it,” he recalls.

Victor Forti’s estate in Mancha Real

Then, he came up with the idea of pro­duc­ing an early har­vest olive oil, which, in his view, is key to pro­duc­ing a high-qual­ity product. 

In 2019, Uno won a Silver Award at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Early har­vest olive oils is a world of kind of roman­tic, crazy peo­ple who bet more to qual­ity than to prof­itabil­ity.- Víctor Forti, Aceite Uno

We har­vest in three days, more or less. We har­vest with much love, tak­ing the max­i­mum care of the prod­uct from the moment we har­vest until it’s pack­aged. We do six hours of har­vest and within the four fol­low­ing hours the oil is already made,” he explains.

All of Uno’s oil is pro­duced from the har­vest of one of Forti’s Picual olive groves which were planted fif­teen years ago. 

Most of the olive groves in this area between the foothills of Sierra Mágina and the val­ley of the Guadalquivir are tra­di­tional plan­ta­tions. Here you won’t find a lot of hectares of inten­sive pro­duc­tions,” Fortis points out. 

These olive groves mark the char­ac­ter of the peo­ple of this region. Mancha Real and Torrequebradilla can’t be under­stood with­out the olive groves,” he adds. 

Three years after its foun­da­tion, Uno is still a rel­a­tively new project. When asked how he sees its future, Forti is both opti­mistic and cautious.

We started lit­tle by lit­tle, as I believe things have to begin. I want to con­sol­i­date Uno as a good qual­ity olive oil and, step by step, increase its dis­tri­b­u­tion. But always from my own olive groves and the same stan­dard of qual­ity,” he says. 

Early har­vest olive oils is a world of kind of roman­tic, crazy peo­ple who bet more to qual­ity than to prof­itabil­ity. And that oil, one day, I hope soon, will have the recog­ni­tion it deserves because it takes a lot of work, effort and sacrifice.”


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