Guadalhorce Ecológico

Location: Valle del Guadalhorce region, Málaga
Products: Lemons and oranges in large quantity, plums, apricots, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, squash, strawberries, raspberries and different varieties of garden fruits & vegetables
The members of agriculture project Guadalhorce Ecológico, standing together

An agriculture project employing twice as many women as men is rare, and the fact that half of them are in positions of responsibility makes Guadalhorce doubly special. The project is led by Tere, who has been long-associated with the cooperative, and Reyes, who has taken on the position of manager.

The Guadalhorce Valley has high ecological value as a green corridor, and is renowned for its diversity of species. It is also one of the fastest growing locations for organic farming in Andalucía. Guadalhorce Ecológico plays an important role in this growth, working as a catalyst for change towards a new type of land management.

As well as improving the management of the land in the Guadalhorce Valley, the cooperative tries to work within a circular economy. They run collaborative projects with a local food bank and the Asociación Algarbía en Transición, and participate in the Algarbe community currency. They generate zero waste through the use of a composting plant, and actively promote new relationships of mutual support between other, similarly-minded local organisations.

Through gradual improvements to the running of the cooperative, and with the support of current members and staff, Tere and Reyes’ goal is to attract both new producers and more clients, bringing stability and reliability to the yearly supply of produce and diversity to the range of income Guadalhorce generates. Change is gradual, with improvements in the next year hopefully including the purchase of a machine for packaging their own branded products, and a new calibrator for measuring the size and weight of produce.

“Our cooperative’s philosophy is grounded in the search for environmental balance, respectfully taking advantage of what is given to us by nature. We focus on short routes of marketing, the value of life in the field and fostering direct relationships between food production and its consumption.
“We are convinced that new forms of food production are possible, based on principles of agroecology and a distribution model that allows us to be closer to the final consumer, rebuilding the links that traditionally existed between producers and consumers.”