Location: Cártama in the Valle del Guadalhorce, Málaga
Products: Lemons, mandarins & oranges
Paco Bedoya is one of the longest-serving members of the Guadalhorce cooperative, working with them since 2012. His farm is completely flat and has the interesting feature of receiving water from the river Guadalhorce when it overflows in times of heavy rain; this deposits a layer of sediment, rich in organic matter and very beneficial to fruit trees. Paco cultivates lemons, mandarins and oranges, using renewable energy to manage his irrigation system and run the machinery on his farm, taking advantage of the hours and days of sunlight enjoyed across southern Europe.
Moving to organic farming has not resulted in a decline in production; on the contrary, Paco’s trees are yielding in some cases more than before, when he worked in a more expensive and conventional manner. He is more satisfied now with the performance of his farm, enjoys more of his activity in the field and encourages young people to also practice organic farming, where it’s possible to provide a product that not only comes with a guarantee of good health, but is also good for the pocket.
Of course, the organic farmer has to be more attentive and educated in their approach, which for Paco (and many others) is a necessary challenge – and part of the enjoyment. Because it gives autonomy and control over production back to the producer: in the end, freedom is gained.