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Recently, two BioTropic colleagues took to the road to visit the organic company in the fertile plain of Souss: the French chairwoman Odile Bouron and agricultural Engineer Mauro Finotti from Italy. While Odile is responsible for handling the production between PBS and Biotropic, Mauro is responsible for quality assurance.
They have been working together for 5 years: : Lahcen El Hjouji and BioTropic employee Mauro Finotti Photo: BioTropic GmbH
Lahcen El Hjouji, chairman of PBS, shows his colleagues around three farms, where vegetable such as red and yellow bell peppers, Ramiro bell peppers, zucchini, chilli peppers, runner beans, as well as land- and snake cucumbers are grown on approximately 106 ha. On open ground of over 25 ha, there is further zucchini cultivation. In the coming spring, Lahcen El Hjouji would like to try out a small hokkaido pumpkin cultivation on just over 2 ha. The group has also discussed the new cultivation plans for the following year: beside the present vegetables, a test series of snap peas is to be planted. We have been working together with PBS for five years now.
Lahcen El Hjouji is satisfied with the current season. Firstly, the good weather conditions: enough rain last winter ensured an optimal water supply, which was sparsely used anyway, because of the utilization of droplet irrigation.. Secondly, the summer temperatures were not too high so the greenhouse fruit could grow in a stress free environment.
Ramiro bell peppers, not yet fully ripened Photo: BioTropic GmbH
The BioTropic visit, shortly before the harvest, was a good time for the yearly audit of Mauro, the agricultural engineer. Because at that time he was able to accurately judge the then current production. To this end he takes fruit and leaf samples, and has them examined in an independent laboratory.
Their own young plant-nursery is one of PBS's special features. The majority of vegetable plants are grown by PBS themselves, and not simply purchased. This is how it stays so nice: this way, they know what they have.
In the high season, which lasts from October until May, around 450 employees work on the PBS farms and PBS's own packaging facility. They come mostly from surrounding villages. The harvest is washed and packaged in the warehouse. This central shipping facility ensures the consistent checking of organic quality, because PBS exclusively processes organic vegetables.
Source / Text: BioTropic / Visnja Malesic
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