In harmony with the environment
The almond is a product that has lived together with the natural environment during centuries. Our almond fields are thought to be profitable while being sustainable in the long term. In a way that trees are productive, the soil, the water and the resources used are always replaceable and the impact they cause can be assumed by the natural environment.
The LLOPIS GROUP intends that all of its activities are economically profitable in the long-term, socially beneficial for the community and environmentally sustainable.
In the Low Alentejo, Portugal, we have our own facilities and agricultural holdings: LLOPIS PORTUGAL and SOCIEDAD AGRÍCOLA MONTES LANÇAS. In Spain we have the ALMENDRAS DEL GUADIANA agricultural holdings. There, Almendras LLOPIS has large almond fields where the most suitable varieties are grown and part of our annual production is harvested. This production is developed with the latest agricultural and irrigation technology, that allow us to control at all times the evolution of the almonds since their birth.
Boosting the Local Economy
LLOPIS PORTUGAL takes care of its workers by improving their training, the social facilities inside the company and boosting the recruitment of local staff. During this year a technical instruction regarding the training of workers has been implemented. The social facilities of the company have also been improved with a new canteen where workers can eat and rest. LLOPIS PORTUGAL recruits its whole staff in the production area, as well as the outsourcing contracts for the performance of specific tasks.
In LLOPIS PORTUGAL we take into consideration the biodiversity of the environment where the agricultural holding is located. Therefore, a series of measures have been implemented, such as turning unproductive areas into places devoted to the preservation of the environment. By not using herbicides in the aforementioned areas, we allow the local flora to grow healthy and well, so that the whole area becomes an isle and corridor of biodiversity. Herbicides are also not used in the areas near riverbeds where the excessive growth of vegetation is controlled by a mechanical treatment. Thus, we obtain a vegetation cover that protects the soil and also becomes as a shelter for the fauna living in the agricultural holding.
Conservation Agriculture and its benefits
In LLOPIS PORTUGAL we develop conservation agriculture with a minimum tillage. This kind of agriculture brings a great environmental improvement without entailing a decrease in the production efficiency of the agricultural holdings. It would have no sense to allow its practice if it was not a viable production system from an energetic and economic perspective.
Focusing on the environmental aspects, conservation agriculture brings clear benefits for the soil, air and water. Conservation agriculture is carried out in the holding by incorporating plant debris to the soil (remains of pruning, leaves and shells) and no tillage.
The soil erosion is greatly reduced with conservation agriculture, more than 90% in the case of direct seeding/no tillage, more than 60% with a reduced tillage and 85% with plant covers. This represents a very important improvement in the quality of surface water.
The soil quality is mainly determined by its organic matter content. In the conditions found in Portugal, we must highlight the importance of the organic matter in the formation of the soil’s structure, which stops erosion and improves its capacity to retain water in the soil profile, which is especially important in the case rain-fed crops.
Agricultural systems with abundant harvest remnants on the soil provide food and shelter for many species of animals, thus conservation agriculture contributes to the proliferation of a great number of birds, small mammals, reptiles and worms, among other animals.
The most important surface water pollutants are the soil particles resulting from water erosion. Conservation tillage is a solution for this problem: it has been estimated that using this method, the herbicidal substances carried by water are considerably reduced, as well as nitrates (more than 85%) and soluble phosphates (more than 65%).
Having in mind that in conservation agriculture the number of operations on the soil is greatly reduced in contrast with conventional agriculture, the greenhouse gas emissions are also considerably less.
Inoculation of Mycorrhizas
LLOPIS PORTUGAL has inoculated mycorrhizas in the almond trees. The intention is that the mycorrhizas keep symbiotic relationships with our harvest. The benefit produced by the mycorrhizas is a greater absorption of water and nutrients that get to the plant afterwards. The mycorrhizas increase the quantity of the dissolved minerals absorbed by means of the mobilisation of nutrients via the enzymatic activity (use of organic nitrogen and phosphorous, forms hard to assimilate) and by releasing organic acids (mobilisation of mainly calcium, magnesium and potassium).