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Ocean Almond - Interview with Joseba Zamora
Joseba, many thanks for giving this interview. The first thing that we want to know is, in which year and from when did Ocean Almond start?
The project started in 2012, and the first plantation came to fruition in 2013. From then on, growth has been exponential until we have reached our current size: 1,050 hectares.
How did 2018 go for Ocean Almond?
A year of growth and consolidation.
You are located on land in Catalonia and Aragon. What advantages does land in the north of the country offer? Why here?
The Ocean Almond project is situated within the control area of Lerida, which includes zones of Aragon. The quality of the terrain, the climate, the way our varieties adapt to it and the water supply etc. offer a great opportunity for this leading sector project.
And the government authorities; are they supporting this sector as they do others?
It is not a subsidised sector. Private enterprise is modernising the sector and the productivity with new technologies for irrigation, handling, varieties and the settings for intensive plantation.
Tell us about the amount of land that you are talking about. How much is there? What is it equivalent to? So that we can get an idea.
Currently, Ocean Almond has 1,050 planted hectares under its control; that equals around 1,200 football pitches!
Which countries are the main producers and where are most almonds consumed?
On a worldwide level, the biggest producers are the United States 85%, Australia 6% and Spain 5%. As far as consumption is concerned, the countries where the standard of living is rising are where the consumption of almonds is rising because they are a healthy and versatile product. Worldwide, most are consumed in the USA and Europe, although big increases are taking place in China, India and Arabic countries.
At what time of year is it best to eat almonds?
Almonds are a product that can be preserved very well and consumed throughout the entire year in the different ways in which it is sold: snacks, almond drinks, flour, sweets, nougat, cosmetics etc.
It is said to be one of the foodstuffs that has most benefits for health. Could you name some for us, or whichever one is the best for you?
After researching the nutritional value and the benefits for health, a study carried out this year by the US Department of Agriculture and Food & Health on 100 foodstuffs pointed out that almonds are the most complete super food. Almonds are number one followed by custard apples, saltwater perch, chia seeds, etc.
At what time of year would you recommend visiting the plantations?
Without a doubt, when they are flowering sometime around the middle of March; seeing the almond blossom is a sublime spectacle.
What are the company’s plans for the future?
To consolidate ourselves, continue growing, to become a point of reference in the sector and turn ourselves into one of the largest almond producers.
What makes your perfect breakfast? Natural fruit juice, coffee with milk and a butter bun made by La Suiza (Bilbao).
Your favourite work? The Painter on His Way to Work by Van Gogh.
Your favourite concert was at? The opera Tosca at the Prague National Theatre.
Your favourite restaurant? El Barquet, Tarragona.
Your favourite place to get away? Taormina, Sicily.Read more Close