Eduardo Weldt

Nancagua

Hi, I’m Eduardo Weldt from Chili and I grow organic apples for Nature & More, together with my sister Daniela. Our farm is called Nancagua and it’s part of the family business Puelche. Thank you for buying our apples!

We grow apples in the southernmost area where apple growing is possible. Our orchards are located near Los Angeles, Chile, about 550 km south of Santiago. Therefore we have large temperature differences between night and day; this causes a beautiful colour in the apples and a perfect taste!

We started Nancagua in 1993, when we began with the cultivation of apples. In 2006 we converted to organic. We grow Royal Gala, Fuji and other apple varieties. Apart from that we also have blueberries and rose hip. The rose hip grows naturally on an island that we own, and is harvested by small independent farmers from the region.

Our farm forms part of our family enterprise "Puelche S.A. Hierbas". My father and mother founded it. Our family has been producing medicinal herbs since 1975 and has more than 100 permanent employees. Me and my brothers and sisters all work for our parents company, everyone in a different area.

Due to this strong family structure, we have a flat hierarchy and make a lot of effort to have good traceability (knowing where the products came from and how they were produced) and sustainability.

 

Interview with Eduardo Weldt

N&M: Why did you choose organic farming?
Eduardo: “It started with the herbs. Our family business produces dried herbs for medication, tea and children’s nutrition. We discovered that during the drying process, the smallest remains of pesticide on the leaves are concentrated, so you can find them even if it’s only the neighboring field that was treated with pesticides. Respect for the environment and people are our basic values, so we decided to go organic. After that it was a natural choice to go organic with our other products too.

N&M: What were the challenges you met?
Eduardo: “It took us a couple of seasons to find a new balance with nature. One of the biggest challenges was the weed and pest control. We do it by hand, because we don’t use herbicide. Another challenge has been the increased cost of labor, since we needed more people and also better qualified workers. Organic farming involves more knowledge. So we must invest in our workers.”

N&M: Can you give an example of how you train your workers?
Eduardo: “We like to give opportunities to our workers. One example is Roberto. He came to our farm when he was 18 years old, as a field worker. He was always interested, responsible and willing to learn, so we sent him to many extra courses. Today, he is working on a permanent contract as the supervisor of machinery, and he is responsible for the entire irrigation system of our orchards.”

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Geolocation is -37.4770377967, -72.3805046082

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