Juan Andres Maldonado Jimenez

Josmar SCA

Hi! My name is Juan Andres Maldonado Jimenez and I am the manager of Josmar SCA here in El Ejido in Spain. Together with our team we produce different types of organic chili peppers for Nature & More. Via our partnership with Westland Peppers we transport the peppers to the Netherlands. Thank you for purchasing our product!

El Ejido, is a province in Almeria, also known as the ‘winter vegetable garden’ of Europe. Around 60 year ago, at the age of 13 my father moved away from the mountainous Alpujarra region to find work. Back then, the Alpujarra was a very poor area and many people moved to the El Ejido where there were more jobs.  My father worked on the land in the morning and at the auction in the afternoon. In the open air he cultivated yellow melons and haricots.

It was only later that simple greenhouses were built. Back then, they used to build the structure of the greenhouse with wooden-posts and a flat plastic roof. The funny thing is that in order to decide on the height of the roof, they used the length of the farmer and added a few inches, so the farmer could easily walk through his own greenhouse. However, the current generation of growers are a bit taller, so you can imagine that the height of the greenhouses was slightly inconvenient for them. Eventually, my farther owned 3 hectares of land, which he worked on with the entire family.

Interview with Juan Andres Maldonado Jimenez

Can you tell us a little more about this region?

El Ejido is located near the coast, but is at the same time protected against the cold northern winds by the Sierra de Gabor mountain and Sierra Nevada mountain range. As a result, the area has a mild climate with the necessary wind for good ventilation of the greenhouses.

What products are you growing?

For the past eight years I have been growing different types of organic peppers, including Jalapenos, Habaneros, Rawit and Sweetbite. I love innovation and thus when I noticed that the conventional market was only becoming more restrictive and narrow-minded, I decided to challenge myself and move towards organic cultivation.

How did you manage ?

In my early years, there were only a few organic tools on the market, which made it a lot more difficult and risky to grow food in an organic fashion but luckily nowadays, there are many organic alternatives. Of course, I've learned a lot in these more challenging years and although it was definitely not always easy it made me realize what it means to grow produce in a healthy and more natural way. Over the past years, an increasing number of growers in the province of Almeria have started working with the use of organic grass protection. Around 2009 there was an important turning point in Almeria, when a large farm turned 6000 hectares of bell pepper cultivation to organic. From this point onwards the organic ‘movement’ in this area really started to grow.  

Why are you so passionate about organic farming?

It is important to me that consumers can rely on buying a healthy and safe product. In the past, this was not always the case when growing conventional produce. The elimination of chemicals in our growing process is not only an advantage for consumer health and safety, but also for my staff and for myself. That’s also why I truly believe organic cultivation is our future. 

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What am I growing?
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Geolocation is 36.7731148, -2.810355100000038

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