The Grupo Cooperativo Montes Norte de Ciudad Real has been applying the circular economy to its production and consumption model for months, which implies reusing and recycling existing materials and products as many times as possible to create added value.
This was explained by María Amores, the group’s marketing and communication manager, who highlighted the firm commitment to the implementation of the circular economy of this second-tier cooperative dedicated to the production and marketing of extra virgin olive oil and wines, which It is present in more than 30 municipalities in the provinces of Ciudad Real and Badajoz and currently has more than 7,500 members.
Amores has commented that the use of sustainable fuels, such as olive pits, has been commonplace in the Grupo Montes Norte industries for several years, which the group itself obtains in the production process.
In addition, the group takes advantage of other by-products obtained in the mill, such as wet and dry alperujo, the ashes that serve as fertilizers and even polyphenols and other components that have pharmaceutical and cosmetic use.
Along with this, he pointed out, there is a clear commitment so that the group’s production processes impact the environment as little as possible and, therefore, “renewable energy is used thanks to the solar panels installed in its main industries such as the Malagón mill, also in the group’s bottling plant where all the oil that is marketed is bottled and, of course, in the sustainable industry.
The consumption of renewable energy, has pointed out the person in charge of marketing and communication, is expected to be extended to the rest of the industries of this cooperative group.
These circular economy initiatives, Amores has pointed out, are joined by others such as promoting new lines of research on different production processes, for which Montes Norte has the collaboration of the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
In this sense, he has reported that one of this investigations focuses on studying the presence of polyphenols and other minority compounds that exist in the process waters carried out in the group’s sustainable industry.
In addition, he stressed, with a private company, obtaining bioethanol is also being studied in the same industry, to incorporate it into the Malagón gas network, while analyzing the possibility of also obtaining fertilizers.
In this way, he said, “the by-product of the mill would thus be used, completing the olive cycle and revaluing the products of all its cooperatives.”
Aware of the importance of taking care of each industrial phase, Amores pointed out, the group’s packaging company works thanks to solar energy and with respect to its suppliers “we not only seek good prices for auxiliary materials to influence as little as possible the final price of the oils and wines that we bottle, but we give priority to suppliers from the area”.
In this sense, he pointed out that “by betting on local suppliers we managed to reduce CO2 emissions by avoiding large shipments of material, reducing the amount of packaging used in them and thus achieving a greater appreciation of the regional economy.”
The production of organic products is a fundamental basis for Montes Norte and its production of organic extra virgin olive oil is one of the largest in Spain, with almost a dozen organic extra virgin olive oils.
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