A unique example of a rural business which achieved economic profitability based on innovation and environmentally-friendly practices.
The Pepe Aromas agri-business set out to revitalise its rural area through the production of high-quality products made from organically-farmed prickly pears. The company generated added value for the entire area by creating a value chain that brought together local suppliers, retailers and local employment. It began cultivating prickly pears using organic methods and renovated an abandoned railway station which became its offices. In collaboration with universities, Pepe Aromas created a series of high-quality products which are now sold across Portugal.
Pepe Aromas is the first Portuguese company to develop foodstuffs made from organic prickly pears.
The company estimates that in 2020 it will be able to create one to two additional jobs.
It has invested in organic farming processes to reduce its environmental impact. Use of mineral fertilisers has been cut significantly and water consumption is lower thanks to the introduction of efficient drop irrigation methods.