Spanish melon producer, Procomel stays true to its vision, ‘If you take care of the earth, the earth takes care of you’. This melon specialist adopts responsible practices to grow crops including but not limited to melons, watermelons, oranges and many more. NEPCon audited the country’s first farm to be certified against the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard – and it was also NEPCon’s first time carrying out audit against the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard farm certificate in the EU under our own accreditation.
Procomel’s Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard certified farms grow a variety of crops including but not limited to melons, watermelons, oranges and many more. (Photo credit: Procomel)
Commitment to environmental sustainability without compromising quality
This Murcia-based melon grower takes a best-of-both-worlds approach to grow different types of melons in a responsible manner. They combine modern technologies and traditional techniques to meet market demands in terms of quality and service
We applied Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard certification for our farms because we wanted to continuously improve our company and the staff. Our staff knew about the Sustainable Agriculture Standard certification and therefore, they started with the process to improve our responsible practices, including social and environmental aspects. Only through this, we can grow products of the highest quality and flavour,” explains Procomel.
Thanks to Procomel’s commitment to protecting the environment, three farms – Vizconde, Gartero and La Casilla where different crops are cultivated, are now Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard-certified by NEPCon. The certification lasts for three years.
Currently, only Piel de Sapo melons are certified, but Procomel is working on getting other crops such as citrus and watermelon to be Rainforest Alliance Certified™ in the future.
Piel de Sapo means frog skin in Spanish. A Piel de Sapo melon, sometimes also known as Santa Claus melon, has a thick green outer skin that resembles the skin of a toad.
The Sustainable Agriculture Standard forms the foundation of Rainforest Alliance certification. The Sustainable Agriculture Standard for farms and producer groups involved in crop is based on a Theory of Change that improving farming practices, management systems and farmer knowledge will result in improved biodiversity conservation, natural resources management, farm productivity and profitability, and the well-being of farmers, workers, and their families.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal (the RAC™ seal) is awarded to certified farms that meet the comprehensive Sustainable Agriculture Standard. The seal is used to assure consumers that market products are grown on certified farms that adopt responsible practices.
For Procomel, the efforts to protect and preserve the environment does not stop here. “We have plans in the future (to apply for Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Agriculture Standard) in other areas and for other crops.”
Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture certification: A path to excellence
“Farms certified to the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard is important as this is the path to excellence, to implement responsible agricultural practices”, says NEPCon Deputy Director of Land Use, Ariel Zorrilla.
“When agricultural lands balance the social and environmental conservation values, it makes a difference in the farm,” he explains, referring to the certified farms earned by Procomel.
To earn the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard, farms are required to meet different sets of criteria used by Rainforest Alliance. Each year, farms have to fulfil more requirements to receive certification and impact on the field will increase over time.
Melones el Abuelo is ready for any future challenges that may come along in the certification in the years to come.
Why get certified?
Demand for products that embrace environmental and social responsibility has increased in the European market. With that in mind, Procomel decided to get certified to be able to use the RAC™ seal and demonstrate their certified crops support responsible farming practices.
These days, shoppers around the world are increasingly demanding products from responsibly managed farms. They look for ecolabels that certify sustainable management for these goods. Apart from consumers, food companies and supermarkets also demand to learn more about the source of these products. The RAC™ seal is recognised as a symbol of sustainability.
If you would like to become part of the market for responsible farm products by earning Rainforest Alliance certification, feel free to contact us.