THE STORY BEHIND... OUR ORGANIC WALNUTS

Walnuts, the well known nuts with the brain-like appearance, are used in many different ways and in many parts of the world. But where do our walnuts come from, and how do they end up at our warehouse in Barneveld? Let us tell you the story behind our walnuts!

Walnuts from Moldova

Our organic walnuts come from three organic walnut orchards in southwest Moldova, spread over 320 acres. The annual yield is about 3800 tons of walnuts in shells, which makes for about 1700 tons of walnut kernels. Part of that yield ends up in our warehouse in Barneveld, from which we supply our customers worldwide with walnuts of excellent quality.

The switch to organic

40 years ago, farmer Dumitru planted the walnut forest, situated between other agricultural fields and forests and without industry in the area. He saw that the soil of his plantation was fertile and clean and had a positive influence on the local microclimate. That is why 10 years ago he decided to switch to 100% organic farming. Thanks to the fertile soil, the trees are strong and they do not need manure or artificial support. In the nearby nursery he plants young trees, which can replace the old trees in the long run.

Harvesting by hand

The brown walnut as we know it grows safely and protected in a green, leather like peel. In October and November, when the peel splits open and falls on the ground, about 50 people from the village harvest the nuts by hand. They are mostly farmer families, who have less work on their own land in these fall months. After harvesting, the nuts in the brown shells are put on a drying bed in a half open space, so that they can dry in open air.

After drying, the nuts are cracked, cleaned and checked manually. The next step is drying the nuts in the oven, then sorting them by color and size, to ensure quality. Thanks to the vacuum packing, it is possible to keep the nuts fresh for over 1,5 years.

The future

When we take a look at the future, Dumitru has multiple plans for the orchard. “We are in the third year of conversion of new organic orchards, for prunes as well, which cover over 140 hectares. Currently, we are BSCI certified, but we are also examining the benefits to apply for Fair Trade certification in the coming seasons”.

 

More stories?

Do you want to stay up to date about the stories behind our products? We are constantly updating our stories catalogue. Just send an email to communication@organic.nl and let us know which stories you would like to hear.

Last update: 26-09-2019