Sergio Angel

Citricos del Sur

Hi, my name is Sergio Angel and I grow organic lemons and other citrus fruits in Chile. 

My company is called Citricos del Sur and was founded near Santiago; I have three employees now. My main orchard lies west of Santiago near the town of Bollenar, in the Mallarauco valley which draws its water from the Mapocho river. Here I work together with fruit grower Miguel Dominguez. Thanks to the calcium-rich soil and the sunny climate, this is a perfect place to grow citrus fruit. A part of the orchard has become organically certified this year, another part is still in transition. Organic fruit, for me, is a product with a future. I have two sons of 8 and 12 who are as fit as a fiddle and I would like to keep it that way! I wish to leave a decent world behind for them and if I can contribute to the availability of healthy food, I must focus on that. Organic production is a great challenge. It means more work, but equally more satisfaction. I came from a humble background, but I have always set myself new goals and taken new risks, and kept my dream alive. I'm happy where I am now and I hope to grow further in the future. Sustainability to me means building a solid company, and showing the world that organic can work. Me and my employees are proud of our products. We produce lemons with passion.

 

Interview with Sergio Angel
Sergio, how did you become an entrepreneur?
"Originally from a poor family, I finished my school and became a technician in fruit cultivation. But I wanted to get ahead, so I did an agronomy study. Working as an agronomist for ten years, I gradually learnt more about organic farming a got enthusiastic about it. Three years ago I founded my first company together with a few partners, and last year I decided to continue by myself and set up my own enterprise. I now have three employees and I hope to continue growing, together with the people I work with. I love taking up new projects, it gives me an adrenaline rush!"

Why did you choose to go organic?
"I want to leave behind a positive heritage for the next generation. When people are talking about environment and health, you often hear the word "should". Good intentions. But I'm doing it now. Organic in Chile will grow, I'm convinced of that. It's good for many things because it means that more money will go to work, and less to chemicals. The organic home market in Chile is still very small, but I expect that to grow as well, while the Chilean middle class is developing. I hope to push that growth as well."

Can you tell us a bit more about your cooperation with Don Miguel?
"Don Miguel Domingue is a 65-year old grower who has recently switched to organic officially. But actually he has always worked with very few chemicals, because the orchards surround his house directly. Converting to organic was therefore quite easy for him. I went to discuss it with him and I convinced him that organic is feasible. All his lemons have now been certified, and another part of his orchards, with oranges, is in transition.

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Geolocation is -34.211802, -70.666809

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