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Supporting PRODIS Foundation on the labor inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

16/10/2018

From ATALAYA BIO, we share an ethic commitment regarding to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, supporting their full inclusion in our society. We wanted to involve people with intellectual disabilities in our project, making them part of ATALAYA BIO, and we found in PRODIS Foundation our best ally for it. PRODIS is a foundation committed with people with intellectual disabilities, big referent here in Spain as an agent of change towards a fairer and more solidary society, with over 18 years supporting people with intellectual disabilities. We feel really inspired by their values, shared by ATALAYA BIO: Dignity and respect. Justice and equality. Compromise and responsability. Integrity and confidence. Full life. Altruism and solidarity. Dialog and freedom of expression. Open-mind and innovation. ...
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ATALAYA BIO: Carbon neutral commitment

10/09/2018

90% of our emissions are derived from transport activities. As part of our environmental commitment, from ATALAYA BIO we’ve put all the efforts to achieve carbon neutral deliveries for all our clients, without charging anything extra, and without renouncing to quick deliveries to Europe. Our business model aims to the delivery of Premium local organic aloe vera products, fighting against “energyvorous” processes that imply the importation of aloe vera from other continents – added to its lost of quality and properties. Is it responsible to buy aloe from over 6000 miles away? Currently, we deliver all our organic aloe vera products throughout SEUR from Spain, DPDgroup members, with a high carbon footprint commitment. Their goal for 2020 is to reduce the 10% of CO2 emissions derived from road transport with respect to ...
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Greek tortoises: A responsible farming

28/09/2018

Throughout the last five entries of our blog, we have introduced you to the ATALAYA BIO badge, addressing some of the most curious features of the Testudo Graeca Graeca and its relationship with our brand. We spoke of a Mediterranean species, which finds its ideal habitat on our farm and has fascinating adaptation mechanisms, but which is still a considered "vulnerable" species by the IUCN. Usually, we associate farming to intensive crops without any ethics at all, aggressive with the environment and highly industrialized, intimately linked to the disappearance of species. ATALAYA BIO was born from a nature conservation project, seeking out to make it economically sustainable, but without renouncing to our origins. We are committed to sustainable agriculture, prioritizing the most traditional processes, and guaranteeing the protection of the natural space of the Natura 2000 Network in which we grow. We want to demonstrate that farming does not...
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Greek tortoises: Reproduction

28/09/2018

The Greek tortoise hibernates and estivates, but it is when waking up of the hibernation when its mating rite begins. The courtship of the male consists of hitting or biting the back of the female, climbing on her to copulate. They are oviparous specimens, laying between three and four eggs during the months of May to July - the number of eggs depends on the specimen. The females do not reach sexual maturity until they are ten years old, so it is always a joy to find female adult specimens of them on our farm. After carrying out the census of Testudo Graeca Graeca in our plantation, and considering that the found specimens were somewhat distant from each other, an inevitable doubt arose among us: so how do they find each other? Our expert explained us that the encounters between males and females were authentic "miracles" indeed, but also tell us about some interesting resources they have to ensure its reproduction and survival. Females have an o...
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Greek tortoises: Testudo Project

28/09/2018

The Ecology Department of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche, has promoted the Testudo Project, a monitoring program for the conservation of the populations of the Greek tortoise in Spain. ATALAYA BIO collaborates with the initiative volunteering in the turtle census at our organic aloe vera cultivation. We help in the search and marking of the specimens, which are later weighed, measured and returned to the place where they were found - we leave a sign on a branch with the code of the found specimen. Currently, in adult specimens, the marking is done using the Cagle System (1939), the oldest standardized method, which consists of notching the marginal shields of the back, following a numerical coding. It is common to find "recaptures", taking small blood tests that help assess the health of the specimen. In addition, in ATALAYA BIO we are conscious about the important role played by environmental education in our society these day...
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Greek tortoises: Vulnerable species (VU - IUCN)

28/09/2018

Its wide distribution goes from North Africa to the Caucasus, passing through Mediterranean European regions such as the coastal and pre-coastal systems of the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The wide distribution of this Testudo, has led scientists to differentiate it into 17 subspecies, and the Testudo Graeca Graeca is the one that lives in the Murcian-Almeria area where we grow our organic aloe vera. Despite this, they are very fragmented populations, and the species is currently considered as vulnerable by IUCN - presenting a high probability of joining "endangered species". Among the main risk factors, we find: Loss and fragmentation of their habitat. Captivity. Forest fires. Wild urbanism. Bad and irresponsible farming. In ATALAYA BIO we are strongly aware of the responsibility to cultivate in a privileged natural environment (framed in the Natura 2000 Ne...
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Greek tortoises: What is a Greek tortoise?

28/09/2018

The Greek tortoise, scientifically known as Testudo Graeca, is a tortoise present in the Spanish fauna, with two identified populations in the peninsular southeast and a residual one in Mallorca. Although it was first identified in 1758 by the Swedish botanist Carlos Linnaeus, some fossil records found in North Africa are dated between 30,000 and 150,000 years of antiguaty. The denominative of the species, Graeca, does not allude precisely to a Greek habitat (nothing representative), but to the similarity of its carapace and plates with the ancient Greek mosaics. For this reason, many scientists prefer to call it "Moorish", in allusion to the ancient Roman province of Mauritania, where we find the largest population and fossil record of it. Like our organic aloe vera, Greek tortoises prefer Mediterranean habitats, characterized by mild winters with moderate rainfall, and warm-dry summers. They are ectothermic animals, who get...
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Greek tortoises: How to identify males and females?

28/09/2018

Testudo Graeca Graeca is a long-lived species, reaching 60 years in captivity, but rarely exceeding 20 years in the wild. Females are bigger than the males, around 7 in and 2 lb in adults, compared to 5.5 - 6 in and 1.3 lb of the males. In addition to the size, there is a clear sexual dimorphism, whose differentiation is made through secondary sexual characteristics. Let's see some of the most relevant ones: Plastron (1). The adult males present a concavity in the plastron to mount the female during copulation, being flat in females and subadult specimens. Tail (2). Proportionally longer, sturdier and thicker in the males, with greater distance between the cloaca and the base of the tail. The anal scales of the males are shorter than those of the females, and form a more open angle. Supracaudal plate (3). Flat termination in the females, against a convex and strongly curved inwards plate in...
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Why do some aloes suffer pests, and others do not?

09/10/2018

Throughout these years farming organic aloe vera, we have had many talks and dialogues with other aloe farmers in Spain. One of them, whom we met at the DEMETER stand in Biofach (Nuremberg) a few years ago, told us that his plantation died in a matter of a month, devastated by rural rodents that eat the trunk of the plant, killing it from the roots. Some other unlucky farmers tell us they’ve suffered all kinds of plagues: cochineal, snails, rabbits, etc., causing serious damage to the leaves and to the plantation itself. Well, it strikes us that after almost 5 years of farming our organic aloe vera, we have not had any problem with pests. In fact, we have not done any pest treatment yet! - we touch wood. And why is that? Why are some farms so affected by pests and not the others? The answer is quite simple: it is due to the natural space where our aloe is grown. Our farm is located in a protected natural area (Natura 2000 Network), where there is great biodiver...
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The real aloe vera soap

08/09/2018

Luckily there is already a substantial offer of natural and ecological cosmetics in the market. In that varied ecosystem of natural soaps with ecological seals, are they all real aloe vera soaps? What distinguishes ATALAYA BIO soaps from the others? What do our soaps offer that others do not? A high content of aloe vera: between 16 and 17.4% of aloe. Aloe vera is an economically expensive ingredient and even more so if it is fresh, of high purity and quality. For this reason, most soaps that are advertised “with Aloe Vera” should rather be named with any other of their ingredients, since aloe vera is usually a minor ingredient. Just look at the position of aloe vera in the list of ingredients (from highest to lowest), to see the difference. The ATALAYA BIO soaps incorporate the highest percentage of aloe that a soap (17%) without becoming soft. No water added. The aqueous part is 100% aloe, since it is composed of 95...
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