The chestnut as we know it is the seed of the fruit of the chestnut tree. Because of its spikes the fruit itself is locally know as “hedgehog”. The ripening of fruit and seed are not synchronized, hence the complexity of the treatment of the chestnuts for its conservation in their fresh state.
The Castañera Serrana SCA Cooperative is the only entity with its own infrastructure in the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche for the correct treatment of the chestnut, including a pest killing process, with the final quality of the fresh product guaranteed.
Castañera Serrana offers to the market chestnuts in distinct packaging formats:
In bulk, without pest killing process;
In bulk, with pest killing, without selection;
In bulk, with pest killing and selected;
Pest killing done, selected and packed as demanded;
The packed product will always have pre-selected chestnuts, in order to insure the quality of the product. Chestnuts with holes, affected by fungi, badly formed or with any anomaly are removed, according to the quality control criteria of the most demanding markets.
The Castañera Serrana fixes the chestnut’s price every year based on their size, product health and market conditions. The calibres used to work are the following:
Units per kilo
A5 40-49 units per kilo
A4 50-59 units per kilo
A3 60-69 units per kilo
A2 70-79 units per kilo
A1 80-100 units per kilo
Piquera (= with holes) More than 100 units per kilo
With the machinery we have, we are able to process packages in different formats adjusted to the requested calibre, for example:
GirPlus nets of 1 kg and 2 kg
Bags, sacks and bulk boxes of various capacity (5 kg, 10 kg, 15 kg, 25 kg, etc.)
The chestnut cultivation is a traditional dry-field cultivation in this arid mountain region. The majority of the chestnut trees on the cooperative’s member’s fields are at least a hundred of years of age. The production system used by the producer members of the Cooperative allows them to preserve those centenary trees as well as the ecosystem they are part of, therefore, if you consume chestnuts from the cooperative, you are contributing to maintain a sustainable and environment-friendly ecosystem in which the production and the development are limited by the conditions of the territory itself.
Castañera Serrana Cooperative contributes to the continuing existence of four genetically unique varieties in Europe, which are: Plantalajar, Comisaria, Helechal and Diego Vásquez. They ripen progressively from the end of October through November.
The roughly 200 hectares owned by the member producers of the cooperative produce around 100,000 to 200,000 kilos of high quality chestnuts annually, clearly distinguished by their sustainable exploitation, their socio-cultural importance for the territory and by the environmental benefits of the mountain area production system for the local society.
The Cooperative operates with a tracking system that marks each received lot with the information about the chestnut’s origin, allowing us to identify and follow each chestnut package and trace it back to its producer at any given time.
Strict quality samples are collected even after the Chestnuts have being delivered, allowing us to know and manage the production quality for each harvest and thus increase the transparency about the product’s health.
Contact us if you are interested in quality chestnuts with an added value for the production territory, we will be pleased to attend you and make you an offer.