When you drink orange juice, cows eat the remaining waste and orange trees feed on the cows’ manure.
For the last fifteen years, this food chain has been an integral part of Don Elías’s juice business, which produces up to 200 gallons a week.
According to María del Rocío Mojica (the daughter of owner Elías Mojica) the idea for this food cycle came about thanks to a research project carried out by students at EARTH University.
Oranges and lemons that are planted in Santa Cecilia de La Cruz are taken to a processing plant in Liberia. The fruit waste is given to several Liberian cattle ranchers. The ranchers give the waste to their animals, with the promise to hand over the animals’ manure in order to make compost.
With this compost, Don ElÍas ensures that he’ll have organic fertilizer for his plantations. According to Mojica, their farms produce fruit that hasn’t been treated with any pesticides.
Plastic Comes Home
Although the juices are housed in gallon jugs, Mojica asks her customers to turn in their old jugs when the new ones are delivered. The jugs are then brought to a collection center in Liberia.
“For now, we only use plastic due to budgetary constraints, but we are committed to picking up each gallon jug and making sure it’s used responsibly. We never want to find a jug with our brand on it tossed somewhere,” she said.