CLINIC BUCHINGER WILHELMI MARBELLA
How we implement “farm to table” with our ARF project in Marbella
You may have already heard of the sustainable agricultural project we are realizing with local farmers in and around Marbella. Originally called “Clinic Supported Agriculture” (CSA), we have now renamed it “Amplius Regenerative Food” (ARF). The project itself has been going on for six years and has grown steadily. We would like to show you what we have achieved so far and why the topic of regenerative agriculture means so much to us.
What exactly is Amplius Regenerative Food?
We have joined forces with small farmers in the vicinity of our clinic in Marbella, who we selected according to strict criteria. They all grow organic produce and work with regenerative agricultural methods. Our project manager and permaculturist Alejandro Orioli supports this alliance with ideas, information, and organic seeds for planting. Our aim in setting up the project was to work directly with the people who put so much love and care into growing their products, and to gain mutual benefits. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far.
At Buchinger Wilhelmi, we firmly believe that healthy nutrition is not possible without high-quality ingredients. That is why our partnership with local farmers is so important to us. It is the only way to ensure that we receive products of the highest quality that are also rich in nutrients and taste delicious.
Why we attach such importance to regenerative agriculture
We set great store by organic produce. But while the term “organic” means above all abstaining from the use of pesticides, regenerative agriculture includes much more. Instead of depleting the soil in which we grow through planting monocultures, this approach aims to promote nutrient-rich soil and even improve it by growing certain plants. Healthy soil is an important topic for us and for the farmers with whom we work.
Who benefits from the food we grow
The aim of our “Amplius Regenerative Food” project is to support local farmers who work sustainably and ecologically. In this way, we get to use fresh, tasty, nutritious and healthy food in our clinic in Marbella and serve it to our customers.
Each dish is developed by a team comprising a gourmet chef, a nutritionist, and a doctor – using seasonal produce from our regenerative agricultural production. Moreover, we cook only light, ovo-lacto-vegetarian cuisine.
When we started the project, we only produced a few thousand kilos of fruit and vegetables. ARF has since grown significantly, and in 2022 we grew roughly 150,000 kilos. Because the project was such a success and everyone involved was so pleased with it, we expanded it to include more organic produce like eggs, cheese, honey etc.
We oversee the value chain of the food from the seed to the finished dish. At the same time, we offer our agricultural partners advice, price transparency, and the chance to exchange ideas with other farmers. We pay our farmers in advance for the harvest to support the social economy and enable them to earn a good living.
No wonder that the number of farmers participating in the project has grown into a – literally – fruitful community!
Our employees also benefit from the ARF project. The high-quality ingredients we use in our kitchens are not only for our guests, but also go into the lunch we prepare for the Buchinger Wilhelmi team. Staff can also buy products from the clinic to take home to their families. We are delighted that the food produced with such love and care is so well received. Additionally to fruit and vegetables, it also includes dairy products, eggs, bread, honey, and even meat produced for our employees along with our partners.
The goal of our Amplius Regenerative Food project
The objective of this ambitious project is to produce high-quality, fresh, tasty food. By working closely with the farmers, we can maintain a high level of control while supporting the local community and hopefully inspiring others to initiate similar projects. We would like to encourage our employees and guests to consider where the food they eat comes from and how it is produced, and to choose an option for themselves at home that is as sustainable and healthy as possible.
Our coordinator, Alejandro Orioli, has set up a foundation called Arboretum that promotes several sustainable agriculture projects, such as urban gardens. At the entrance to our clinic in Marbella, we have partnered with Arboretum and planted a meadow for insects. The flowers that blossom here are not only beautiful to look at, but also beneficial for bees, butterflies and other insects in the surrounding area. We need these insects in order to grow food. The project also serves to create awareness for the meaning of biodiversity and insect protection.
We apply a similar principle at our fasting clinic in Überlingen. However, we already have access to such a great infrastructure here with Demeter-certified suppliers (the strictest organic label in Europe to date) that there is no need to set up our own agricultural project. Instead, we work with local partners who share our values and have since formed a community similar to ARF in Marbella. Our clinic in Überlingen is the first one in Germany to have its cuisine certified by Demeter.