Interview: Albert Grassot

Interview: Albert Grassot, Farmer and Agricultural Entrepreneur Manager of “Arròs de l’Estany de Pals SCP”



How would you describe the rice production process (highlight the most important part of the process)?

We grow our rice in the most sustainable way possible, we offer our customers a unique rice that is organically grown or agro-environmentally friendly, processed and packed on request. My family is fortunate to have been cultivating this land since our ancestors, we do so with the utmost respect for Mother Earth, trying to leave the land, at least, like we found it.



Which tools/utensils are the most important in the process?

More than utensils, we use ancient farming techniques, such as transplanting rice, sun-drying the production, but they have been updated and mechanized.

We have seen what they are doing in countries more advanced than us, such as Japan, where they have not given into destructive “chemical” farming. We apply any progress or innovation that saves us energy or work and doesn’t alter the natural values of our rice, and grown environment.


How important is the land/soil in the production of rice?

In ancient times it was the economic engine of our people.

Nowadays, the quality of rice grown here is what brings prestige and publicity to our area, Pals, Girona.

Its flooded cultivation for 10 months a year gives us a damp area that brings us, above all, ornithological wealth.


Generational importance: On a personal level, why did you decide to devote yourself to the rice sector?

I am passionate about cultivation…and now about the whole process. I was lucky to discover at a young age what I was good at and the skills I had and today, I have turned my passion into my job, all my ancestors cultivated rice I have been able to close the circle and go one step further by developing our crops.


Personal opinion about Mediterranean traditions and customs.

In a globalized world, Mediterranean customs or any customs should be protected, raising awareness about them and explaining that they are a part of us, that they identify us and at the same time they difference us from others. We are the result of a way of doing things about our future should know and practice them.

Which Mediterranean tradition would you associate with rice? (Like a food item and a part of the Mediterranean Diet)

For us, rice more than just a staple food (It is!! It is very important around the world), it is a festive dish, paella on Sundays. Or a medicine: a dish of boiled rice for a stomach ache, it is very effective against diarrhea, a super food for vegetarians, brown rice has nearly the same protein than the same weight in meat but is clean without toxins and of very easy absorption. It can be combined with almost all foods, from vegetables, meats, fish, legumes…so much so that you can make a different rice dish every day of the year. Undoubtedly, it makes for a healthy and nutritious meal.

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