Azafranes Jiloca is a Company focused on the production and commercializing of saffron in the region of Teruel. Azafranes Jiloca was founded by José María Plumed in 1995, and since then the Plumed family have been developing and evolving its activity. Generation after generation of the Plumed family have worked with Saffron cultivation in the best location possible in Teruel. This is none other than Monreal del Campo, a town which is located at an altitude of 900 meters with exceptional climatic conditions for growing saffron.
Since its inception, Azafranes Jiloca has been committed to quality and constant work to get the best saffron possible in their fields by means of a completely handmade process. Maintaining traditional values, this most prized spice has been recovered with the same quality that developed long ago.
The saffron we are obtaining from our fields is a source of pride since it is the most complete and powerful one due to its organoleptic qualities: “Crocina, Picocrocina, and Safranal”. These three qualities are enhanced by traditional treatment given throughout the production process.
After years of work Azafranes Jiloca has evolved and, thanks to the collaboration of true master craftsmen of the province, has managed to bring to the market other products such as chocolates, cheeses and spirits under the name Mont Regal. All of these are made with Jiloca saffron collected in our fields in the Shire of Jiloca.
Azafranes Jiloca has always been committed to respecting nature and for working without negative impacts on the ecosystem that surrounds us. For these reasons, and so that the client has complete confidence that our saffron is totally natural, we hold the seal of Ecologic Production and we have a wide range of formats to present the Ecologic Saffron.
Besides the Ecologic Production seal, we also hold the Artesanía Alimentaria seal which probes the homemade character to our saffron.
In 1995, José María Plumed built up the company Azafranes Jiloca motivated by the belief that cultivation of saffron in the region of Jiloca couldn’t be forgotten in the Jiloca Valley. The cultivation was in a very critical situation due to industrialization and the fact that cultivation was no longer profitable for producers because of the influx of imported saffron made with very cheap labor. The imported saffron did not have the same quality as that produced in the region of Jiloca, but entrepreneurs preferred quantity to quality.
José María Plumed’s bet to recover the crop in the region took was a high risk investment, but this vision allowed him to save the crop and its recovery also saved a great product that gives value to the region in terms of identity and tourism.
In Monreal del Campo you can visit the Museum of Saffron, an ethnological museum founded in 1983 by D. Julio Alvar on the crop and production of saffron. There one can find every kind of the tools used to cultivate the spice the traditional way.
The Teruel saffron, or rather “Jiloca Saffron” since their culture was centered in this region, has been an additional resource for most families to get ahead. It was a supplement to their income than allowed them to buy agricultural machinery, build homes, and marry off their children. Ultimately it was a factor which meant prosperity for families of Jiloca.
After the crisis period the cultivation of saffron in Monreal del Campo went from having more than 800 production fields to only 3, which did not reach one hectare of land among the three. This situation was very delicate since any negative impact on the land cultivated could have extinguished the indigenous saffron species of Jiloca.
Azafranes Jiloca established a growing recovery strategy which had to be slow because there was in fact no bulb to grow. Little by little, the fields of Jose Maria started growing, and thanks to this work the brand was awarded the “BALUARTE OF SLOW FOOD” in 2004. This appointment marked a before and after moment in the cultivation Jiloca saffron. In 2005, after the recognition of good work and quality of saffron, the “Azaji” or Association of Jiloca Saffron Producers was created. Several people were got together in order to increase cultivation and producers, promote the product, and get the D.O. Jiloca Saffron. One of the partners of Azaji is the City Hall of Monreal del Campo. With its own field it has advanced R & D projects and has also served to teach new generations the deepest values of our town, lending the local field in order to provide information services and culture.
Since 2005 we have continued working with full optimism. At present, we work with the same traditional values but have adapted to the new technologies to allow more people to enjoy Teruel products every day, including our Jiloca Saffron.
Designation of Origin (DO) Jiloca
Designation of Origin (DO) is a type of geographical indication applied to an agricultural product or foodstuff whose quality or characteristics are essential and exclusive to the geographical environment in which it is produced, processed, and prepared.
In other words, it is a score used to legally protect certain foods that are produced in a certain area against producers from other areas who would take advantage of the reputation created by the natives over a long period of manufacture or cultivation.
Producers, who enter the designation of origin, strive to maintain quality within established parameters and also maintain certain traditional uses in production. Also, there is often a public regulatory body which allows displaying the distinctive producers who fulfill the rules.
The key advantage of the designation of origin is that it guarantees the consumer a level of quality and specific characteristics.