22 Oct 2015
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Organic Food and Agriculture, Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Only surplus lemons are used to create a 100% natural and local lemonade: this is Pep Lemon’s idea, a friendly brand  (and ethically conceived ) on the island of Mallorca.

The northwest coast of Mallorca is made up of fertile valleys and terraced mountainsides with olive trees, oranges and lemons cultivated since ancient times. But this local production is now facing the harsh requirements of supermarkets and seasonal phenomenon and each year, hundreds of tons of citrus fruits are destroyed yet resources are very limited in this Mediterranean island where 99 % of consumer goods are imported from outside.

It is in this context that Pep Lemon’s idea was born- the production of a lemonade made with the Mallorcan lemons doomed for destruction because they do not fit the requirements imposed by retailers or because they come from abandoned areas. Their use not only limits the amount of organic waste but also preserves the local environment. Pep is short for Josep, a very common name in Mallorca and which embodies this young brand created in 2013 by three partners: Carme Verdaguer, Tomeu Riutord and Christoph Hafner.

A local lemonade from Mallorca | The Switchers

The Mallorcan trio had no connections with agriculture – Tomeu is an architect and Carme and Christoph come from the communications sector. Facing the sad observation of the waste of the lemons and in the context of the economic crisis particularly severe in Mallorca, they imagined a 100% local drink yet the founders of Pep Lemon had neither the industrial structure nor the financial means to implement their project. It was therefore essential to find partners.

They developed a genuine value chain by sharing with local organizations. The agricultural cooperative Agroilla provides them with the lemons, while the foundation Amadip.esment – dedicated to the integration into employment of people with mental disabilities – is responsible for handling and processing the lemonade. Packaging is done by the company Carbonicas La Paduana, the only Mallorcan factory which still manufactures glass, allowing the reuse of bottles. The last step, distribution, is handled by Comercial Bordoy for bars, restaurants and shops on the island.

With a communication strategy based on proximity with the consumer, the success of Pep Lemon was immediate. In 2014, more than 100,000 bottles were sold on the island. The creators of the brand do not intend to export their product for the moment but they hope to export their production model, as a model based on the transformation of untapped resources and the establishment of a local production system, collaborative and responsible.

A local lemonade from Mallorca | The Switchers
Pep Lemon Lemonade production
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