• Ulma Handling Systems

Juanan Aretxaga - The other talents of the ULMA Group

Apr 08, 2016
Employees and partners of the Group make their professional career compatible with very demanding hobbies in which they demonstrate that all obstacles can be overcome with talent and effort.

| A LIFE BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP

ULMA Handling Systems worker Juanan presides the Álava Cider-makers’ Association and manages his career alongside his passion for the farm and for nature.

On any day, when the sun has not yet begun its battle to come forth among the clouds, Juanan Aretxaga goes out to check on his sheep. After having milked them and checked over the state of the farm on which he lives, he goes to work at ULMA Handling Systems, where he has been for seven years.

“I was born in a small village in Álava and live on a farm, which I’ve always loved. Our main activity is cider making, although we also have sheep and horses and make cheese”, , says Juan Antonio.

Life on the farm, located in the Álava town of Aramaio, is a source of satisfaction, especially being in contact with nature.

“Sometimes work can cause stress. But I get home and I am with my sheep. It is an activity that relaxes me. There is always work to do on the farm so you have to like it. We start with the sheep, then come the cheeses, later the fruit, the cider and in the winter, the butchering”, , he added.

Vivo en un caserío. Hay días que me levanto por la mañana, ordeño a las ovejas y luego me voy a trabajar.

To Juanan the dialogue with nature brings a certain peace and he does not mind the early mornings and hard work.

“There is much joviality among my work colleagues. I say to them: ‘But come on, don’t you get up early when you go skiing?’ Well I get up early, milk the sheep and then go to work”, , he says.

In addition to caring for the animals, Juanan enjoys working with his fruit trees, which are organic, as he does not use chemicals to treat them.

“After pruning, the aphids are treated with potash soap” , he says.

His work at ULMA Handling Systems and on the farm is complemented with his work as president of the Álava Cider-makers’ Association (Arabako Sagar eta Sagardogileen Elkartea) and secretary of the Basque Natural Cider Federation (E.SA.FE).

One of the projects currently being developed is to recover native apple varieties; work that contributes to driving agricultural diversity and organic crop growing, as the species are adapted to the ecosystem and are resistant to pests.