Alliance between Vytrus and IRTA to preserve olive tree in Catalonia

June 23, 2020

Vytrus Biotech and IRTA, the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology of the government of Catalonia, announce their agreement that aims to research and preserve the different traditional varieties of olive tree in Catalonia through joint initiatives and actions.

The biotechnology company allocates to this project a percentage of the turnover of one of its cosmetics ingredients, OLEA VITAE, a revitalizing cellular oil enhancer obtained from the stem cells of wild olive tree.

Vytrus Biotech promotes its own corporate social responsibility program, fostered by its commitment to nature, sustainability, and the environment, returning to nature what nature brings us. This commitment is based on allocating a part of the turnover of its ingredients to various research and conservation projects related to the plant world and the environment, to link them with their ingredients, and thus sponsor the projects and collaborate in their development.

Òscar Expósito, our Scientific Director, CEO, and co-founder of Vytrus Biotech, says: ‘The collaboration with IRTA represents a strategic alliance for us, aligned with our commitment to conserve and promote the plant biodiversity and resources of our planet. And what better way of supporting global sustainability than starting with our local natural resources!’.

‘As plant lovers, Vytrus Biotech wants to do its bit to raise awareness among the public and promote a new way of conceiving economic progress. Our experience supports this premise: it is possible to innovate in science, be sustainable and, at the same time, grow economically. We must learn to devise business models in which it is possible to grow with other parameters than purely economic one’, adds Òscar Expósito.

IRTA has a research team focused on olive growing in Catalonia that participates in the Nutrisalt project by giving support in the innovation of companies where this collaboration is framed. One of IRTA’s research activities has been the creation of the Catalan Olive Variety Bank, a project that consists of prospecting, identifying, characterizing, and preserving the indigenous genetic resources of olive trees in Catalonia. So far, the Bank has 80 traditional Catalan olive varieties. The study of indigenous varieties may be of great interest in situations of climate change, either to identify genes for resistance to emerging pests, or to identify genes for adaptation to drought conditions.

This agreement is just the beginning of a long road in which Vytrus Biotech reaffirms its constant commitment to nature. This initiative is a clear step towards a sustainable model that is framed within a global objective: raising society’s awareness of the importance of our environment and being able to return to nature a small part of what nature gives us.