OUR LOCATION: GARROTXA
It’s no coincidence that the decision was made to locate Olot Meats, S.A. in the county of Garrotxa. It’s an enterprising area with a long meat tradition. Moreover, it boasts excellent transport connections: easy access to the AP-7 Mediterranean Motorway that runs along Spain’s Mediterranean coast into France, close to the high-speed train (AVE) link in Figueres and Girona airport, and just an hour and a half from Barcelona.
Garrotxa is set to the south of the Pyrenees, in the province of Girona. It has a surface area of 736 km² and fewer than 60,000 inhabitants. It’s an area of impressive natural and scenic beauty, along with an extraordinary cultural heritage. The mountainous northern part of the county, Alta Garrotxa, is characterised by slanting rocks and deep valleys. In fact, the county is named after its landscape, since the Catalan word garrotxa means “rugged area where it is not easy to walk”. Meanwhile, the southern part of the county, Baixa Garrotxa, is home to rolling meadows dotted with beautiful farmhouses that exude tradition. Most of the county’s towns and cities are located in the south, including the capital city, Olot, which has 30,000 inhabitants.
The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is the finest example of volcanic landscape on the Iberian Peninsula, boasting around 40 volcanic cones and more than 20 lava flows.
Turning to the local economy, according to data extracted from the 2021 report of the Observatory for the Sustainable Development of Garrotxa (corresponding to the year 2020), industry – led by the agrifood sector – accounts for 47.7% of the county’s economic activity, followed by services (46%), construction (5%) and agriculture (1.3%). The occupancy rate is 67.2%, which is above average for the Girona region and Catalonia as a whole, while the registered unemployment rate is 9.3%, which is below average for Girona and Catalonia.
The estimated total volume of exports in Garrotxa is €528.76M. Asia is the leading destination for exports (44.6%), followed by Africa (31.5%) and America (18.1%). Meat preparations constitute the main export sector, accounting for 23% of the total.
The historical legacy of the county is present in its many Romanesque chapels and churches, as well as in its beautiful, well-preserved mediaeval villages. Garrotxa is home to some truly wonderful attractions, such as La Fageda d’en Jordà – a fairy tale beech forest –, the landscape around the Santa Margarida Volcano, the historical centre of the mediaeval town of Besalú, the town of Santa Pau, and the marvellous houses of Castellfollit de la Roca, set high up on a crag.
Garrotxa is also famous for its superb cuisine. Although the best-known product of the county is, without a doubt, its exquisite cured sausage, it also offers several other culinary delights, such as potatoes stuffed with meat from Olot, or the famous Santa Pau beans. Typical Catalan dishes such as escudella i carn d’olla (meat stew) or botifarra (Catalan sausage) with white beans are thought to have originated in this area.