Delicious tomatoes from the Italian cooperative Alba Bio
Tomatoes here, tomatoes there, tomatoes wherever you look. They hang down in bunches and remind you of an imaginary place of extreme luxury. The red fruits, which grow in the greenhouses of the producer organisation Alba Bio, quite literally invite you to bite into them. Our employee Ivana Giannico and Mauro Finotti from the Italian BioTropic office were impressed by the flavour of the fruits on their visit.
The greenhouses of Alba Bio are situated in the south of Sicily in the village of Marina di Ragusa – a region famous for the cultivation of crops in greenhouses. The main production of tomatoes takes place in May and June.
Alba Bio is specialised in the production of organic tomatoes, in particular cherry tomatoes, datterini tomatoes, vine tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes and cencara tomatoes. So that they are able to offer a wide range, they are currently growing yet more: courgettes, peppers, aubergines, cabbages and a variety of stone fruits.
The organisation was formed in the year 2002 when three friends – Vittorio, Gianni and Guglielmo – came together. They all had experience with small to medium-sized greenhouse businesses and are still active members of Alba Bio today.
The producer organisation currently consists of 15 members with a total of approximately 85 ha of land area, around 45 ha of which is covered by greenhouses. Alba Bio is now of great economic importance to the local area: it has created around 320 jobs. The products of the producer organisation are in high demand all over Europe. Alba Bio delivers to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Poland and Scandinavia.
BioTropic has been working with the producer organisation for around 10 years – the brand Sapori Bio was created exclusively for BioTropic. Two years ago, Alba Bio introduced the small bottles of “Marzanino” tomatoes in organic quality; these are sold exclusively by BioTropic in Germany and are being marketed very successfully.
Alba Bio is strongly future-oriented and places great emphasis on investments: it is planning new cultivation areas with greenhouses and also to expand the packaging station from 10,000m2 to a spacious 18,000m2. A welcome challenge is also provided by the cultivation of new tomato varieties. The new variety “Sunstream” – a datterini tomato, which has recently burst onto the market – is currently being cultivated.
Certification: Ecogruppo, GlobalG.A.P. and GRASP, Bio Suisse
Text: Ivana Giannico, Visnja Malesic
Pictures: BioTropic GmbH
As of: May 2016