People who work with BioTropic - Portrait I
Today and over the course of the coming months, we will regularly be introducing people whose professional -- and often also private -- environment is closely related to organic farming. What they all have in common is that they work in BioTropic's supply chain. Many of those involved may not even be aware of how close their relationship to BioTropic actually is. All of these people play a decisive role in ensuring that we make significant progress with regards to the quality of our food as well as contribute to a positive future for nature, the environment and humankind.
To start off the year, we are introducing Giulia Passalacqua, manager of the Italian vegetable farm Bio Orto. She is a wife, farmer and recently became a mother. When women also become mothers, it is often not easy for them to continue to commit themselves to farming to the same extent as before. The support of one's partner, family and friends then becomes of particular importance.
Giulia Passalacqua was born into farming. Three generations of her family have devoted themselves to the land and its yields.
Her grandmother, whose name the granddaughter has inherited, originally worked as a sheep farmer. Every winter she would migrate with the flocks of sheep from the Abruzzo Mountains to the plains of Apulia, a region in the so-called heel of the Italian boot, and would settle in Gargano. Nowadays, this stretch is a national park -- and right in the middle is Giulia Passalacqua's huge garden, the Bio Orto farm.
Giulia Passalacqua's father Nino built up the Bio Orto business with a great deal of work. In 1999, production was shifted to organic farming. Interested in the work on the farm, his daughter Giulia wanted to help out. A degree in agricultural science was an obvious choice. Since she graduated from the University of Bologna in 2004, Giulia has been actively involved in the Bio Orto business and is convinced that organic farming is indispensable for the future.
One year ago, the huge garden of Gargano welcomed a new addition: Giulia became a mother and her daughter Lara is, alongside work, an endearing focal point within the family. The new role is a real challenge but also an enrichment to her life:"There really doesn't ever seem to be enough time to be a mother, entrepreneur and farmer all at the same time. Yet the passion for my work as well as the love for Apulia and my family continue to motivate me to manage the farm with enthusiasm," she said. Giulia also has a strong team on her side: her husband Mirko, her father Nino and her brother Nino Junior. They are a family business that works the land with real passion.
At Bio Orto, fruits and vegetables typical of the region are produced: cauliflower as well as its Romanesco variety, broccoli, fennel, red endive and celery are just a few of the crops that are supplied to BioTropic. For this wide selection, Bio Orto possesses 300 hectares of agricultural land, which is used exclusively for organic cultivation.