On the road with BioTropic in Apulia and Basilicata
Supplier visit with customers
In mid-March, we travelled to the southern tip of Italy with customers. The regions of Apulia and Basilicata offer optimum growing conditions for a multitude of different fruit and vegetables. This meant that our customers got the chance to see directly who the producers are that we have confidently worked together with for years. Our Italian colleagues Ivana Giannico, Romana Slusarek and agricultural engineer Mauro Finotti accompanied us on the trip. And who are the producers? We introduce a few here:
The P.O.A. is one of the biggest European producers for green organic asparagus. The cooperative produces around 3,000 tonnes of the spear shaped vegetable per year. For variety, the P.O.A. also grows broccoli, pomegranate and Swiss chard. P.O.A. employee Mario Frisoli would have loved to show us green asparagus on site, ready to be harvested, but due to the unexpectedly cold temperatures over the last few weeks, the harvest date had been delayed. Now, P.O.A. is in the middle of the asparagus season and can offer organic asparagus.
The cooperative is also excellently equipped when it comes to technology: Even on receipt of goods, a hydrocooling systems refrigerates the asparagus. This is important - even in May, the outside temperature can rise to 30°C in the region. In-house packing stations and the latest calibration machines deliver the organic asparagus, completely according to the wishes of the customers.
Cooperative Aba Mediterranea (brand: Aba Bio)
Currently, 23 producers belong to ABA Mediterranea. They work all year round and offer a diverse range of products: Dessert grapes, stone fruit and water melons for example. In winter, citrus fruit and vegetables such as cauliflower, endives, fennel, Swiss chard and various kitchen herbs are on offer. We paid some of the Aba Mediterranea producers a visit:
At the Azienda LG Fruit, grapes are grown. Luigi Giovinazzo, the landowner, has specialised in early varieties. In the poly tunnels, various herbs such as parsley, dill or coriander grow between the vines.
Giuseppe Panetta from Azienda Panagrum on the other hand, primarily grows clementines and oranges. We were very lucky, and were able to taste his delicious clementines of the Nadorcott variety directly from the tree. At Panagrum, they also work all year round - they also cultivate endives and various herbs.
We also visited Vito Gallicchio, the owner of the Azienda of the same name. He is known as a specialist in fruit tree pruning in the region. His small company is oriented towards apricots, which grow protected in the poly tunnel.
The Azienda Filomeno Antonia is one of the biggest organic growers in the region, with a production of up to 1,500 tonnes of grapes per year. Late varieties such as Italia, Red Globe, Crimson or Regal are the specialism of Filomeno Antonia. The owner, Giuseppe Filomeno, lets leguminous plants grow between the rows of vines in the autumn, which are used as green manure.
The last Azienda on our multi day trip was that of Santoro Arcangelo. On the three hectare crop land, we were able to see the spring fennel, almost ready for harvest. At the time of publication of this news, the fennel has now been harvested and is included in our range.
Text: Visnja Malesic, Ivana Giannico
Photos: BioTropic GmbH
Issued: April 2018