Above and below: the company's peach orchards
Founded by Stefano's grandfather Ottorino Valleri, the company started with fruit. After the flood, it started growing onions, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes.
Crops evolved over the years from poly-tunnels to the most evolved greenhouse structures. In 1986, the company introduced lettuce heads and, in the 1990s, it started with what would later become its core business - aromatic herbs.
"I started working for the company in 1992 after I graduated in Agricultural Studies. I remember we obtained around 5,000 pots in the first year, which is a tiny quantity compared to what we can do today." Currently, in fact, the business produces between 700 and 800 thousand pots.
In 1997, Valleri built the first greenhouses, to which more were added in 2000. The first tray packager was installed in 1996 and the company obtained the organic certification in 1999.
The company mainly used to supply wholesale markets. "I remember my grandfather telling me about taking the produce to the Rialto market in Venice on his boat. In 1994, I started supplying retailers, which have now completely replaced wholesale markets."
The new processing and packaging facility was built in 2002. In 2008, Valleri started producing fresh-cut products and introduced ready-to-eat ones in 2010. "Our family used to manage everything when we only focused on salad. We then started hiring and now employ around 15 people. I deal with production and commerce, while my sister Daniela is in charge of administration. The staff rotates tasks weekly as, this way, they have experience in all processing phases and avoid repetitive work. In addition, we organise training events every six months on safety, hygiene and work organisation."
"In 2010-2011, we started promoting the strong connection between tourism and agriculture through a product line called 'Prodotti del Parco'. My father started it all in 1963, when he had the idea of building a few bungalows to host tourists and visitors. Nowadays, Cavallino Treporti is considered among the most interesting tourist destinations in Northern Europe for campers."
"In order to remain active for 60 years, you need to be passionate about what you do, especially in the agricultural sector. You need to like this job, as it requires commitment seven days a week. We are stimulated by the fact we produce healthy innovative products."