A case in point is Ortomad, a company founded in 1998 in Pontecagnano Faiano (Campania) by a number of farmers and part of "La Linea Verde" group in Manerbio (Lumbardy). The company is one of the main producers and marketers of I and IV range loose and packed fruit and vegetables (10,000 tons per year) and it supplies its clients with high quality products throughout the whole year.
An aerial view of Ortomad's land.
The company has two productive plants, one in Pontecagnano and the other in Bellizzi and is currently cultivating 430 hectares, 130 of which owned directly by the company (100 of which are covered) and 300 hectares by other suppliers. The company employs approximately 220 workers.
The Ortomad plants.
On top of supplying other brands such as "DimmidiSì" with their products, Ortomad also markets a wide range of produce under its own brand.
In the photo, Gianluca Boccagna, the manager and Raffaele Maddalo, the owner. Below: some of the Ortomad branded products.
As owner Raffaele Maddalo explains, "The Ortomad range was created in 2010, before then, we were only selling produce coming from other farms. We have since become an agricultural society and therefore we now control the whole process, from the seed to the shelf. We use control and quality maintenance systems (foreign body elimination, optical selectors, blast chillers and preservation of the cold chain) and we also carry out microbiological analysis on each element (raw material, finished product, water, surfaces)."
"Integrated control and Organic cultivation specifications enable minimum levels of residue (less that 30% with respect to the MRLs - Maximum Residue Limits)."
The markets supplied by Ortomad. 40% of the produce is exported; France is an historic market, whereas Great Britain was only added three years ago. Demand in Russia is booming. Market diversification was essential, especially considering that the Italian market is rather full and has stabilised after many years of double digit growth.