Italy: Quality is essential to be successful

"Our objective is to increase our presence in the domestic and foreign retail sector. We had already tried it in the past, but the market was saturated with traditional productions. We now want to focus on the fact that we hold the organic certification. In Berlin, we met with the protagonists of the European retail chain," explains Girolamo Mirra (in the photo below), manager of the Carlo Mirra cooperative in Eboli (SA).

The company has been growing vegetables on 30 hectares in the Sele Plain for four generations. Ten are used for protected crops while the rest is open fields. The main products are baby leaves, aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes, but the focus is on courgette flowers.

The company's flagship product is courgette flowers, on display at Fruit Logistica 2018.

"Courgette flowers are very popular in Italy, especially now that we hold the organic certification. They are available between late March and early November. Baby leaves are popular abroad (rocket, baby spinach, parsley and a few aromatic herbs) and are available all year round. Packaging remains essential: while it is only marginal abroad as we work with our customers' brands, it needs to be innovative on the domestic market."

Quality remains pivotal. "We need to deal with countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and England as well as with Denmark and Sweden. Northern European countries care a lot about food security and require very high quality standards. Foreign demand is active all year round except for summer, when these countries tend to prefer local productions."

Rocket six days after harvesting. The long shelf-life is due to the quality of the produce and to the careful processing.

In Berlin, the company showcased a wide range of its products. Six days after harvesting, rocket still looked good (see photo above). According to Girolamo, this is due to the careful processing and favourable soil and weather conditions.

"In addition, we have good water resources and an ideal microclimate, as the mountains that surround the area block the cold fronts from the north."

Over the past few years, the range has widened to include parsley, which is available throughout the year both loose and packaged.

Contact Information:
Girolamo Mirra
Carlo Mirra - Società cooperativa agricola
via Serracapilli, 90 - Eboli (SA)
Cell.: +39 393 5443724

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