Azienda Agricola Marco Granata:

"62% of our production is made up of greenhouse vegetables"

Companies are increasingly trying to widen their product ranges to meet market demands so as not to risk losing an entire season due to weather events or commercial trends.

This is what has driven Azienda Agricola Marco Granata, an APOC partner since January 1st 2015 and specialising in summer fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots available between late May and mid October) when, a few years ago, it started growing greenhouse and open-field vegetables as well.

"62% of our production is made up of greenhouse vegetables. Our main product between mid-February and mid-June is protected and open-field crop peas (photo above), which are destined to the fresh produce market. We also produce protected crop peppers between June and December, greenhouse and open-field Bobby beans all year round except august and greenhouse tomatoes between mid-August and late October," explains sole administrator Marco Granata (at the centre in the photo below).

As regards fruit, the range was widened to include top fruit and kiwis. "New kiwi orchards will become productive in a couple of years' time."

But diversification was also carried out due to the problems that have affected the Mediterranean area - especially Italy and Spain - over the past few years. "The Caserta province, which is where our company is located, has the highest number of peach orchards. Growing stone fruit has always been in our nature but, due to increasingly strict specifications and unusual weather, we have opted to introduce vegetables as well."

Azienda Agricola Marco Granata owns 150 hectares and a 1,000 sq m warehouse for processing. "Once harvested, the produce is stored in cellars, processed and shipped to our clients. We manage the entire process."

After a mild winter with temperatures higher than average yet more humid than the previous one, producers are worried about the new cold front. "Some apricot varieties are actually dropping their petals, so frost now would lead to heavy damage."

Destination markets
"Our produce is available in Germany, France and Poland through Italian intermediary agencies, but we also have a direct relationship with a few German clients. In Italy, we supply most markets in Veneto and Lombardy and are also available in Piedmont, Tuscany, Calabria and Sicily."

A primary sector?
"We are hoping that 2018 will be a positive year. But I would like to stress that Italian productions have to deal with unfair competition from nearby countries, which have much more favourable costs and weather and soil conditions as well as less strict specifications. We feel abandoned by the political class."

"The agricultural sector is defined as 'primary', but is it really? Our produce is often left in the fields not so much because of surpluses, but because of the availability of produce from abroad. Italian markets are full, but not with our productions. We cannot go on like this, companies cannot be denied the right to survive."

"In order to find a place on the market, there must be little produce available. But this is not running a business, this is filling the gaps. It's not fair that we have to hope for others to do badly in order to succeed."

Marco Granata - sole administrator
Azienda Agricola Granata Marco
Via Direttissima
Falciano del Massico (CE)
Tel./Fax: +39 (0)823 728290
Cell.: +39 333 8376879

Rosario Ferrara - director coordinator
Via R. Wagner K1 ( Arbostella)
84131 - Salerno
Tel.: +39 (0)89 331758
Cell.: +39 331 2663528

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