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Cross-pollination between Italian connections at the PMA

Italian tomato grower Enzo Lapietra visited the PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando last week to gain insight in the marketing position of his North American colleagues.

The CHP powered greenhouses of Lapietra in Italy

Lapietra, who's family operates a 4 hectare modern hydroponic greenhouse business in Monopolio, Puglia, got acquainted with the U.S. greenhouse industry via his close relationship with Michael de Giglio, the Village Farms CEO that has Italian roots in Puglia. While both growers operate thousand miles away from each other in different markets and conditions, Enzo Lapietra informed us that he is eager to learn from his American colleagues.

Enzo Lapietra and Michael de Giglio

"Village Farms is one of the largest growers in the United States and while there are big differences between U.S. and European market conditions, we follow one another closely to learn from each-other and be prepared for what the future will bring us. Especially the Italian market in particular is a very specific, but we can definitely improve in terms of how we can serve our customers even better and optimize the way we fulfill their demand."

Enzo saw his own tomatoes at the booth of Italian greenhouse technology supplier P-TRE, but also looked at what other North American growers are doing in terms of packaging and marketing.

Next to this, Lapietra was present to compare the offerings and production of other growers at the trade show. "We took a deeper dive into the marketing and communication strategies of our American, Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

Last but not least, Lapietra was also pleased to visit the party that Village Farms organized during the Fresh Summit. Not only to catch up with industry friends and partners, but also to meet and great one of his other idols; Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who gave a performance at the Village Farms party.

Enzo Lapietra together with Eagles guitar player Don Felder and Marcel and Norma Vyverberg of V-Maxx / Prins U.S.A.

Click here to learn more about the greenhouse farm of Enzo and his brother Lino Lapietra