There's a thing that is immediately noticeable when walking through the (vast) greenhouses of Azienda Agricola Corradi in Marcon - they are not like the other greenhouses we are used to.
"My father designed them with my brother Fabio. Each bay is 16 metres wide instead of the usual 8, heating is placed underground and operations are carried out with specific machinery designed by my father, Elio Pelosin," explains Elisabetta Pelosin.
One of the greenhouses of Azienda Agricola Corradi.
"The reason behind my father's success is his ability to combine the visionary with the pragmatic. He likes to do things himself. In addition, he is surrounded by people who support him."
Elio Pelosin was among the founders of OrtoRomi, a company specialising in fresh-cut salad that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Corradi greenhouses in Marcon (Venice).
This company was established in 2001 to guarantee the supply (together with the other 10 businesses who form the cooperative) of raw material to OrtoRomi - 80% of the 560 tons of baby leaves produced every year are destined to it. "This means we have a controlled production chain. We also use integrated control techniques - pesticides are the last resort. Because of this, we can complete orders on the same day."
The 'mobile' irrigation system.
The remaining 20% (packed unwashed and seasonal vegetables) is sold mainly to wholesale market under the Corradi brand.
The width of Corradi greenhouse bays is double that of standard bays. Part of the lettuce has already been harvested in the photo.
Azienda Agricola Corradi currently owns 24 hectares of greenhouses and 40 hectares of open fields, plus one hectare of greenhouses in Loreggina and 5 hectares of open fields in Castelfranco Veneto. Lately, 40 hectares have also been added in Bellizzi, in the Sele Plain, an area perfect for baby leaves due to its fertile soil and good weather.
Machinery is also built specifically, just like the greenhouses.
This expansion to the south was made to guarantee supplies 12 months a year, even in winter. While it is true that salad can still be grown in greenhouses in the north, growing times are much longer and can even triple.
Corradi greenhouses in Marcon.
Corradi produces all kinds of baby leaves - lettuce, lamb's lettuce, rocket and chicory. Seasonal vegetables such as leek, pumpkins and peppers are also grown, as well as endives and various types of radicchio, such as Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco Igp.
Azienda Agricola Corradi
Via Zermanese, 5
30020 Marcon (VE) – Italia