"Respecting the environment is key to succeed on Northern European markets"

"We started with organic techniques in the years when fruit cultivation was based on intensive traditional techniques, which were easier and more profitable. Our choice was the right one, as we managed to find our own share of the market," explains Elisa Lauria, quality manager of Soc. Coop. Bionatura.


Vittorio Lauria (field manager) with his sister Elisa (quality manager) in a cherry tomato greenhouse.

The Bionatura cooperative was established in 2007, but the family had previous experience in the production and commercialisation of organic produce. The company is still run by founder Rosario Lauria with the help of his children Elisa, Giovanna and Vittorio.


Rosario Lauria

Located in the Chiaramonte Gulfi (RG) countryside 600 asl, the company always managed to guarantee a production suitable to meet the needs of its partners thanks to the excellent weather conditions and fertile soil. 

 
Above: Pepper plants in a greenhouse. The sulphur vaporiser above is used to prevent powdery mildew.

Bionatura covers approximately 100 hectares and is registered with PAP, a constantly-updated document which identifies organic agriculture methods as per Reg. Ce 834/07.

The video interview below includes a more articulated description of the company with specific reference to its production, foreign markets, certifications etc.

Watch the video!


Produce is grown in open fields (10%), greenhouses (40%) and vineyards protected with plastic films (50%) and is sold both on the domestic and foreign markets.


Italia table grapes

"2017 was rather positive despite the weather that blocked productions during the first few months of the year. Luckily, diseases didn't cause a lot of problems, so we managed to meet 100% of the demands from our commercial partners, especially those abroad, who are usually very strict when it comes to quality standards."

 
Giovanna Lauria, warehouse manager, with an operator

"Our main products registered prices in line with expectations, so much so that bunch tomatoes have been sold at €0.80-2.60/kg. The harvesting of Italia grapes started in July and will continue until December, and prices hovered between €1.20-2.90/kg. Courgettes have been sold at €0.70-3.40/kg." Click here for the entire production calendar.

Bionatura grows 25 products in total. Those cited above are the main ones, but there is another that is particularly unusual in this area - Pluto squash. The cooperative grows 160 tons every year, available between August and December at €0.90/kg.

 
Pluto squash. In the background, crates ready for shipping.

"Pluto squash is sweet, so it's perfect for the Netherlands. It's no coincidence that the Dutch market absorbs 40% of our production."


Above and below: controlled-temperature units equipped with an ozone gas dispenser that sanitises the produce before transportation. The dispenser (above centre) is activated for two hours per cycle. In Sicily there are very few companies that use this system. 



"We have noticed that the crisis seems to be over. The trend is expected to be positive for the next season, which is good for the Sicilian produce sector, which is increasingly appreciated abroad as well."

Contacts:
Soc. Coop. Agricola Bionatura

97012 - Chiaramonte Gulfi (RG) ITALY
Tel.: +39 0932921651
Fax: +39 0932921700
Email: info@bionaturacoop.com

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