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Fennels: the added value of correct processing in the field

"Looking after more than 50 hectares of horticultural production in  open fields can be challenging but they can be very satisfying if they are treated with care”. Giuseppe Leone is an agricultural entrepreneur in Siracusa, Sicily, where the plain and fertile fields have become a landmark for international and Italian markets.

Giuseppe Leone

The Leone company farms fennels (15 hectares), lettuce (15 hectares) and iceberg, green and white cauliflower, green beans (10 hectares) and new potatoes (15 hectares).

The company sells its produce mainly in Southern Italy’s markets – but also in Fondi, Bologna and Turin – with some batch of potatoes shipped internationally. The sales channels are wholesale markets, almost exclusively.

The entrepreneur continues, “From this year, we decided to focus on the August fennel variety as it can give excellent results. It is a very rough fennel variety, of excellent size and well-salty, characterised by healthy growth in the field. It can be harvested even when it is not fully ripe. Thus, it allows us to supply the markets when the demand is particularly high - as is happening right now”.

“This year, indeed, I harvested ten days earlier than expected because of the high demand, and the quality of the produce was not affected at all. In the box, this variety is also very aesthetically pleasing. This is a consequence of the extreme care we put in the processing phase, which is entirely carried out in the field”.

The entrepreneur explains, “Although the processing is carried out in the field without any stops in the warehouse, the procedure is executed in a workmanlike manner by placing rationally and selecting meticulously the fennels one-by-one. Our attention to these small details allows us to price our produce at 1.5-2 euros more per box”.

The farmer concludes, “Depending on the processing, the boxes are of 10 and of 12-13 kg. We sell both in boxes and by weight, always trying to satisfy clients’ demands. We package the end-product with utter respect for our customers. Because of this, over time, our company has become a landmark for those who market the produce we farm. That is why we decided to create a branded box. In this way, we can be immediately recognized by potential commercial partners”.

Azienda Agricola Leone Giuseppe 
Via Elorina, 117
96100 Siracusa - Italy
Tel.: +39 3470366106

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