"Last year, the organic production on Coop Sole's turnover was 15%, but for the future we aim to double it to 30%. Currently, the organic production is about 2500 tons and consists of the organic strawberry under the brand SiBon, the assortment of winter vegetables, the melon and modest quantities of small fruits." This is what Pietro Ciardiello, director of Coop Sole, reported to Freshplaza.
"The area invested in organic farming is currently 128 hectares, but by 2022 another 32 hectares will be added, which are currently under conversion, for a total of 160 hectares. The most successful product remains strawberries, but berries are also becoming increasingly popular, so much that this year new raspberry, blueberry and blackberry plantations will be installed," according to Maria Laura Picardi, agricultural technician responsible for the organic department.
"The proof that the cooperative is investing more and more in organic farming," - continued Picardi - "is given by the certifications Naturland and Bio Suisse obtained in 2019. In the agricultural field, on the other hand, the companies have consolidated the green manure technique, the grassing of the headlands and border hedges. What are the resulting benefits? Without doubt, the increase in biodiversity and the improvement of soil fertility".
"In the coming years, the surfaces for growing organically reared berries will be increased as well. We found out that our members prefer to grow blueberries with this method, because they are easier to manage. In the case of raspberry and blackberry production, we carried out cultivation trials during the past year, acquiring the right agronomic techniques to produce them."
"Our goal" - said Ciardiello - "is to complete the whole range of organic products. We would like to grow internationally with strawberries and small fruits and become leaders in the organic sector at a national level. Recently, we are also being asked by European retailers to supply more organic products."
"Finally, a special thanks goes to the Campania region for the opportunity to attend the Biofach fair, which is an interesting expo to promote organic products and small fruits on the European market as well as to strengthen relations with Germany, Austria and Switzerland, three important locations for our company."