The number of highly-specialized tomato productions along the southern Sicily coast is increasing. They are often grown by medium-small businesses wanting to stand out from the commodities segment and maybe start commercializing with niche platforms or retailers in Italy and abroad.
Gioacchino Russo's business is located in Marina di Acate (RG), the cradle of Sicilian fruit and vegetable production.
"I set up my business in 2003 entirely on my own. I have now two hectares of state-of-the-art greenhouses with wide ventilated folds and a drip irrigation system. I employ sustainable soilless cultivation techniques and use pollinator bumblebees and useful insects."
"We opted for integrated farming and use little plant protection products as we need to comply with the parameters set out by the big retail chain and because want to respect consumers as well, as health always comes first."
This year, there will be three short cycles to cover 10 months, guaranteeing the availability of small berry tomatoes. The company specializes in the production of red and colored plum tomatoes and will soon start growing mini San Marzano tomatoes for a few partners.
"We sanitize the facilities every day and keep them clean. Facilities cannot be neglected, just like production cannot be improvised."
"High-flavor tomatoes available between February and late May"
Thanks to his passion for perfection and cleanliness, Russo created "I piccoli da gourmet", a selection of products commercialized under the "Dennys", "Magnolia" and "Perla d'Oro" brands.Processed products
"High-flavor fresh productions are grown between February and late May, but we also have the new red and yellow plum tomato sauces in 315 or 580 g jars. They are made with freshly-harvested tomatoes that are perfectly ripe - the ideal for gourmet dishes. Our daily objective is to produce quality and high flavor so that our Italian and foreign clients (especially in England and Ireland) can keep counting on small yet constant supplies."