"Sustainability is not a slogan, it is a way of doing things. We set out on this journey already 4 years ago and have taken additional steps year after year," explains Francesco Nicodemo (in the photo below), president of Frutthera Growers, a PO from Basilicata created thanks to the thirty-year experience of the Nicofruit working group.
"With the Fragola Matera® brand - which includes the strawberry production from the Matera province characterized by its unique flavor, high-quality, high Brix level and shelf-life - we can say we have reached a significant moment of our path. The most critical and impactful moment when it comes to emissions from field to shelf is packaging. That is why, over the years, we have focused on solutions with a low environmental impact but which guarantee product safety and respect our pact with nature."
"The solutions include the 500 g Nicofriendly compostable punnet. What is more, this year, we will also introduce the 400g "Slip Tray" produced by ILIP. It is the first hybrid 100% R-Pet plastic tray with a cardboard part that can be detached to be sorted easily. In addition to making the punnet lighter, it enhances the image of the packaged product."
"To us, sustainability takes on multiple meanings: it starts with agro-ecological practices that employ bees and bumblebees favoring natural pollination and continues with useful insects that can counter the harmful action of parasites and with ethical and social sustainability. We respect the environment not only by using recyclable covers, but also using automated irrigation systems with probes that detect humidity which, in combination with special mulching films, avoid wasting water."
Application of useful insects in strawberry fields in Metaponto
"Over the years, we have built strong relations with our collaborators. Strawberry harvesting is one of the most delicate phases and it relies on training and tradition. Today, the children of our collaborators work alongside our own children - entire generations follow one another establishing relationships that go beyond work."
"Much of the labor we employ comes from Basilicata and nearby Apulia. There are also workers from Africa and Eastern European countries, who have been trained and have settled down in Italy. To us, ethical and social sustainability also means inclusion."