The EU Green New Deal will lead us to the agriculture of the future - smart, agile and innovative. But what would the advantages be for European agriculture, and Italian agriculture in particular, making it able to compete with the low prices of the goods from extra-EU countries? FreshPlaza talked about it with Bruno Caggia, agronomist and President of Cooperativa Produttori Associati Citrosol, a company that cares a lot about environmental sustainability.
"I believe it would be possible to be competitive if we learn to grow according to higher sustainability standards, which will help us produce more using fewer resources, thus reducing costs and increasing product quality."
"I think agricultural chains must be reorganized and streamlined. The creation of large specialized companies should be promoted, favoring acquisitions or mergers so as to increase competitiveness with optimized logistics and a higher service level. There are already a few cases of integration between suppliers and retail chains in Europe, where retail chains have invested directly in agriculture by acquiring shares of supplier companies."
What can be expected from public institutions, now that they are working on how to use the money from the Recovery Fund?
"The EU is trying to start the ecological transition and Italy, led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, could finally come to occupy a leading position within European agriculture. The Government is currently assessing the areas of investment for the Piano nazionale di ripresa e resilienza (Pnrr - National recovery and resilience plan), i.e. the plan that will apply to Italian agriculture for the next thirty years thanks to the resources of the European Recovery Fund."
"The access to the €200 billion assigned to Italy depends on the Plan. The agricultural sector has €50 billion available for the next five years from Pac post-2020 funds, national co-financing and Pnrr resources. According to the plan, at least €2.5 billion should be used for sustainable agriculture. Great challenges await us and our company has what it takes to keep growing."
Produttori Associati Citrosol is a cooperative located in Vittoria, Sicily, founded by a group of hard-working and farsighted producers from the Ragusa, Syracuse and Caltanissetta provinces. Its turnover hovers around €10 million, 30% of which comes from international markets. It holds the GlobalGAP, GRASP and IFS certifications and is part of Apo Conerpo and Consorzio di Tutela Pomodoro di Pachino IGP. It uses eco-friendly packaging with a reduced impact on the environment and has developed three different product lines.
The three product lines
The Fatti col Cuore™ range, the cooperative's main brand, is represented by a hole series of 'specialities' including "Perlinetta di Comiso®" mini-eggplants, easily-digestible "Peperlini®" and "Friggitello della Fiumara dell'Ippari" bell peppers, "Marzaninetto®" and "Salinaro" tomatoes and "Dolcinetto® Snack" and "Dolcinetto® Gourmet" snack tomatoes.
The "Citrosol - Specialisti del gusto" range is also interesting, as is the new "Voglio Bio®-voglio benessere" organic range.
These three lines represent different ways of doing agriculture, but all three are characterized by their high-quality.
For further information:
Produttori Associati Citrosol Soc. Coop. Agr.
Sede operativa: Strada per Resinè, km 4,2
97019 Vittoria (Rg) – ITALY
+ 39 0932 1836200