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Azienda Agricola Geraci - it's important not to depend on others

"After having produced them for years, I started commercialising fruit and vegetables as I didn't like how the system worked. But I don't want to generalise as there are a lot of operators who are indeed professional," says Giorgio Geraci.

Giorgio Geraci in his warehouse in Mazzarino (CL)

The company covers around 20 hectares, 8 of which are destined to prickly pears, 4 to peaches, 5 to apricots and 4 to almonds. There is also a 3,000 sqm greenhouse for soil-less date tomatoes. Integrated control techniques are implemented for all crops.

"I took over from my father in 2002, when there were just 7 hectares. After a few bad experiences with produce collection, I decided to rent a warehouse and became a trader."

Prickly pears in crates

"The first years were terrible, I lost money and produce, but I didn't give up. After about three years, I found some outlets in France, the Netherlands and Belgium in addition to domestic retailers. I therefore chose to set up a warehouse with the machinery needed for packaging."

Prickly pears in crates destined to French retailers

70% of the production is commercialised abroad with margins that were unthinkable up to ten years ago.

"It was very hard, especially in the beginning, but I don't regret it: I don't depend on anyone and continue looking for new outlets, technologies and products."

500 gr packets are also available.

"Next, I would like to plant a cherry orchard as I think it could improve my income. I need to diversify if I want results as, should quality not be good for some products, it can be balanced out by the others. Single-product companies are destined to disappear."

Geraci in his prickly pear orchard

"This year, drought caused quite a few problems for all crops. Grades were below average, though the season ended well thanks to emergency irrigation. The prickly pear campaign is now ending and it went well although there was little produce available."

The company obtained the GlobalGAP certification in 2009: every year, it produces and commercialises 400 tons of prickly pears, 50 tons of pears, 10 of almonds and 20 of date tomatoes.

Azienda Agricola Giorgio Geraci
C/da San Cono Sottano Sn
93013 Mazzarino(CL) - ITALIA
Tel.: +39 3291222214

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