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Zurich wholesaler delivers traditional sprout variety in organic quality

“Apart from two interruptions, watercress is in our assortment year-round”

The watercress is by far the most lavish variety in the sprout and seedling area. Although this unique product is now largely sourced from England and Spain, Swiss wholesalers still sell regional products, grown in the traditional way. That means; in special pools with clean spring water and -of course- cut and prepared by hand. The Zurich wholesaler Marinello & Co AG works together with the traditional producer Motzet and is therefore able to offer Wynauer watercress of organic quality almost all year round.

In contrast to neighbouring countries, Switzerland fortunately has the last traditional producer in Europe, according to managing director Tiziano Marinello of the company of the same named. During the cultivation process, only pure spring water is used and there are about eight pools of 25 x 5 metres available. There are two breaks during the season: once in winter when the ponds are frozen and once in the summer when they are being cleaned. “Otherwise, we have organic watercress in our assortment all year round,” says Marinello.

Owner Tiziano Marinello exclusively markets the Wynauer watercress

Elaborate & unique
Nevertheless, it is a very elaborate and precarious product. During cultivation, you also have to deal with various problems, such as insect repellent and water supplies. "The lowering of the groundwater levels and fluctuation of the water temperature are just two examples. Especially in summer, there is a risk that the watercress will burns because of the heat,”says Marinello. In addition to this, the watercress is also cut by hand, with the farmer standing in the water. Because of this elaborate cultivation and the organic quality of the watercress, it is an upscale product in any case, mainly marketed to the catering industry. The current wholesale prices are 15 francs (12-13 euros) per 500 gram bag.

Despite the presence of new varieties of sprouts and cress there are hardly any similar products, according to Marinello. "Because it's so full of flavour, it's often used for pesto or as an accompaniment to meat. Kräutersalz (or Aromat) from the A. Vogel company is also partly made from watercress.” Nonetheless, the watercress variety can also be found in the food retail trade (LEH). “In smaller units you could theoretically also offer it in organic stores. Furthermore, the product is also interesting because of its shelf life: you can easily put it in the refrigerator for three to five days.”

A delivery vehicle of wholesaler Marinello & Co AG

Catering supplies
For almost 100 years, Marinello AG has been supplying catering companies in the Greater Zurich area with fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, frozen products and various delicatessen specialties. Nowadays the company is run by the fourth generation. The lemon-yellow vans are an integral part of the morning cityscape.

For more information:
Marinello & Co AG
Tiziano Marinello
Aargauerstrasse 1a
8048 Zürich
T: 043 44 44 505
F: 043 44 44 555

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