It sells around 80 million plants, 40 million of which are grafted, and employs around 150 people, plus 750 seasonal workers, for over 9 months a year.
It all started in the province of Ragusa in 1967 when SIS Spa, a company operating in the soil fumigation sector, was established.
Centro Seia was acquired in 1992 and immediately started cooperating with the Israeli nursery garden, Hishtil, leading to new technological investments.
Over the years, the company grew thanks to new acquisitions, such as that of Vivaio Leopardi in Marche, and Printemps du Lot in south-western France. It also made various investments, among which are the creation of nursery gardens in Bosnia in 2008 and in North Carolina in 2016.
In addition to growing plants, the company operates in other parts of the sector, e.g. soil sanitation and the production of tasty tomatoes for the European markets.
To better understand the production processes behind the success of Centro Seia, we visited the Ragusa facility, where we were welcomed by President Giovanni Planeta.
FreshPlaza (FP): Your company is one of the most advanced, what's the secret to continuously maintaining such high standards?
Giovanni Planeta (GP): "We have always been driven towards innovation, but that is not enough. We also cooperate with foreign partners and invest in R&D. These innovations have often become new technical solutions for our clients. A healthy plant is the number one objective for our company and we need our clients to fully trust us."
FP: How do you understand what are the best solutions for your clients?
GP: "We are involved in production as much as our clients are. We understand the difficulties they must face and, from there, we try to find solutions for their problems."
FP: What solutions have you found using this approach?
GP: "We developed a special protocol (Elite) for the production of grafted plants. It guarantees high phytosanitary safety standards, thanks to patented equipment for grafting with sterile cuts and phytopathological analyses. The Elite protocol is certified by SGS, one of the most important certification bodies in the agricultural sector.
These instruments express their full potential when used for soil-less crops. Plants are grown on coir or mineral wool substrates which, in addition to complying with the Elite protocol, have a high production potential."
FP: What are the medium to long term objectives?
GP: "We want to keep on representing a beacon for our clients, thanks to the commitment and passion we put into our work. Improving productivity and quality is the best way to achieve an even brighter future."