The first harvesting of winter-cycle tomatoes has started in the Fri-EI’s technological greenhouse. The marketing manager Alessio Orlandi says, “In no time, we installed other 5.4 hectares of LED lights, added to the 2 hectares that we already had. Now, 50% of Fri-EI’s surfaces are provided with LEDs. This will allow us to keep the production constant throughout the year”.
The effect of the LED illuminated greenhouses is quite suggestive: the light pollution is avoided thanks to the shielding thus allowing the tomatoes to grow even during colder and darker months. If the whole LED installation was put in a row, it would cover a 75 km surface!
Orlandi, “In a world where the effects of climate change become increasingly visible every day, we are pushed to find sustainable solutions. Here in our company, we found a way that allows us producing for 365 days per year. Therefore, we do not resort to the imported produce which is farmed more than 1.000 km away from here. Every day, we offer a fresh produce that was irrigated with rainwater which was collected and filtered in basins. The greenhouses are warmed up by the surrounding biogas plants. In this way, the heat is not dispersed in the environment. The CO2 that is produced is input in the greenhouses in order for the plants to absorb that, thus acting like environmental purifiers”.
The farming is carried out within a closed space. This allows a better control over the plant diseases. The tomato is checked through an organic fight so to offer a guaranteed produce for 365 days per year.
The manager: “As of now, we are mildly satisfied, especially after a year at full speed and after a Summer marked by the lowest prices from 10 years. We strongly believe in the industrialization of the productive process. Thanks to this, we will be able to offer to our customers a produce with a constant quality throughout the year”.
Orlandi again, “Enough of nasty surprises after the purchase. Unpleasant surprises discourage customers and cause consumption drops. Our productive method wants to change the perception that fruit and vegetables are a scam both in terms of quality and price speculations.
“We want to detach ourselves from relationships based on the demand/offer logic. In that regard, we are making offers to our customers based on fixed seasonal or periodical prices with category plans in order to guarantee a revenue both to the production and to the retail, without any unpleasant surprises.
Orlandi, “In this way, also the customer will benefit from our project through which the Fresh Guru tomato will always be available, with fixed price and quality. The project for the farming of the future will be a win-win-win: the producer, the retailer and the customer will win altogether, just like some branded produce which has already been available for years”.