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Italy: Demand for organic vegetables becoming more varied

"One cannot improvise organic production. It's a choice that radically changes the growing technique, as plants must be put in the condition of being able to defend themselves while respecting their cycle and not using chemicals," explains Giovanni Milana, administrator of a family business. 

Giovanni Milana

"Ever since the 1960s, our core business has been the growing of carrots from Ispica. Our company now boasts 350 hectares of organic crops as well as 500,000 meters of protected crops (greenhouses and polytunnels). Other products are zucchini, potatoes, fennel and tomatoes. To guarantee soil rotation, we also use celery, melon, artichokes, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplants etc. thus reaching 25 products in total." 

"This year, to alleviate the effects of the New Delhi virus on open-field zicchini, we covered plants while they were still small and therefore more susceptible to Bemisia tabaci. Non-woven fabric covers isolate plants until their reach a specific size. From then onward, they won't be excessively affected," explains agronomist Salvatore Milana. 

Above, Salvatore Milana shows the system to protect zucchini against whiteflies.

In 1991, when Milana started off with the organic productions, the main market was Germany. From this country, the company got most of its know-how, acquiring not just innovations and new trends but also learning about a new way to make business.  

"Over time, we have made a name for ourselves among the main foreign retail chains, so demand grows and gets more diversified every year. We do refuse supplies we could not meet, though, as a sign of honesty towards our clients."

Above: zucchini crop covered with non-woven fabric against the New Delhi virus. 

"We've had to decline a request for one trailer a day of cauliflower and broccoli, as we can only ship up to 20 pallets a week. We are proud of this, as it's the proof that our products pass all checks. We wouldn't do anything that would put us in the position of not being able to operate well in line with organic agriculture standards."

The company specializes in the supply of mixed pallets so it can supply a varied choice of products all at once.

Azienda agricola Milana Giovanni 
C.da Crocefia
97014 Ispica (RG) - Italia
Tel.: +39 0932 950915 - +39 0932 704054
Fax: +39 0932 959264

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