Italy: Baby leaf sector is growing

"Thanks to the latest investments, we've reached 220 hectares in greenhouses, so we can supply our clients even in difficult periods such as full winter or summer," reports Santo Bellina, administrator of Op La Maggiolina, a leader in the cultivation of organic baby leaves. 

Santo Bellina

"Thanks to the wide area available and the historic collaboration with seed companies, we are developing new varieties so our clients can always enjoy new products and salad mixes." 

"The main products are: wild arugula, red and green lettuce, lamb's lettuce, baby spinach and mesclum, i.e. a combination of batavian lettuce, blonde and red lollo lettuce and roman lettuce developed in close collaboration with our seed suppliers. The fact that we grow it on fields means we are efficient and obtain excellent quality."

"In addition, we also have Eastern salads such as tatsoi, red giant, red and green mizuna, bull's blood and red chard, which enable us to create new mixes particularly appreciated by consumers."

"This year we have also planted pea tips, wild fennel, alternative lettuce varieties (e.g. iceberg) and sparkle, a sort of domestic arugula with a delicate yet tasty flavor. Lastly, we have also started producing organic edible flowers, multi-colored violets in particular."

"Our main clients are the domestic and foreign big retail chains, most of which have their own private labels. The leading countries are Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, England, Poland and Romania. Our products also reach a few Arab Emirates thanks to the collaboration with L'Insalata dell'Orto".

Again thanks to L'Insalata dell'Orto, OP La Maggiolina works with the H&R sector as well, using 1 kg polystyrene cases and bags. 

"The fact that our product is top of the range means our clients can always obtain fresh and very resistant vegetables. They make management easier though they have to be washed. Of course it might be seen as annoying, but it is a sacrifice repaid by the freshness of the produce."

The company cares for sustainability not only when it comes to cultivation, but also to packaging, which is plastic-free. The company is ready to use PLA trays and flow-pack using PLA films. In addition, the PO has adapted the packaging lines to process cardboard trays.  

Businesses that are part of the PO hold the GlobalGAP, Tesco Nurture, Grasp, QS-System, Field to fork, bio and Leaf marque certifications.

"We are part of the Bia consortium, so we can provide our clients with a wide range of organic produce. All members share the same environmental culture and sensitivity and aim at promoting environmental and social sustainability projects."  

Contacts:
O.P. La Maggiolina Soc. Agr. a r.l. 
Via delle Seradine snc
24057 Martinengo (BG)
Tel.: +39 0363 909310
Fax: +39 0363 995777
Cell. +39 3668943341
Email: bellinamarzia@oplamaggiolina.it

Consorzio Bia
Sede Operativa: Traversa San Gervasio 16 
48012 Bagnacavallo (Ravenna)
Cell. +39 335 6501764 
Email: commerciale@biaarl.it


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