The Italian growers' association APOC has had organic certification for several years. "In 2020 we had a turnover of about €5 mln in the organic sector. This mainly covers leafy vegetables such as lettuce, but also seed vegetables, fruits, with chestnuts as a novelty, citrus and tomatoes for the processing industry," said agronomist and technical advisor Rita Miano of APOC.
Organic arugula in a package from a member of APOC (Photo provided by Rita Miano)
"Our members are mainly located in Campania, Apulia and Sicily. In addition to the processing sector in Italy, the outlets are mainly foreign, namely Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. The latter country has its own organic standard, Bio Suisse, according to European Regulation 834/2007."
The path APOC has taken can be described as virtuous, as it has always believed and invested in activities with a very limited environmental impact. "Organic, at APOC, stands for a cultivation method that allows cultivation without the use of plant protection products. In this way, biodiversity is promoted and the environment is respected. The approach to organic is actually a philosophy of life. The growers' organization fully supports this kind of pathway and for 2021 we expect to double the number of members, acreage and sales."
Organic baby spinach in a package from a member of APOC (Photo provided by Rita Miano)
"In order for a crop to be sold as organic, the entire supply chain must be certified. We have also noticed that the interest for organic crops is increasing. This is evidenced by the fact that we already have a large number of new organic members for 2021."
APOC has established its own organic logo that is used by members (see photo on the right). "In addition to the certification itself, the growers' organization has also created a specific logo for the recognition of its members' organic crops."
"The financial resources allocated by the EU are increasingly focused on policies that minimize environmental damage and on making agriculture and horticulture as sustainable as possible," concluded Rita Miano.
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