"Something innovative is needed in order to not just be the umpteenth fresh-cut business, but innovation is impossible without investments and without research," explained Massimo Bragotto, general director at Cultiva (Rovigo) when talking about the latest introductions, which are doing well on the foreign market as well.
"At the moment, we are exporting 48% of our total production, without forgetting that we also have fields and greenhouses in California and Florida for the US market. In Europe, our products are available mostly in Great Britain, Scandinavia and the Balkans. The current logistic situation is not easy, but we are processing orders swiftly - for example, bureaucracy has indeed increased for orders destined to Great Britain, but there have been no obstacles so far."
Cultiva specializes in loose produce, fresh-cut products and evolved packed-unwashed products. A few days ago, it presented its new line of own-brand bagged salads. "In Italy, we work with private label clients to create their mixes. This business will remain strategic and crucial, though the time has come to introduce our own brand as well. Innovation has always been our main asset, so it is essential for us to have a laboratory where we can test, study and import ideas that can turn into products."
The company is focusing its time and resources on two large products. With "Carta", it is reaching the objective of avoiding traditional weeding and mulching films, using only two 'sheets' of completely-biodegradable paper that avoid the growth of weeds if placed on the soil, without the need for pesticides or human intervention as the process is fully automated.
Giancarlo, Federico Boscolo and Massimo Bragotto
"Viride" is instead a software which, based on agriculture 4.0, will contribute to reaching the zero emission objective within a few years. Investments are also being made for varietal innovation in collaboration with seed companies.
OP Cultiva gathers around 20 medium and large business located in leading production areas all over Italy and covering around one thousand hectares of protected crops. Organic cultivation techniques are implemented in 20% of them, a percentage almost double the Italian average of organic fresh-cut products.
The new brand includes both evolved packed-unwashed salads and a whole range of fresh-cut products: single-variety bags, mixes, vegetables for cooking and the entire organic production.
Cultiva CEO Federico Boscolo reported that "we want to involve consumers in our vision of a responsible future. This is what led us to 'placing' all of our values into the salad bags. We are not the largest company when it comes to size, critical mass or capacity, but we can definitely have our say on agriculture. This is where we want to start to be different and stand out."
"This is why we have been working to create a new agriculture that overhauls the stereotype of men in tank tops with dirty hands to introduce a concept made of technology and sensors."