The case of the Lodico agricultural company based in the Sicilian town of Canicattì (AG)

On-farm renovations in order to save on operating costs

The Lodico agricultural company in Canicattì, Sicily, has made major upgrades to its facilities, bringing about a radical transformation of the farm.

Salvatore Lodico

The company has built a new 2,500-square-meter warehouse, designed to zero or nearly zero CO2 emissions when processing. This is achieved thanks to a 300 Kw/h photovoltaic system that meets the energy needs of the building and of the machinery operating in it, which contains 1100 square meters of cold storage and 4 processing lines with a total of 44 workstations.

Exterior of the new warehouse

"We have aligned to the 4.0 agriculture standards," said the company's president, Salvatore Lodico, in an interview for an exclusive sneak preview for FreshPlaza, "by focusing on rationalizing energy and water resources. Production is now governed by a centralized system for intelligent irrigation. This system also allows us to carry out treatments with extreme precision, based on actual need, enabling us to aim for zero residue for all our products, from stone fruits to grapes and soon, even kiwis."

In the photo above, the company acquired 1,100 square meters of cold rooms, as well as a blast chiller that allows it to reach a temperature of 3°C in 3 hours. In the photo below, the cells are all equipped with humidifiers to maintain an ideal climate during temporary storage.

The farm's upgraded structure was made possible thanks to a PSR (Rural Development Plan) from the Sicilian Region that was initiated several years ago and has now come to fruition.

In the photo above, the processing lines are located in temperature-controlled rooms that need powerful ventilation systems (see tubes on the ceiling) for staff comfort and proper maintenance of the fruit being processed.

The total cultivated land area of the farm is 76 hectares, 29 of which are planted with vines, to which must be added another 11 hectares or so of vineyards of other Lodico family fruit farms.

The meeting room is modern and welcoming, as well as the offices and service rooms for workers, equipped with changing rooms and showers.

"On the occasion of this important upgrade," Salvatore Lodico continued, "we also renewed the vehicle fleet, with tractors, forklifts, etc., of the latest generation and, of course, with low environmental impact. In this way, our references acquire an added value that we can spend with our commercial interlocutors, but especially towards the final consumers."

Peaches of the Royal Sweet variety in the harvesting phase

"In addition, we can count on an artificial reservoir of 60,000 cubic meters of water for our irrigation, which covers about 15 hectares; a water reserve that allows us to work without suffering from drought and, above all, necessary for our 10 hectares of apricots, 7.5 hectares of peaches and nectarines, 2.5 hectares of almonds and 32 hectares of vineyards, in addition to 15 hectares of references soon to be introduced.

Peaches of the ripening Tard Red variety will be ready by the first quarter of September

"The Lodico company's markets are mainly the domestic markets of northern Italy, while 10 percent of sales are made abroad, in France," said the president. "This year we are seeing prices that, in the case of stone fruits, are not performing well at production. We are talking about averages of €0.45 - €0.55 cents for peaches and €0.30 - €0.40 cents for apricots right now."

Grapes Italia variety

"Another significant fact for this campaign, is the medium-late grape trend. Sales are stalling due to an abundant presence of other summer fruit references. For this reason, producer prices are also low at the moment with €0.60 - €0.70 cents for extra quality and €0.40 - €0.50 cents for standard quality. We are hoping for a recovery as soon as the placing on the market of watermelons, melons and stone fruits decreases," concluded the interviewee.

For more information:
Soc. Agr. Lodico S.S.
Via Petrassi, 12
92024 Canicattì (Ag) - Italy
+39 333 2454985

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