Azienda agricola F.lli Lapietra was set up by brothers Enzo and Lino, who, guided by their older brother Giovanni, decided to start growing greenhouse cucumbers. In 1992, Enzo Lapietra went to the Netherlands as he was interested in the local agronomic techniques and visited the first cucumber hydroponic greenhouses. After returning to Puglia, he decided to recreate what he had seen with tomatoes, one of the leading products in the region.
Enzo and Lino Lapietra are among the first in Italy to grow vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.
In 1997, the two brothers decided to set up the first tomato greenhouses, and in 1999, they inaugurated their first soilless hydroponic greenhouse. Located in the Monopoli area (Bari), surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and a short distance from the coast, Azienda agricola F.lli Lapietra places sustainability at the center of its company ethics.
Plants reach almost 13 m in greenhouses.
Hydroponic cultivation is, in fact, a highly sustainable cultivation method, as it can help save 70-90% of water and approximately 70% of soil compared with traditional methods. In addition, the water used for irrigation and not used by the plants is filtered and disinfected to be re-used, thus avoiding excessive consumption of water and mineral salts.
High-quality cherry tomatoes.
Safe and healthy productions
The company produces soilless hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers, which are nickel-free and have zero residue. Plants are grown vertically, thus maximizing light capture by the leaves.
Smooth cucumbers. Azienda agricola Lapietra grow them on approx. 2.5 hectares out of a total of 15. The rest is destined for tomato production.
The company's land covers around 15 hectares, capable of producing all year round thanks to the construction in 2019 of a glass warehouse with an LED lighting system that can guarantee high-quality productions in periods when there is less light. Multiple phases of the production process are also very innovative because they involve carts that can help operators reach plants to tutor them and perform other crop operations. Harvesting is also facilitated due to better ergonomics.
Bird's eye view of Azienda agricola Lapietra.
Products and certifications
Customers can choose among many types of tomatoes, including red, yellow, and green plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, black tomatoes, zebra tomatoes, and high-quality green and vine tomatoes on top of smooth cucumbers. The main market is big retail chains in southern and central Italy with a wide customer base. The company also boasts numerous certifications that convey added value, including SQNPI, Global GAP, GRASP, IFS, Nickel Free, and Zero Residue.