Paolo Fontanabona, member of Cooperativa Agricola La Primavera in Italy
“For us organic farming is the only truly sustainable form of farming”
Primavera is a cooperative established in Verona, Northern Italy, in 1989 to stimulate organic crop farming. Today, La Primavera has 89 member companies – all organic farms that export their products throughout Europe.
“I am a second-generation organic grower, following in the footsteps of my father who began organic production in 1982. It felt logical to continue doing something which I believe is right for myself, the environment, consumers, society and the future of my own children. I believe that organic farming is the only truly sustainable form of farming – it guarantees clean growing methods and healthy, tasty products. We’re living proof that it can also be cost-efficient and provide a livelihood without affecting the fertility of the land.” I sell all my produce to Cooperativa Agricola La Primavera, of which I am a member. The products are then distributed both in Italy and abroad through Brio spa, a marketing company owned by the cooperatives Agrintesa and La Primavera.
The international market is strong, plus demand is increasingly shifting towards products from high-quality growers. In Italy, organic products have a much lower market share than in foreign markets so that can be challenging for us. However, the situation is improving as consumers are becoming increasingly convinced that traditional cultivation methods have no future – both because the resulting crops are less healthy and because organic methods are more respectful of the land, which is everybody’s heritage.” “Rijk Zwaan helps me by creating varieties that are specifically tailored to organic production in terms of strong roots for effective nutrition and leaves that are resistant to viruses and diseases. Taste is obviously another critical consideration.”