AGRINOVA Bio 2000 is an agricultural cooperative of producers and agronomists based in the East of Sicily and is dedicated to the growing and promotion of organic produce.
When Francesco Ancona finished his university studies in agronomics, organic farming was still unknown territory: “I was interested, but I did not have any experience or expertise. I learnt by travelling around in Italy and talking to foreign experts attracted by the favourable growing conditions in Sicily.”
In 1987, he helped to create Agrinova, the aim of which is to help and advise producers. Two years later, Agrinova became a company which, in addition to its technical consultancy role, markets products grown by 24 producers: “In the beginning, the Co-operative specialised in citrus fruits. Now, it is also producing vegetable field crops, since the market requires us to diversify our produce.”
For Francesco, the dissemination of information is one of the Co-operative’s priorities: “We also have an educational role. This year, we visited primary and secondary schools to encourage young people to think about organic farming and the environment.”
For him, the Co-op’s agronomists guarantee the quality of the production line. In this respect, he strongly emphasises the need to adapt the product to the land rather than the other way round.
“The policy we have always pursued is to analyse the soils in the different regions and to encourage producers to grow products which suit those soils.”
Marcello Eberle, the Sales Director, places a lot of emphasis on the importance of communication within the network: “It is not just about selling our products but about communicating among ourselves and with the distributors. This is our way of helping to protect the environment and the consumer