Imagine the Gargano area, in northern Apulia. In this place, 8 kilometres from the town of Rignano Garganico, a small promontory rises up with a flat expanse of squared fields in front of it, where the land changes colour with the passing of the seasons and where in summer the yellow of the wheat explodes, making everything shine. In this landscape, Prima Bio farm has been cultivating the land with passion for four generations now, putting heart and soul into its territory and firmly fighting for workers' rights. We grow many different products in our fields, but the main ones are tomatoes (from which you can taste the sauce), broccoli and asparagus.
Officially an organic farming cooperative since 1998, our cooperative has farming in its blood. Our grandfather and grandmother, both from Abruzzo, met in Foggia’s area (Puglia), he was a farmer and she came from a family of sheep farmers. Their shared love of the land convinced them to settle there and buy several hectares in the area, thus starting a farming business that was destined to grow with the arrival of their children and later become an organic cooperative.
Our products are made only by organic raw materials that we harvest, select and process within the day. From the field to the processing, we follow an attentive manufacturing process that does not alter the taste of our land. We have several hectares under management, a good part of which - practically our best land - is reserved for organic tomatoes. In addition to these hectares there are others on which my father wanted to build a greenhouse where we can create a tomato seedling that suits our needs and grow it as we wish, following it step by step. Once our fresh organic tomatoes are ripe, they are picked and processed on the same day, thus maintaining the authentic taste of home-made tomato puree.
At Prima Bio we use techniques that allow us to use water rationally and sensibly. Thanks to two large rainwater collection reservoirs, we are able to meet a large part of our daily needs for processing our products and irrigating our land. In addition, in order to ensure targeted and localised irrigation of our crops, and to reduce water consumption, we use drip irrigation exclusively.
Choosing organic today means choosing wellbeing and health, keeping pace with the times and resources that nature is constantly offering us. We are certified organic for more than 15 years. At the beginning we wanted to approach the organic market in a "pioneering" way, proposing our fruit and vegetable products to consumers who were still uninformed and unwilling to change. In the meantime, the demand for organic products grew and, after a lot of hard work and dedication, we were able to conquer a stable place in a niche market, both nationally and internationally. For more than 15 years Prima Bio has held organic certifications (ICEA) that give the consumer the right-duty to "be good by doing good". We distinguish ourselves from conventional producers through the use of materials, technologies and solutions that enhance and do not damage the surrounding environment by reducing the movement of goods, from harvesting to processing. To combat harmful insects, we use pheromone traps, which allow us to control them without using chemicals. To avoid excessive soil stress, we rotate crops annually between all our fields, leaving some fallow each year. Finally, we put hives on the farm for pollination. These bees help us to pollinate the cultivated plants, but they also encourage the fructification of the wild plants that are present near the farm. In addition, as soon as the fresh produce shift is over, the waste is reused in a very simple and economical way, becoming the main food for the more than 400 sheep on my father's farm.
Controlling all aspects of production, we are busy in the fields throughout the year. Our season starts with the sowing of tomatoes in the greenhouse, from which the seedlings we plant in the field will grow. In the meantime, we prepare the soil for planting the plants. When the plants are in the field, we check them weekly to avoid attacks from harmful insects or fungi and to make sure we have the right amount of water. When the ripening phase begins, we collect the tomatoes that are ripe for processing on a daily basis and bring them to our workshop where they are processed and where the finished product is stored.
The energy we use comes from photovoltaic and biomass plants, to guarantee the quality and sustainability of our products, but also of our land. Prima Bio is among the top 100 agricultural companies for its focus on sustainability in the AGRIcoltura100 project.
We believe in zero km. We have always sown, grown, harvested and processed all our products. We put the same commitment and attention into the work dynamics. The objectives we have set ourselves are to offer first and foremost a decent and ethical job in agriculture, respecting and placing the human factor at the centre of our work. For this reason, all our employees have a regular contract, complying with current legislation Since 2018, we have joined the NO CAP - Rete per La Terra (Network for the Earth) planning all the harvesting, storage and processing phases in a network of companies, supporting ourselves and writing a new story in this way. By adhering to this new project we have given the right value to all the parties involved, putting the true wealth, the human being, at the centre, and offering a fair product at the right price.