Since I was a kid I have always worked in the production and trading of fruit and vegetables, at the beginning dealing only with conventional methods and products. In 2011, after a trip to Germany where I came into contact with various organic fruit and vegetables producers, I realized the potential and the countless positive aspects linked to this method of production, therefore I decided to found Bioplus.
The name embodies the very heart of the term organic (which in italian translates to “biologico”), combined with the desire to guarantee the consumer something extra, a plus. That extra something is the guarantee of a 100% natural product and the maximum commitment we put into protecting the environment.
The company is located in Canicattì, a village in Sicily, which is exactly the land of origin of the Italia grape. It includes 25 hectares of vineyards, also located in neighbouring villages, some close to other plantations, some others with a seaview.
I am very satisfied because, in such a context like ours which lacks employment and safeguards, I manage (during the high season) to secure jobs for more than 30 people.
Unlike for the vineyards dedicated to the production of wine grapes, for the ones where the table grapes are cultivated, the irrigation is essential, especially in such a hot region as Sicily. The water we use directly comes from different natural wells and is carried up to the vineyards. We use a drip irrigation system, which allows us to adjust precisely the quantity of water we provide to every single vine. Each plant needs 100l of water, twice a week.
I really care about the protection of my land, its biodiversity and the well-being of the ones who work everyday sharing my ideals. For this reason, in Bioplus we try our best to promote sustainable agriculture and in 2011 we decided to get certified in organic agriculture. In order to support sustainability, we don’t use substances that can be harmful for the plants, insects, soil and the customer, such as any kind of chemical fertilizer, using instead only natural substances allowed in organic agriculture.
When the grass and the leaves are pruned, they are left on the ground, so that they can return mineral salts and other micro-ingredients to the soil. We seek as much as possible not to throw anything away but to reuse. We also work hard in reducing the waste of water improving the irrigation efficiency through drip irrigation. In addition, when it rains, water accumulates on the roof of the vineyard. This is collected and used to irrigate the fields. We also got rid of all the plastic in our packages, replacing it with paper, cardboard and PLA. Moreover, we support all the members of our team, guaranteeing a salary that provides them with a high standard of living. There are 20 people working for the company the whole year, who become 30 during the high season. Some of my collaborators have been accompanying me since the beginning of this adventure called Bioplus, and they have always been for me an important source of ideas and precious advice.
I hold close to my heart the fact that everyone, including those who work with me only seasonally, are always aware of my new projects and that they share the same values. I do my best to reward their hard work, spread enthusiasm and love for the land and its fruits. It is more than a simple job, it has become a mission and a source of satisfaction.
Bioplus pays close attention to the quality and safety of the product, to promise the best that we can to our CrowdFarmers. The grape is chosen based on the freshness, colour, sweetness and size of the grapes. The quality of the bunches is checked during the harvest, going through a more accurate control at the time of packaging.
We generally allocate almost all of our product to orders, however if there is a surplus harvest, it is partly donated and partly sent to a winemaker.