The results of the Italian project experimentation have highlighted how business profitability and environmental sustainability can coexist
The Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission has financed the five-year Diverfarming project, whose main objective is identifying innovative solutions to improve the resilience of European agricultural and food farming systems looking to long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Specifically, the project promotes the adoption of diversification practices in cultivation, calling for a more efficient use of resources, ensuring economic competition and, at the same time, preserving and improving the soil. In Italy, Diverfarming involves four organisations, one of which is the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro.
Starting in 2017, three case studies were set up in the Po Valley (between Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna) and one in Capitanata (Apuglia) region, areas characterised by traditional cultivation.
In the Po Valley, and specifically in the provinces of Mantova, Piacenza and Cremona, at three companies of the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro, a legume (a fresh industry pea for which Casalasco handles the chain production) was introduced in the crop rotation and tomato was introduced in the after-crop, after the industry peas. In the three Casalasco case studies, therefore, the diversified rotation called for wheat-tomato-industry pea/tomato in after-crop.
Generally, the Italian results in the three-year period for 2017-2020 showed how business profitability and environmental sustainability can coexist above all within an organised chain. Consorzio Casalasco is always able to guarantee the withdrawal of products at a higher price compared to the market and it is also able to manage climate risk for its own farming partners. From the data revealed it is possible to state that the adoption of the cultivation diversification entails benefits in production terms compared to the traditional management, for all the crops in rotation.
The rotation adopted by the companies of the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro allows, in most of the cases, for increasing revenue opportunities for the farming partners, because it reduces market risks for them.