Sergio's grandfather, the current manager whom we had the chance to meet, created the farm in 1940. As the son of a worker, he began by renting land and producing carrots. Year after year, he and his brothers developed the production by buying land little by little. In the beginning they produced mainly lettuce, carrots, fennel and tomatoes. Unfortunately, none of his three daughters was interested in taking over the farm as he had created it. So he started planting lemons to make it more accessible to take over.
Campisi now comprises several hundred hectares of mainly lemon trees owned by Sergio, his brother and their uncle. They have been organic since 1995 with 50 hectares certified Demeter.
The name of the lemon variety grown is Feminelo Syracusa. It is a year-round lemon variety, although 90% of the production is from October to March, as at the time of flowering in April/May, the trees produce few lemons. To imagine how much space is needed, you need at least 6m by 6m between each lemon tree - the oldest trees are 42 years old! Every 5 years they have to prune them, losing 80% of their production. As you can see from the pictures, there is a lot of greenery at the foot of the trees. This is because these grasses help to keep the moisture in. To preserve biodiversity, they also plant aromatic herbs such as rosemary, which attracts different species of insects. In 2020, Campisi produced no less than 18 tons of lemons! Every week they deliver about 5 pallets of lemons to Interbio, with whom Campisi has a very strong relationship.
Recently, they have started to diversify by planting avocados and they plan to expand from 7 hectares to 30 hectares of avocados in the coming years.
Historically grown in Spain, avocado cultivation is gradually developing in Sicily. Indeed, the suitable climate and the proximity of the delta allow producers to avoid problems with water supply.
Campisi also fights for the working conditions of its workers. On site, there are 15 teams of 12 people with a team leader who coordinates the harvest. Sergio's brother manages the production while Sergio takes care of the warehouse and commercial contacts. Sergio also buys fruit and vegetables from other small producers who want to sell their goods through his network and is very careful about the price he pays, focusing on quality above all. He also maintains links with other producers in the region without putting pressure on them for prices.
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