Te lo porto Bio, which translates as "I bring you organic" in French, is run by Carlo and his cousin Rocco. Their profiles are complementary as Rocco comes from a farming family and Carlo handles the commercial side.
For 7 years in conversion, they have now been certified 100% organic for over 2 years. They produce on 12 hectares, mainly blood oranges and apricots. This year, due to a hot summer that reached 49°, they made 30% less volume, which resulted in a price increase. The blood orange varieties are mainly Tarroco and Moro. The trees produce oranges after 3 years. After 7 years production reaches its maximum. There are 3 varieties of oranges: those they produce at the beginning, middle and end of the season, which allows them to harvest from mid-December to mid-March. The nearby Etna has a big impact on the climate, including the difference in temperature between day and night, which gives the blood oranges their red colour. On 1 hectare, they can produce up to 20,000 kilos of oranges (compared to 30,000 in conventional farming). The tree produces oranges once in a season (unlike, for example, lemon trees, which produce three times) - once ripe, they can remain on the tree for up to two months! 5000 m³ of water per hectare is needed for oranges. Apricot trees produce about 30 kilos of fruit per year and they have 4000 trees! From February to March, to activate pollination, a beekeeper comes with beehives which he places on the land. On site, they have a 150 year old well dug 7-8m deep and another 180m deep, so they have no water problems. Te lo porto is only at the beginning of its project and is thinking about new crops!
Carlo, whom we met, is the main contact forInterbio in Sicily. His professional experience allows him to act as an "agent for producers". Not always speaking English or having the necessary network of contacts, producers need help to export their goods. Carlo therefore acts as an intermediary between Sicilian producers and European distributors to ensure that the relationship between the latter is as healthy as possible.
We were lucky enough to spend three days with Carlo who shared with us his extensive knowledge of the organic sector in Sicily and Europe, and it was very rewarding for us to learn more.
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