- François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2020 Season
Innovation, digital technology, sustainability, accountability and ethics
On 17 December, Princes Industrie Alimentari (PIA), the company that operates the largest tomato processing plant in Europe, in Foggia, brought together a large number of its growers to present the results of its 2019 season and expose its projects and programming information for the 2020 season.
General Director of Princes Food Industries
The leaders of PIA presented to the forty members of the territory’s agricultural cooperative all of the innovations that the company intends to implement during the next tomato season, in order to support development and economic growth in the Apulia region and, in particular, in the Capitanata area.
So on the basis of agreements concluded with the multinational group, PIA supplier growers have ample time to plan the investments required for growing processing tomatoes, with the certainty of receiving fair payment for the raw materials delivered, based on the actual costs incurred.
For the 2020 season, PIA will focus on innovation and digitization: in fact, the company has already launched a digital platform pilot project, based on blockchain technology and developed in collaboration with the Coldiretti, guaranteeing full traceability of the tomato processing crop, right up to delivery of the finished product. The objective of implementing this platform is to bring significant benefits in terms of security, transparency and efficiency of the transactions between the parties.
In addition, in collaboration with the University of Foggia, PIA is working to further reduce the use of pesticides: more than 95% of production in 2019 was already completely free of such inputs and the remaining fraction was well under the legal standards. The company is also working to optimize the use of water, through the deployment of drip irrigation in the fields and the introduction of rainwater recovery cycles and waste containment measures.
During this presentation, Professor Elia – from the Agronomic Department of the University of Foggia – presented the Ecofert project to representatives of the agricultural upstream segment, the purpose of which is to reduce the environmental impact of cultivation and reduce the consumption of irrigation water. With this project, the University of Foggia becomes one of the world leaders in terms of projects focused on innovation for sustainability.
The next tomato season will therefore be marked by a renewed commitment to promoting innovation, ethics and transparency throughout the sector, in support of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of Apulia’s production.