MARIA PIRRONE

1. Intro

The farm is mostly constituted of a farm cottage surrounded of olives. In the years 90s the farm is enlarged to a land bordering the Pollino Natural Park and the torrent Raganello. Then agritourism started as a multifunctional activity linked to ecotourism in the natural park, to increase income from extra-virgin olive oil, main farm product. Maria succeded to her mother as farm leader. Secondary products are cheese from dairy farming, home made bread from wheat, pasta from durum wheat and jam from berries.

2. Promoter Profile

Name Maria Pirrone
Age 39
Gender Female
Education Agricultural Sciences Degree
Marital status Single
Number of children 0

3. Farm Profile

Address Civita (Cosenza), Calabria, Italy
Farm Area in ha 23 ha
Date since when the family owns the farm for more than 100 years
Nº of workers on the farm (Family members) 2 (Full time) 2 (Part time)
Nº of workers on the farm (Other than family members) 2 (Full time) 2 (Part time)

Farm description before succession

The farm was mostly based on production of quality extra-virgin olive oil and cheese from livestock breeding.

FARM DESCRIPTION AFTER SUCCESSION

The most important changes after the succession were based on i) improvement of extra-virgin olive oil quality production, ii) improvement of the dairy supply chain with traditional cheese production, iii) production of blackberries. Those changes were also functional to the agritourism that became very successful by attracting schools. Olive oil, home made cheese, pasta, bread and jam were key farm products highly appreciated at farm. Organic food certification was the further step to give farm a clear natural food oriented vision.

4. Succession Process

Maria had a clear perception that farming could represent her future and the continuation of the family tradition. Some innovative ideas were shared within the family, with the mother, who was the farm leader. When Maria was ready to take the reins of the company her mother decided to retire. The farm succession was therefore in progress and without traumatic effects.

Threats/Challenges

Bureaucracy in following the ongoing farm changes was the most heavy issue. 

Also challenging was the regularization of new equipment and plants. 

The agritourism regularization took some time. 

The organic certification was challenging as process tracking. 

Main Training/Skills/Competences

Competence to fully understand Rural Development Plan measures to apply for funding is highly important. It could be very useful for the farmer to be better informed on specific measures and get answers to the point from the administration.

Competence in business plan is very useful to submit projects for funding, in case of regional/national/European grants, or loans from banks.

echnical skills linked to farm food and services are very important to be competitive and provide customers with high quality.

Competence on sustainable farming is strategic for a clear mission and vision.

 

“It is important to plan a road map including your vision and realize at least partly your dreams, even if you have to know that not all you need can be realized. After 7 years as a farm leader Maria has not realized all that she had planned, but the dream can continue. She is currently also engaged as President of the national association of young farmers (AGIA) to share her experience and grow up together with other farmers.”

MARIA PIRRONE

 

5. Considerations, skills/competences and queries/questions.

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