2. Promoter Profile
|Number of children||0|
|Number of children||0|
|Address||Priverno (Latina), Lazio (Italy)|
|Farm Area in ha||18 ha|
|Date since when the family owns the farm||50 years|
|Nº of workers on the farm (Family members)||4 (Full time) 0(Part time)|
|Nº of workers on the farm (Other than family members)||0 (Full time) 1 (Part time)|
The farm was based on extensive buffalo breeding to produce milk buffalo, that is traditional heritage of that area called Agro-Pontino, former marshland drained in the years between 1926 and 1937. Buffalos were substituted after the drainage by bovine races, but in the last years buffalo breeding came back prevailing. The farm was therefore a traditional small but extensive buffalo farm.
Modernization of previous buildings, new sheds and mechanization were necessary to convert the farm to organic agriculture and produce corn and hay to get forage for feeding buffalos. The milk quality is constantly monitored to get high fat and quality milk as a result of the mixed diet from pastures integrated with organically produced forage. Milk buffalo mozzarella cheese is highly appreciated as a traditional product of Agro-Pontino, as well as in the area of Caserta, where Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is a registered PDO label.
The succession process was inspired by Mariaoliva who decided very soon, when she was 18 years old to become farm leader, by agreement with the father, predecessor. It was immediately clear that organic production and farm modernization could make the difference for a more sustainable and profitable farm based on buffalo milk production. The new farm plan was in continuity with the old farm tradition but with more professional dairy rearing focused on high quality milk and value based on high quality milk for buffalo mozzarella.
Bureaucracy and lack of information in the offices were the most challenging threats to be faced.
Authorization and regularization of building renovation and new premises were quite difficult to obtain and time spending
Also to get the first instalment took some time before becoming effective farm leader.
Family support was very important to go on despite of some delays and difficulties, including financial issues.
A training based on in-depth knowledge of the Rural Development Plan is fundamental to start-up own new farm project.
Training on farm management is very important for decision making, investments and adequate use of human resources.
Training on organic buffalo milk production could be really needed as there is a lack of specific competence.
Training enabling to solve practical problems, such as bureaucratic issues for youngsters starting as farm leader could be absolutely important to overcome ongoing difficulties.
“When the starting point is a traditional heritage such as buffali breeding it is very important to get full advice from the experience of the predecessor, but it is also fundamental to implement this competence with own life and work vision. It is always possible to improve what was previously performed in a traditional way by adding innovative ideas and planning changes to make more effective, competitive, rentable and sustainable agriculture.”