NICCOLÒ LO PICCOLO

1. Intro

BIOGOLD is a 9 ha farm, based on organic farming horticulture (all main seasonal vegetables), beekeeping (honey and all products and by-products, also including a new entry, bee poison) and extravirgin olive-oil production. All products are available for sale on farm and online (www.biogoldsicilia.it). Niccolò Lo Piccolo, the successor, manages the farm he implemented from the traditional production of vegetables to direct commercialization, also including the new line of beekeeping products and by-products.

2. Promoter Profile

Name Niccolò Lo Piccolo
Age 28
Gender Male
Education Environmental Engineer
Marital status Single
Number of children 0

3. Farm Profile

Address Caltagirone (Catania), Sicily Italy)
Farm Area in ha 9 ha
Date since when the family owns the farm 30 years
Nº of workers on the farm (Family members) 1 (Full time) 0 (Part time)
Nº of workers on the farm (Other than family members) 1 (Full time) 0 (Part time)

Farm description before succession

The predecessor (father) owned the farm since the year 1980s. The farm was based on traditional horticulture until the farm succession when it was converted to organic farming, also increasing species of vegetables to provide a larger offer, and beekeeping as complementary to horticulture for pollination.

FARM DESCRIPTION AFTER SUCCESION

After the succession the farm was converted to organic farming and diversified as species produced. As a consequence of environmental vision of the new farm Niccolò started beekeeping at farm, with aim to favour pollination and produce honey, propolis, royal jelly, etc. The next step was sale on internet by promoting single products and basket collection on the web. This new wave pointed out a new farm vision based on environment protection, quality production and virtual market.

4. Succession Process

The idea of the succession came from the successor and it was quickly realized by agreement with the father predecessor, and the mother, still helping at farm. It was possible, as a young farmer, to gain first instalment funds from the CAP/RDP and starting a farm conversion plan based on organic agriculture. The father gave his agreement, also shared by the mother, to the succession and supported his son’s choices. The succession process was facilitated by the farmers’ association.

Threats/Challenges

There was no specific threat as the succession was agreed with the father predecessor and also the farm conversion was completely agreed. The main challenge was the farm change towards organic agriculture but, after the conversion period, it was clear that the choice gave new opportunities.

Beekeeping was a choice linked to a natural approach to farming and a good diversification of company products, also implementing and improving the farm image, even if a threat could be represented by starting a new activity with relevant additional work.

The following step was the commercialization based on a website and virtual market on the web, and threat represented by a new world to be discovered and tested.

Main Training/Skills/Competences

In depth knowledge of the measure favourable to young farmers, first instalment and farm improvement business plan also with support and training provided from the farmers’ association.

Business planning competence improved from the project idea up to the realization step-by- step also including online sale.

In depth knowledge on horticulture with a large variety of species depending of seasonal cycles and on farm processing.

In depth knowledge on beekeeping and honey and other products and by- products.

 

“To follow own vision, such as environment strongly respect, to be motivated and happy with own life and work choice.”

NICCOLÒ LO PICCOLO

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

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