Respecting biodiversity protects life
Growing and preserving the taste of tomatoes is a business, which is done entirely by nature’s terms. This is why looking out for the environment is paramount to us. Our cooperation with the Italian WWF was an essential step in the process of making our products more sustainable. Its benefits were not only in our long term economic interest but also demanded by our values.
But only one project does not cut it. The next step is to take care of the biodiversity around our tomato fields.
Protecting the future
Italy is characterised by one of the most significant biodiversity assets in Europe both for the total number of animal and plant species and for the high rate of endemism.
Such rich heritage is due to the great lithological, topographical and climatic diversity that characterises our country, to its paleogeographic and paleoclimatic history, as well as to the central position in the Mediterranean basin, which represents one of the biodiversity hotspots defined on a planetary scale, i.e. those regions on earth characterised by particularly high levels of biological diversity and endemism, but threatened by human activities.
Italy itself is home to important “high density” areas of biodiversity. However, this heritage is seriously threatened and numerous species and ecosystems risk being irreparably lost due to the loss of natural habitats.
Urbanisation and the construction of roads cause the creation of numerous marginal areas for agricultural uses given the needs of agricultural mechanisation. This, however, creates an opportunity for renaturalisation of state-owned areas favouring the creation of both green areas and connecting corridors in marginal areas that could be recovered for these purposes rather than being abandoned
The biodiversity project
Our biodiversity project is a new step in the collaboration project with WWF Italia, which began in 2010 with the aim of reducing the water and carbon footprint of the entire supply chain and which led to a 4.6% reduction in the water footprint (2016 Vs 2011) and a 27% reduction of the Carbon footprint per product unit (2015 Vs 2009). The water footprint reduction project has had its natural continuation by providing farmers with useful tools supporting such decisions, such as the “Pomodoro.net” website to improve the environmental sustainability performance of the production supply chain.
As part of our activity with WWF Italia on biodiversity (2018-2020), a handbook was prepared as a first step to identify good practices in the field of biodiversity recovery in rural areas. The contents of this handbook have been illustrated and shared to promote this initiative with the producers who participated in the 2018 Mutti Pomodorino d’Oro contest.
Today we are, among other things, working on a feasibility project called Km Verde (Green Km) in collaboration with the School of Advanced Studies Sant’Anna in Pisa and other partners whose purpose is that of studying the feasibility and returns from all points of view of a renaturalisation intervention planning for the setting up of a 10 km buffer strip along of the A1 motorway at the Parma exit.
A second renaturalisation project called Mille Querce (Thousand Oaks) is also in an advanced stage and it includes the planting of a 1 km long nesting area for the Red-footed Falcon, the creation of a 2.6 km ecological corridor along the Lorno stream, as well as the planting of a plain forest on an area of 10,000 square meters in the Municipality of Sissa Trecasali (PR).
Also as far as our work with WWF Italia is concerned, in 2020 it was planned to start an activity at the farms to monitor through the Citizen Science CISMON website the number of swallows and common house martins nests and the number of copies present. Being large flyers, birds occupy very large habitats and are therefore indicators of environmental quality – simply put, birds are not only important as species, but also because they like nature the way we like it: pure, clean and healthy.
How did the projects start and what lies in the future?
The biodiversity project is the follow-up of a collaboration project with the WWF aimed at reducing the water and carbon footprint of the entire supply chain, which began in 2010 and which led to a 4.6% reduction of the water footprint (2016 Vs 2011) and to a 27% reduction of the Carbon footprint per product unit (2015 Vs 2009).
Ten years ago there was no full awareness on the importance of preserving water quality and of the effects of climate change, therefore it was decided to bring attention to the issue of biodiversity as a common asset to be protected.
The goal is to start renaturalization projects such as that of the Mille Querce, by also leveraging public resources that allow preservation or restoration of ecological corridors along the water courses, the creation of buffer strips to protect the waters from sources of diffuse pollution, the creation of vegetation areas on marginal soils.
We believe that everyone can affect the world around us with daily choices. That’s why we started these projects to make sure our children, and our children’s children get to experience the richness of nature around us.