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We grow sustainability

People from the Non and Sole Valleys live in houses surrounded by orchards, so it’s perfectly natural for any apple-farmer to support his or her own territory. They are preserving their heritage for their own interests, for their families and for their consumers.

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100% integrated or organic cultivations

The 4000 members of Melinda Consortium have underwritten the “Integrated production Disciplinary Code”. But what does this agreement imply? It means that all members commit themselves in using sustainable cultivation methods, introducing as many natural pesticide methods as possible. Our farmers use agrochemicals only in case of absolute necessity and always under technical control.

Would you like to know more about a concrete experience of a natural pesticide method? It’s called “sexual confusion method” and it has been successfully used in the last 10 years by fruit-farmers in Trentino, in particular for apple orchards. Thanks to the introduction of particular pheromones, we can decrease the level of dangerous pests by inhibiting mating. Therefore, pesticides become less necessary.

Moreover, the path towards an increasing sustainability necessarily passes by the growing merge between integrated and organic production (in ten years Trentino has doubled the hectares of organic orchards).

Sustainable energy

Fruit farming in Trentino is among the most virtuous ones in Italy. They have the lowest energy consumption in the world for apple-farming, and not even comparably lower if we consider any other type of food.

Nowadays, apples are among the most “water conscious” foods, thanks to the switch from traditional irrigation with sprinklers to the more innovative and effective drop irrigation. This type of irrigation allows a 50% save. A very important data, mostly if compared with other industrial processed food. A hamburger, for instance, requires almost 350 times the quantity of water used for an apple; a cup of espresso coffee or an egg use almost double.

However, our real pride energy wise, is the exclusive use of renewable energy sources for all production and conservation phases. Finally yet importantly, we must also consider that Trentino apple-farmers can also count on an additional “green” power source, hydroelectric power, thanks to the considerable amount of rivers and lakes in this region.

Low environmental impact and environmental synergy

Our valleys are not only apple orchards. Woods are still much extended through all the Noce Valleys, as in the rest of the Trentino region. This area and its people still lead a life based on nature. 89% of the land is woods or pastures, 2.8% is urbanized and 5.4% is used for agriculture. In addition, woods play an important role because they help maintain a high level of biodiversity, favouring the life and presence of antagonist species therefore supporting biological pest control methods.

 

Bees are another perfect synergy between environment and agriculture. Fundamental allays for any fruit farming system. They enhance the quality of the fruit and promote environmental and economic sustainability.

For this reasons, in the last years, the areas mostly covered by apple orchards have seen a considerable increase of beehives. Today we estimate a presence of over 24,000 beehives in Trentino, with extra 5000 used only during the orchards’ pollination season

100% recycling and reuse

Most of the packaging used for Melinda apples is made of corrugated cardboard originating from sustainable forestry plantations, where the number of planted trees exceeds the one of the cut-down plants. This is to guarantee sufficient raw material for new paper on one hand, and the recycling of old packaging, on the other.

Today, reuse is becoming as popular as a correct recycling. The reuse of plastic containers with collapsible sides is a good example of this new practice.

The strong commitment towards the preservation of the environment has generated the creation of a capillary collection and disposal system. This system not only takes care of any plastic material deriving from the farming activities, but it also handles all phytosanitary products packaging, all over the regional territory. Result: 100% correct disposal and recycling of all hazardous waste.