Friend of the Earth , the leading global certification standard for products and companies that adhere to sustainable practices, today announced that it has certified H2Orto tomatoes , for hydroponic cultivation. Produced in Italy by the FRI-EL Green House farm , the H2Orto tomato grown in high-tech greenhouses can now show the Friend of the Earth logo on its products.
” FRI-EL has done an extraordinary job creating synergies between green energy and sustainable agriculture, ” said Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Earth . “It is a company for which respect for the environment is part of its DNA”
From heat, to greenhouse, to “100% good” production
The Group, one of the main Italian producers of energy from renewable sources, was looking for a way to not disperse the heat generated by its biogas plants. Through FRI-ELGreen House, the group has invested in the construction, in the Ostellato (FE) area, of hyper-technological greenhouses for the production of tomatoes, which are heated with the hot water produced by the adjacent biogas plant. “ We have thus created – explains Alessio Orlandi, commercial director of FRI-EL Green House – a system that allows us to make the sites productive 365 days a year. We are currently equipped with 12 hectares of greenhouses and 220 km of LED lights that allow winter production . ” “ In this way, – completes Orlandi – r we recover precious energy and at the same time we create a virtuous cycle that is good for the environment and for our tomatoes “.
H2Orto is born: sustainable goodness for the planet and the consumer
The benefits of hydroponic production concern both the environment and the healthiness of the tomato purchased by the final consumer. As for the first aspect, the production model used allows to use much less land than traditional crops in the field (one hectare of hydroponic greenhouse produces the same quantity of vegetables that would be obtained in about 10 hectares of traditional crops). Furthermore, unlike what happens “in the open field”, this type of production includes irrigation systems that ensure the right amount of water for the plants and that recover rainwater, avoiding waste as much as possible. Finally, the heating necessary for the winter months is guaranteed by the biogas plant, powered by by-products of agricultural origin which, at the end of their use, they are transformed into fertilizers. “In summary – says Orlandi – we save 70% of the surface, 70% of water and we use a production model that exploits the circular economy “.
Thanks to a survey conducted on the purchasing managers *, it was found that the consumer, once known H2ORTO, appreciates this method as it reduces water and soil consumption, not using herbicides and glyphosate. “Ours is a true ‘sustainable goodness’, as we like to say, as our tomatoes are grown in a controlled environment and are always good, thanks to the ideal climate of our greenhouses. Even the packaging we have chosen is recyclable and sustainable. “
* source: SG MARKETING consumer CAWI survey on 1000 tomato purchasing managers – 2019.
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