Cattolica Agricola and Loacker: a development project for Italian hazelnuts
Diversification and experimentation in agri-food. This is the challenge of the Nocciole Loacker Veneto project, created by Cattolica Agricola, a company in the Cattolica Assicurazioni Group, in collaboration with Loacker. A plan was launched in 2018 to plant a 200-hectare hazelnut orchard on Cattolica's Estates in Roncade. Hazelnut cultivation is experiencing a phase of strong growth due to increasing demand from companies requiring more products of Italian origin and a controlled supply chain. This topic was addressed on October 9 at a conference entitled “The hazelnut: a new opportunity for farmers. A Loacker and Cattolica Agricola project”, held in the Auditorium at Cattolica’s Ca’ Tron Estate. “Cattolica has always been close to the world of agriculture. Our activity on this project demonstrates our commitment to sustainable and innovative agricultural experimentation, with a constant focus on product quality and the ethical and positive impact of the work,” said Gino Benincà, Chairman of Cattolica Agricola. “The hazelnut orchard, which will be extended further in the next few months, adds value to the diversification and experimentation project we have launched in our Estates, which cover more than two thousand hectares and represent a unique region in Italy for biodiversity, crop quality and overall environmental sustainability”. “To meet its requirement for Italian-grown hazelnuts and to have raw materials of controlled origin, Loacker launched its long-term “Italian Hazelnut Orchards” plan in 2014. Today, the plan involves a range of regions as diverse as Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Friuli Venezia-Giulia and Veneto,” says Felix Niedermayr, Head of Agricultural Development at Loacker. “Here, we got essential support from Cattolica Agricola, which immediately believed in the project and enabled us to plant the first hazelnut orchards”. The conference was attended by Professor Valerio Cristofori of Tuscia University in Viterbo and Elio Tronchin, Head of Cooperation and Supply Chains at Impresa Verde Treviso-Belluno Srl, who put forward ideas for discussion on planting methods and the opportunities offered by hazelnut cultivation.