The food and farming heritage
The food farming sector represented traditionally, and is nowadays a leading one in the Sicilian economy.
In the past the branch was almost totally featured by primary sector productions, namely refrigeration and processing in food manufacturing; nowadays the sector evolved to a complex system, composed by several activities directly and indirectly connected: fishery and agriculture, food processing industry, functional tools and technologies, food and wine tourism, logistics and retail. The degree of concentration of local agriculture production also impacted on significant specialisation processes, involving both the major regional productive areas and the farms.
The most valuable segment is the horticulture, representing the 24,1% of the total agriculture production, specialised on non-seasonal greenhouse farming. The second most significant segment concerns fruits: 17,4% citrus fruits, 11,6% viticulture, 5,7% olives. Also the fish farming, another significant segment of the food and farming industry, represents today in Sicily an important share of the local economy. The fish and seafood market is featured by a plurality of business operators along the supply and retail chain: production companies, processing companies, dealers and retailers mostly active in the Trapani, Agrigento and Palermo provinces. The productive system is mainly featured by an highly fragmented companies tissue, in particular in the primary sector, where micro and small enterprises prevail, although their dimension strongly limits their competitiveness and the access to extra-regional markets. The most dynamic segments of the processing industry – participating to the current initiative – are an exception, and as they are able to exploit the system strength and opportunities in the market.
Nonetheless, considering the fragmentation of the sector, a positive signal has to be identified in the increased development of the productive clusters: through the activation of enterprise networks, companies are able to overcome their typical dimensional limits and to increase their potential through scale economies, integrated marketing programmes aimed to the creation and promotion of quality trademarks, joint research and development activities and improvement of logistic and freight platforms.
The relevance of the food and farming sector is moreover sustained by public policies: 11 out of 23 clusters recognised by the regional Council for Cooperation, Trade, Craft and Fishery are namely focused on the food and farming industry.
The food and farming in Sicily is a sector with an high added value quality combined with growing economic perspectives. The positive trend is favoured by the excellent climate - ideal to organic and integrated productions – the cluster specialisation in high quality and well-branded segments, and finally the talent for export in the sector.
According to the data provided by Istat (the national statistics institute), in 2010 the sector increased its export share by 13%. The most significant performances concern:
Fruits and vegetables: 21,3%
Cheese and diary products: 15%
Olive oil: 14%
Controlled Origin Denomination Products (certificated by national quality standards): 26%
The segments are widely spread in the Sicilian productive system and represented in the panel of companies within the Business trade initiative, and they are increasingly contributing to the creation of positive export dynamics. Particularly processed products share grew in international markets, face to the fresh products of the primary sector, traditionally the most represented in the food and farming export from Sicily: actually, the citrus fruits production is still nowadays the 70% of the whole national production.
Generally speaking, the sector offer from Sicily is fully coherent with the leading products of the food and farming export at national level, with particular regard to wine, unrivalled leader of processed segment, in comparison to the “followers”: virgin and extra virgin olive oil, pasta, tomato sauce and peeled tomatoes, biscuits and pastries, seasoned cheese, roasted coffee. Moreover, in the last few years, the sector is increasingly strengthening the increased spread of Italian nutrition style in traditional markets, contributing to the creation of a set of recognised features of the so-called Italian lifestyle, also through peculiar local productions. Food and faming Sicilian products are appreciated at international level as they perfectly represent the Mediterranean diet, a nutritional model based on healthy food style of the European countries of the Mediterranean Basin, and recently recognised by the UNESCO as intangible world heritage.
Typical quality productions
The Sicilian food and farming heritage is among the world’s richest and most varied, its products present peculiar sensory and healthy qualities: it depends mainly from traditional production methodologies. Moreover, the tastes of these products are different across territories and provinces. The original production sites, often territorially limited, grant different and unique features: the sites are literally gastronomic deposits, as they are the result of human capital and knowledge transferred throughout generations. The food and farming Sicilian system has a strong concentration of excellence products with certified origin denomination: several typical production are marked as DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Controlled Origin Denomination), DOP - Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin) and IGP – Indicazione geografica protetta (Protected Geographical Indication).
There are nine Sicilian products recognised as DOP and IGP, out of which four from horticulture, three are olive oils and two are diary products. They represent more than the 8% of DOp and IGP products at national level and recognised at EU level. With regard to winery, there are more than 30 wines with a VQPRD certification (Quality wines produced in identified regions), covering a share of 5,5% of the 456 Italian DOC, DOCG and IGT denominations. The wine sector is therefore recognised as a significantly interesting segment, able to growth in foreign markets and to grant, in other areas of the Country, relevant satisfaction as for productivity and earnings.
The tourism heritage
A trip to Sicily allows to discover the reason why the island has been considered for centuries so important: sun, corn, green hills in springtime and golden in the summer, warm weather, crystal sea, colours, scents, everything concur to make a myth out of this land. A myth to be discovered again and again, even today, within the infinite variety of its landmarks, its genuine and tasty products, its powerful nature well-represented by its active volcanoes, its remarkable monuments unveiling the roots of the Mediterranean culture.
Located between Europe and Africa, Sicily was always a meeting point among different cultures, who left their priceless heritage to this land, giving birth to complex mixtures in language, habits, food and wine traditions, arts and architecture. Actually, the Region Sicily inherited one of the world’s most evocative artistic legacy: charming and genuine landscapes and fascinating historic heritage. Additionally to the most renown and promoted features of its territory, Sicily a land rich in resources: an added value to become a boost for growth and economic development, and most of all, an important opportunity for international business.
Beaches, shores and sea cliffs
Sicily is the biggest Island of the Mediterranean, as well as the biggest and most southern region of Italy. The Messina’s Strait, narrower than 3 kilometres, separates it from continental Italy, while the Channel of Sicily divides it from Africa, 140 kilometres far. The island has vague triangle shape, the longest sides facing northward the Tyrrhenian Sea and southward the Channel of Sicily, while the third coast faces eastward the Ionian Sea. The beauty of the three seas surrounding the island, the charm of the bathing and touristic sites, the variety of the coasts, the purity of the seabed determines the touristic appeal of the island. The fascinating natural landscape, the warm weather, the richness of the nature makes a summer holyday an unique experience. Flat, infinite sand shores or little and steep slopes, snow-white cliffs with ochre, yellow, grey and even lava-black nuances.. Bigger cities provides renown bathing lidos, from the Mondello shore nearby Palermo centre offering sports events, white sand, palm and liberty architectural style to the Playa of Catania, cherished by writers; from the shore of San Leone nearby Agrigento, to the so-called Fontane Bianche (white fountains) in Syracuse. Moreover, several beaches in minor islands and touristic sites are famous for their very fine sand, the blue sea clearness and the magic nature as framework.
The Islands of Sicily.
Sicily and its islands constitutes a single marvellous archipelagos, able to create always new, unique and fascinating combinations. Atmospheres and sites born from the four natural elements and their meeting with the myth, which, as precious treasure chests, keep priceless jewels to be discovered and charms to be conquered. Sicily includes several minor islands: the Aeolians and Ustica north to the Tyrrhenian coast, the Aegadians close to the Trapani coast, the Pelagie and Pantelleria southward to the Channel of Sicily. North-east to the Sicilian coast, following the mythical Ausonians and Cnidian navarches sea route, hit by the salty sea wind, the Aeolians archipelago deploys as a fan its seven enchanted islands. Considered their volcanic nature, they are the sister islands of the Pacific pearls, namely the Hawaii. Among the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches of the Mediterranean lays Ustica: picturesque and colourful, also thanks to the fishermen houses murals, the volcanic island emerges secluded, 36 miles away from the Palermo coast. The land is only a little part of the imposing undersea volcanic system, extended several miles toward north. The little Aegadian archipelago in front of Trapani and Marsala, is composed by the three major Favignana,
Levanzo and Marettimo and by the islet of Formica. The Aegadians offers to visitors a trip based on easiness, thanks to the untroubled and peaceful trapanese countryside attitude. Another island in the Trapani province is Pantelleria, renown for its lifestyle in cool “dammusi” (traditional house), the natural park and sites such as the Montagna Grande (Big Moluntain), the pines and the holm oaks wood, the volcano Mount Gibele and the archaeological sites such as the catacombs of Monastero, the abandoned village of Mueggen, the Bagno Asciutto Grotto, formerly used as sauna, and the favare (fava beans storage).
In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily and Tunisia, the little black volcanic islands, Lampedusa, Linosa and Lampione, emerge from the water. The Pelagie archipelago is the beloved destination for those looking for the sea as a total experience.
Parks, natural reserves and protected areas
The four regional parks are nowadays an efficient arrangement to protect fragile ecosystem and to exploit tourism, sport and learning facilities in mountain areas.
The Etna park was the first to be settled in 1987, and thanks to its orography generated by volcanic eruptions, it is a real botanic garden. Actually, Etna is not only the highest active volcano in Europe, but also a mountain where the life shows a prosperous plant universe.
The Nebrodi Park along the Tyrrhenian coast, is the biggest protect area in the Region: among its wide forests, are to be found ancient traditions related to land cultivation, weaving, horse breeding and ceramics.
The Park of Madonie, in Palermo province is a real natural micro cosmos, collecting all the plant species of the Mediterranean, within an exceptionally beautiful environment, enriched by medieval villages and priceless
historic and artistic heritage.
Finally, the new-born is the River Park of Alcantara, located between Messina and Catania: a natural environment possessed by a primitive beauty, where the landscape is shaped by the encounter between water and fire, where the river digs and meet boiling lava, thus creating big stones architecture: gorges, polished cliffsides, water jumps, smooth blocks of stone.
Arts, culture, tradition
Sicily is, above all, a land rich in culture.
Its history is marked by great civilizations, from Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans to Muslims and Normans. The preciousness of the cultural heritage certify its richness, together with a terrific natural framework. An enormous touristic potential, joint to the peculiar magic and the mystery surrounding the island and its tradition. The imposing architectural remains of theatres, temples, aqueducts and monuments still standing within urban relics, as well as the quantity and quality of the sculptures and the decorations of ancient buildings witness the centuries of the great greek-sicilian, roman and byzantine civilizations and constitutes one of the major archaeological treasure of the world.
The incoming participants
Azienda Agricola Barbuscia
The Company “Barbuscia” starts up in 1950 in the feud Sortavilla, of Bourbon origin. Since the origins it maintains its characteristics of typically agricultural estate that focuses its main activities in the cereal growing branch. The farm house is in the heart of Sicily, in the territory of Piazza Armerina on a field of about 180 hectares. Thanks to its favourable position, on the hills that slope down from the Erei Mountains towards the plain of Catania, and also to a temperate microclimate (low humidity and sufficiently hot sun), the company changes its production, devoting good part of the area to artichoke fields, olive groves, tomato growing and other vegetable cultivation. In 2001 the company makes a quality jump that in a few years brings to the realization of an appreciated product: both from a quality point of view and from that of a rigorous preserving of tradition and culture that make it to be an original and appreciated brand.
Vini Patria is a winery that deals with the entire chain of wine production, with over 250 hectares of vineyards (for the major part “Etna Doc”) spread all over the Sicilian territory. Vini Patria has a modern manufacturing facility, which includes a cellar with the capacity of over 8500 hectolitre, and a large fleet of wine vats, tanks and barrels, with a production capacity of 8.000 bottles per day. The company presents its products under two brands aimed at two different markets: “Patria” (high range market) “Torrepalino” (medium to low range market). The last one includes also a line bag in box. Etna dop Bianco, Etna dop Rosso, Etna dop Rosato, Merlot IGP, Cabernet IGP, Chardonnay IGP, Nero d’Avola IGP, Pinot noir IGP, Spumante Palici brut Bianco, Spumante Palici brut Rosè, Eneo passito
The company offers a wide and selected range of tourism services at local level, in order to answer to customers requirements, from large Enterprises to individual needs.
In the nineties, the company Ricceri begins to create on the base of ancient traditional recipes, some products devoted to all pastry masters to simplify their job, to stimulate their creativeness and to exalt the quality of their products. This is how he decided to produce a range of handicraft semi manufactured products composed by: babà, savarin and cakes, combining the top quality of the products, realized for a long time without the use of preservatives, with the convenience of many different sizes, simple to use. Moreover, the HACCP self-control system, the conformity to all the community and Italian regulations, guarantee quality and hygiene of our semi manufactured products for confectionery.
Tourism services to associated hotels and accommodation facilities. The consortium groups lodging facilities, namely 2 hotels and 12 B&Bs, offering more than 100 beds. The Consortium joins the Slow Tourism club and to the fair, sustainable and responsible tourism; its activities are mainly carried out in the sport and health segment. Travel package sto the south side of the Etna. Transfer of individuals and groups from Catania airport to Nicolosi Etna. Guide and support to small groups biking and trekking.
Società Agricola De Gregorio
The De Gregorio winery produces, processes and bottles label wine as well third party labels. The winery covers 30 ha area and includes local and international grape varieties.
Magaria Rosso IGT Sicilia - Nero d’Avola/Cabernet Sauvignon
Magaria Bianco IGT Sicilia - Chardonnay
Rosa di Nero Igt Sicilia - Rosè wine from nero d’avola
Bianco di San Lorenzo IGT Sicilia - Ansonica/Incrocio Manzoni
Dragonara Rosso IGT Sicilia - Nero d’Avola/Merlot
Gragonara Bianco IGT Sicilia - Grillo
Haris Rosso IGT Sicilia - Nero D’Avola
Rahana Bianco IGT Sicilia - Ansonica
Rosso di Sicilia IGT - Nero d’Avola
Bianco di Sicilia IGT - Ansonica
Manfredi barbera e figli
Passion, territory, initiative are the ingredients that make the products of the Barbera Company the real ambassadors of Sicilian quality in the world. Nowadays the Manfredi Barbera & Figli S.p.A. is one of the most advanced oil company of the international panorama. It produces excellent products, obtained and bottled according to the highest food standards of quality and hygiene. Both the factory and production are assured by the most important certifications: ISO 9001, UNI11020, BRC certificate (British Retail Consortium), IFS Certificate (International Food standards) and Kosher Technical Consultants. Thanks to the experience and competence acquired in more than a century of activity, the areas that are more devoted for olive cultivation are individuated, for their microclimatic characteristics, altitude, land typology, position. On each area is effected a severe and rigorous selection of the best olives that belong to the different cultivar with absolutely distinctive characteristics for density, colour, fragrance and taste. All cultivation phases, from pruning to picking are constantly monitored by the company. Olives are picked by hand slightly in advance, put in boxes and brought the same day to the mills partners of the company that are nearer to the cultivation fields.
The Oil Mill Peltom starts up from an ancient family tradition of love for nature and for its fruits. Originated from a small production for personal use, the knowledge and the diffusion of Peltom oil has generated an always bigger demand of the product, so to enlarge and convert all the land in wide biologic olive groves of protected origin (D.O.P). The creation of an oil mill, fruit of care and devotion, nowadays sets the company in the role of territory leader for innovation and mill services, creating an excellent product, entirely Sicilian, with a complete drawplate “from the tree to the bottle”: Il Pregio. The company exploits and promotes the uniqueness of the Sicilian land with rigorous controls that attest the complete drawplate of top quality.
Baglio dei fenicotteri
The company is located in the Sichilli Vendicare rural neighborhood, in the territory between Pachino and Noto, among the hills where the renown wine production from the Nero d’Avola and the Moscato di Noto cultivars started; the company is included in the wine route circuit of the Valdinoto. Squasi family dedicated several generations to the wine and oil productin. Recently, the company innovated its production process with new vineyards espaliered plantation, the enlargement of olive groves, and two technologically innovative factories. The company mission focuses the exploitation of local quality cultivars, namely: Production and bottling of Nero d’Avola and Moscato di Noto wines; Production of Moresca, Verdese, Nocellara olive oil varieties; each product is carefully grown applying the certified and controlled methodologies for organic farming. WINES: Moscato di Noto D.O.C., Organic D.O.C. ELORO Pachino Riserva: nero d’Avola, Organic D.O.C. ELORO Pachino: Nero d’Avola, Organic I.G.P. Sicilia Rosso: Nero d’Avola, Organic I.G.P. Sicilia Bianco: moscato di Noto, Inzolia. OIL: Organic Extra virgin olive oil: Etna varieties Moresca, Verdese, Nocellara
De Gregorio Massimo
The Marchesi De Gregorio Company produces biological wines and olive oil, in a perfect equilibrium between technological innovation and respect for nature, following the whole production drawplate, from the choice of varieties to bottling. The Company is located in Contrada Sirignano, in an area of Sicily that is naturally and strongly devoted to grape growing: the Belice Valley, south to the Territory of DOC Monreale and at the centre of DOC Alcamo. Joined to the farm there is the Sirignano Wine Resort, holiday structure that welcomes and offers pleasant moments of relax to all those who are fond of wine tourism and food and wine connoisseurship. The Sirignano Wine Resort has recently been restored with full respect of the local architectonic style.
Eukion is a new company that bases its activity on competences and experiences that derive from years of researches on recipes, raw materials, ingredients and production techniques. The particular production technique used in the factory of Belpasso, at the foot of Etna, consists in working the crystals formed during deep-freezing in such a way that they result particularly small. The result is softness, typical characteristic of the Real Sicilian Water Ice, which makes the Water Ice of Nevaroli dell’Etna unmistakable.The use of only Sicilian citrus fruits juice and the selection of the “Minnulata”, typical almond flavoured water ice served for breakfast, make these products to be special and bearers of exclusive quality and tradition. Soft ice-cream is the most sold cold product in winter: it has a fine and smooth consistence, it is fat-free, without food colouring and artificial flavours and it is made of Sicilian citrus fruits juice, sugar and water. The Cold Desserts the Nevaroli dell’Etna are specialties whose taste is all Sicilian with excellent ingredients: almonds of Avola, Sicilian pistachio and ricotta cheese.
The farming company offers rural accomodation and produces extravirgin olive oil, Nocellara Etnea variety.
The Company Oil Mill Cutrera, a family enterprise, is situated on an area of about 50 hectares in the territory of Chiaramonte Gulfi, in the heart of the Hyblaean Mountains in the south-eastern area of Sicily. Since generations it deals with olive cultivation, a job carried on with love and devotion. For many years the company has received prizes and rewards for the quality of its products in some of the most prestigious contests: Gold Medal Los Angeles 2005; 1° classed at the “Leone d’oro” contest of Masters 2004; 1° classed at the “Festambiente” contest of Grosseto 2004; 3 olive Guida Slow Food 2003-2005; 1° classed at “Ercole Oliario” contest. The point in favour of the Oil Mill Cutrera is the diversity of the three extraction lines that allows adopting the extraction technique according to the variety and the ripeness of the olives, being able to obtain intense and wellbalanced fruity oils. The olives are processed in the company mills within six hours from their picking. All process operations are carried out with meticulous attention rigorously by cold extraction. The Oil Mill Cutrera uses exclusively machines of the Pieralisi group, worldwide leader in oil machinery manufacture.
The oil mill “Frantoio Polizzi” produces since over 50 years, an extra virgin oil from precious olive varieties, namely Nocellara del Belice, Nostrana, Etnea, Tonda Iblea. The product range is completed by seasonings and dressings based on extra virgin olive oil and spices, pate and renown Sicilian food products. Our olive oil is nationally awarded for its excellence and it is included as top-quality oil in the olive oil food guides since several years (Slow food, L’extravergine , etc.).
GGP Tenute Moganazzi
The farming company is focused on production and bottling of quality wine (10.000 bottles per year) and extra virgin olive oil (3.000 bottles).
Oleificio San Calogero
For generations the Santangelo family has been devoted to the cultivation of olives and other agricultural species that characterise the Mediterranean environment, in full respect of the traditional models of the typical Sicilian farm, and even though it has included in the production cycle all the technologic innovations offered by research. From olive cultivation the interest has expanded throughout the years to oil production and trading of extra virgin olive oil of top quality. Moreover the farm has started the procedure for the creation of a product of Protected Denomination of Origin, supporting the disciplinary regulations for the production of the extra virgin olive oil Val di Mazara; this foresees also to support the rigorous control regulation adopted by the body authorized by the Ministry for agricultural policy.
Tornisia Aziende Agricole
Tornisìa is a young company that produces its products with absolute qualitative standards. Olive cultivation is carried out in the most traditional way and, in the meantime, in the most innovative and revolutionary. Thirty hectares of new intensive olive groves with the most interesting national varieties are placed side by side to the 40 extensive hectares with the most traditional autochthonous varieties of secular trees. The care of the ground and of the plants, the fruit harvesting and the transformation of olives in oil: every detail receives the necessary attention so that the final result is an integrally guaranteed product. The oil is bottled or packed in tin plate cans, after natural decantation and before filtration through filter plates, and nitrogen insufflations for the elimination of oxygen present in the space of the bottle’s / can’s head; the full production drawplate from the kind of olives to the manufactured product is assured. Process ductility allows the change formed easily and rapidly, to allow a better processing and offer a better service of co-packaging for the “Private Labels” of the Customers.
Campo D’Oro di Licata Paolo & C.
The company produces food preserves, processing vegetables, seafood, ready-to-eat sauce and gravy, pate, pesto and dressing.
The company three trademarks are:
• Villa Reale - dedicate to niche retail
• Paolo Licata - dedicated to Great Distribution
• Linea Stuzzichi dedicate to catering and food services
The company ensures a productive capacity to provide the volumes requested by GD.
Azienda Agricola la 3D
The estate of the Destro Pastizzaro family is located among the chestnut groves of the appreciated DOC area of Etna, in one of the richest areas for the history of Eastern Sicily. In this place all fragrances, lights and colours have a very particular aspect. According to the tradition brought ahead for years by its forefathers, this historical company today lives again thanks to the Destro family that has transformed it into a modern vine growing and wine producing company. A marriage of technology and tradition in which the storehouses and the old rural houses keep advanced wine making equipments and tools. Here the Destro family incited by great attachment and love for its land, devotes itself to the cultivation of autochthonous vines such as the Nerello Mascalese, the Nerello Mantellato, the Carricante and the Catarratto, with the purpose to reach the maximum expression of its own wines with great passion and devotion.
The historic wine comany was established in 1898, and it is nowadays a medium size enterprise, among the biggest and most renown in Sicily. It includes a wide range of IGT, DOC e DOCG wines, strongly connected to local territory, with local and international cultivar. The significant dimension is strictly connected to the creation and use of a modern retail sales in Italy and abroad.
The Coffee Company of Fisichella starts up in 1987 on the slopes of Etna, when its founder Salvatore Fisichella, considering the great demand by the local public, decides to open a roasting shop in the centre of Catania, where, with great mastery he creates a coffee blend for good palates. Thanks to the passion for his job and to continuous modernization, the company has been transformed by selling its products both at a national and international level standing up to the continuous evolution of the market, without slacking the strong attachment with tradition that always represents a fundamental value. For this reason the company has introduced also coffee packaging in single dose tablets in controlled atmosphere and the use of nitrogen in all its packages. The quality of the Fisichella coffee products is fruit of deep passion and attention showed in every coffee processing phase. In fact the company is always busy in research and rigorous selection of the most valuable coffee choices, imported by the best producer countries in the world.