La Bellotta farm was established in the early 1960s when a family of textile entrepreneurs with no agricultural background purchased around 400 hectares of land and built the farm structures from scratch.
It is located between the La Mandria estate and the Stura river, comprising land partly owned by the Medici del Vascello family (owners of La Mandria) and by small local farmers. It includes five farmhouses which have since been renovated for residential use. The land is a mix of arable and mixed broadleaf woodland.
Today the majority of the farm's agricultural products are used for biogas production. Both maize and triticale are cut at wax maturity stage and form the bulk of the material fed into the biogas digester.
In full compliance with proper crop rotation practices, the triticale harvest is followed by a second crop of maize which is sown directly into the triticale stubble according to the sod-seeding or zero-tillage technique. Organic crops are grown on approximately 30 hectares of land dedicated to organic production and provide the dry matter required for the poultry operation to be certified as organic (the code of practice states that at least 50 % of the fodder used to feed the 9000 hens must be produced on-site on organic land using organic production methods).
The poultry sheds currently house 9000 laying hens for organic egg production. This production method, with a daily output of 9000 organic eggs, is regulated by rigorous controls and the adoption of a specific livestock code of practice.
This set of rules establishes: a strict diet of organic and GM-free fodder, partly produced on-site, a ban on the use of drugs, a minimum space per bird of 10 m3 inside the shed and 4 m2 of outdoor pasture where the hen must be able to range freely, and a ban on the use of artificial light to stimulate production.