Environmental sustainability

The farm has always paid special attention to achieving the goal of sustainability, which is not always a primary concern for agricultural and livestock operations.

In keeping with this goal, over the years the business has seen the introduction of numerous products and innovations that have transformed the farm into the environmentally-sustainable operation that it is today.

This can be seen in the adoption of organic methods and the environmentally-aware cultivation techniques. In fact the organic land is worked in an eco-friendly way using strictly organic methods that are controlled by an independent certification body, while the land cultivated using traditional methods involves the exclusive use of cultivation techniques and farm equipment with a low environmental impact.

The widespread use of zero-tillage (sod seeding) techniques reduces energy consumption, safeguards the natural activity of the soil by conserving the natural organic processes, and reduces run-off and erosion as well as compaction caused by farm machinery and tractors, which are all equipped with flotation tyres.

The farm has long used methods aimed at reducing the use of chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides, as well as respecting the environment and soil. Examples include proper crop rotation (alternating different crops on the same land) and the enrichment of the soil with crop residues, which enables the incorporation of organic material from livestock and, more recently, digestate from the biogas production plant. The impact of cultivation is further reduced by the existence of both cultivated land and woodland/hedges and tree rows that provide a natural habitat for fauna and flora, mechanical weed control (flame weeding) and the use of low-volume sprayers with the mist blowing of chemicals that can be used relatively effectively at lower dosages. Other measures include targeted fertilisation plans for each plot of land based on chemical soil analysis, localised fertilisation, supervised control and harvesting of rainwater for irrigation.

The farm has been at the forefront of environmentally-friendly practices and regulations. For many years it has sorted its waste and recycled used oil, batteries, plastic, paper/card and glass, as well as recovering the organic waste for compost.

At La Bellotta special attention is also paid to workers' wellbeing, through specific workplace safety plans and targeted training for employees.

The farm has always believed in the importance of renewable energies, going so far as to build a 180 kW photovoltaic plant and a 1 MW biogas plant. These installations not only make the farm energy independent, but have also turned it into a significant producer of renewable energy.