Fra.Va. Srl was born from the expertise of Mr Valenzano and has been proudly carried out by his children. The company is located in Rutigliano (Ba), in the heart of the main production area of table grapes and cherries.
Puglia, in fact, is known in the world as a leading region for the production of these products, which are qualitatively superior to national and international standards.
For more than 50 years, the Valenzano family has been working in the fruit and vegetable sector in Puglia, dealing with the selection, packaging, refrigeration and distribution of fruit and vegetables, with the aim of supplying a first quality product to the most demanding markets.
The factory covers an area of 26,000 square meters, 11,000 of which are indoor and fully air-conditioned, where there is room for advanced machinery for processing and preserving the product, which allows the fruit to reach its destination as fresh and genuine as just harvested.
The company is equipped with an Internal Quality Control System developed according to UNI EN ISO 9001/2008, based on the following standards:
- IFS (INTERNATIONAL FOOD STANDARD)
Fra.Va. Srl production organization has developed an integrated quality management system based on the Standard Ifs Food that is applied to all phases of production: from the supplier qualification to the production and processing cycle of the entire supply chain up to the customer deliveries, with special attention to a thorough quality control.
- GLOBAL GAP
The protocol identifies and defines the good agricultural practices to be applied in the primary production process. The company, also responding to the demands of European distribution, has always recognized the Global Gap requirements as a standard to be applied in its business processes and it transmits the culture of GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) to the supplying companies, especially to the family farms.
- SA 8000
Another important goal achieved by the company was getting the certification for the Social Responsibility Management System, which demonstrates the commitment of Fra.Va. Srl for ethically correct behaviour towards workers, and a responsible production. Working in accordance with this certification standards helps to: reduce risks, meet the customer’s needs, improve relationships with the suppliers, create better working conditions and a safer working environment, provide clear and reliable guarantees in making responsible purchasing decisions.
The efficient organization of the company guarantees the distribution of its products in very short time to the main national and international markets (Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, ) and to the most important Italian and foreign retail stores.
Thanks to the use of advanced machinery, Fra.Va. Srl is able to preserve the freshness and authenticity of the fruit, offering a competitive, high-quality product.
The factory is equipped with the latest generation refrigeration systems, a Hydrocooler for rapid temperature cooling and an optical calibrator for processing cherries, a microwave that, together with an innovative packaging, lengthens the shelf life of the grapes, without altering the physical and organoleptic characteristics of the fruit.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FOR A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
All investments in innovation are directed towards a policy of sustainable production, which allows to produce in the most environmentally friendly way and to reduce resource consumption as much as possible.
An advanced 100 kWh photovoltaic plant produces clean and renewable energy; the machinery for the treatment of water used to process and sanitize fruit allows to better manage water resources, preserving a precious resource such as water.
AN INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY: THE OPTICAL CALIBRATOR
Fra.Va. Srl has decided to further improve its production through the installation of a new plant for processing and packaging cherries, which improves the already efficient organization of the company.
The plant, realized by ICOEL of Fondi (LT), in collaboration with the New Zealand company Compac Sorting Equipment, allows working in a highly automated way about 6 tons of cherries per hour.
The most innovative part of the machinery is certainly Compac’s InVision system, which creates a real identity for each individual cherry tree: while rotating inside a transport cart, each fruit is subjected to about 60 photographs, 30 in colour and 30 in infrared, which analyse each berry in every single aspect.
The InVision software, through algorithms, determines the softness of each cherry, which is useful to have a skimming of the product from the first category to mature, and its brightness, which is useful to have a skimming based on colour.
At the end of this phase, each cherry is divided according to its size, softness and colour. Finally, each type of imperfection is identified and the specific berry can then be addressed to an output for non-commercialisation.
Thanks to this system, Fra.Va. Srl is able to deliver a uniform product of excellent quality, tailored to the needs of customers.
Packaging using FIT’s microwave technology (Food&Innovative Technologies) preserves grapes and cherries for much longer in a natural way, without the use of sulphites, leaving unchanged the physical and organoleptic characteristics of the fruit and, above all, their taste.
The use of microwaves is very functional to the management of the product during transport and exposure at the point of sale, breaking down pathogenic microorganisms and preserving the antagonist ones, which are useful in controlling and defending the product.
This system, in fact, guarantees the shelf life of the product for the entire supply chain, even after long interruptions in the cold chain (over 24 hours), thus contributing to drastically reducing waste both in the warehouse and at the point of sale as well as in the consumers’ house.
THE NEW WATER PLANT
Another innovative process is the treatment of fruit processing water: a system that produces dematerialised water and sanitizes the product through the dosage of an appropriate sanitizer, allowing you to have a product with zero bacterial values and very low values of yeasts and moulds.
This process allows extending the shelf life of the product, preserving its organoleptic characteristics and giving a cleaner and brighter image of the fruit.
For several years, Fra.Va. Srl has been working on a process of continuous evolution that has led it to become a reference point for fruit and vegetable companies in the south-east of Bari.
The use of integrated production techniques associated with GAP (GoodAgriculturalPractices) is the starting point for guaranteeing high standards of food safety and environmental protection.
The company, to fight Lobesia, uses the technique of mating disruption, a technique that allows reducing the number of phytosanitary treatments for insect control, one of the most dangerous pathogens for table grapes.
Micro-dose fertilisers are used to optimise the absorption by the plants, reduce leaks and groundwater pollution. The fertigation system optimizes fertilizer administration, without leaks of nutrients and water, thanks to their better distribution to the soil and their precise location near the root system of the crops;
Fra.Va. Srl works with the University of Bari in the study of new methods of land management, through the use of spontaneous or controlled grassland with annual or perennial meadows.
Through this system, soil management has been optimised, almost eliminating the soil treatment, obtaining a better response from the plant in terms of stress and reducing diesel consumption, with important repercussions on carbon dioxide production.
LUISA, FIAMMETTA AND APULIA – THE NEW VARIETIES MADE IN PUGLIA
Fra.Va. Srl, together with some important companies in the grape sector, has joined two “business networks” called Grape&Grape Group Srl and Italian Club Variety, companies that are active in research and varietal innovations.
On the one hand, the collaboration with the Italian Club Variety started in 2015 will lead to the introduction in 2018 of new varieties of seed grapes with medium/late ripening thanks to a genetic improvement project that involves some of the scientific and entrepreneurial excellence of the whole southern Italy; on the other hand, the partnership with Grape&Grape Group Srl has allowed Fra.Va. to create, patent and register 3 varieties from an all-Italian chain:
– Luisa is a seedless variety of table grapes (with herbaceous seed, soft and not sensitive to chewing), characterized by an intense yellow colour, bright and uniform, with an excellent preservability before and after harvesting, and a unique taste.
In addition to the charm of the yellow colour, this variety has a very particular, tasty and pleasant flavour. The presence of a small herbaceous seed also guarantees all the benefits and beneficial properties of the seeds while leaving the consumer the perception of eating a seedless grape.
– Fiammetta Seedless is a seedless variety of table grapes, obtained in Puglia using the natural technique of controlled pollination and thanks to the collaboration with Dr Stefano Somma, breeder of Grape&Grape Group Srl.
Fiammetta is a grape that ripens between the last decade of August and the first of September, characterized by berries of a bright red and uniform colour, thin and resistant skin, firm pulp, with a sweet and pleasant taste.
– Apulia Seedless is the third seedless variety of table grapes made in Puglia using natural crossbreeding methods. The name “Apulia” evokes the history of Puglia, a region that has always been dedicated to the cultivation of grapes and that, thanks to the passion of farmers, excels in the production of table grapes.
The Apulia variety is a late ripening grape with harvesting period between the 1st and the 2nd decade of October.
It is characterized by grapes of a uniform violet red colour, thin and resistant skin, firm and crunchy pulp, with a sweet taste. The berries are rounded and uniform in shape and have shown high development potential in response to appropriate cultivation techniques.
The continuous commitment to varietal innovation and the search for increasingly advanced agronomic techniques, without neglecting the attention paid to the environment and company welfare, make Fra. Va. Srl a well-established reality of the Italian fruit and vegetable industry.