The spring season of the Sicilian carrot is in full swing after a winter characterized by frosts and heavy rainfall, especially in the south-eastern part of the region.
We spoke to Massimo Pavan of PEF Srl, one of the leading carrot producers and traders in Italy, to better understand the situation.
“Let’s start with Sicily where, according to the specifications of the Consorzio della Carota Novella di Ispica IGP, the marketing can be carried out between February 15 and June 20. We have asked the ministry to start the harvest from the beginning of February, because the changes in the climate would allow us to start the season two weeks earlier. We hope to get a response soon. “
Pef was established in 1980 as a subsidiary of Gruppo Peviani. There are two facilities, one in Chioggia and one in Ispica, and both processing centers hold Ifs GlobalGAP and Grasp certifications.
Carrots are processed in the Ispica plant between February and May. The new IGP carrots are grown on 150 hectares. They are particularly sweet and crunchy and always very popular with consumers. Thanks to one of the largest factories in the sector, the company can package around 200 tonnes of carrots per day, which are cooled by 2 hydrocoolers which considerably extend the shelf life.
“Unlike elsewhere in Europe, there are no carrot storage facilities in Italy. They are used to place summer carrots in cold storage units for 6-8 months depending on market needs and are useful in areas where fresh carrots are not available year round. After storing them, the carrots are brushed to make them look like fresh carrots. “
Above and below: Pef cares about the environment. Most of the water used during treatment is filtered and recycled and, thanks to a large photovoltaic plan, the company can self-produce all the energy it needs, so its CO2 emissions are close to zero.
While carrots remain the core business of the company, other products have also been introduced, such as mini watermelons, zucchini (1,500 tonnes) and tomatoes (2,000 tonnes including the famous Pomodoro di Pachino IGP.
In Chioggia, the factory run by Massimo’s brother Roberto, produces and sells winter and summer carrots. The production area reaches the lower part of Ferrara, where the soil is sandy and particularly suitable for growing long and elegant carrots. Harvesting of the 130 hectares begins in early May and ends in early August. Winter carrots are grown on 50 hectares between October and February.
Another flagship product of Pef Chioggia is red radicchio, which is cultivated in Veneto. Around 3,000 tonnes of products are marketed across Europe each year. In addition, the company is part of the Consorzio del Radicchio di Chioggia IGP.
Inauguration of the new Pef offices in Chioggia
A plaque dedicated to Cav. Eugenio Ennio Pavan, a recently deceased founding member of Pef Srl, was also discovered (see photo below).
Each year, Pef produces around 20,000 tonnes, 70% of which is for export. The remainder goes to Italian retailers, H&R and the processing industry.
Chioggia’s new offices
“High quality, food safety and rapid responses to a constantly changing market are the fundamental objectives of our company. It is difficult to survive in this industry without a value added product. Another important factor is to work as a team with other local actors. companies, in order to further promote local production and grow the sector. Fair competition is essential because it is the only way to stand up to the biggest brands.
“We have also created a good team, focused on achieving our goals. They really care about the business as if it was their own and we try to work together because we are convinced that this is the only way to achieve the best results. “
Administration and production and packaging facility
Via PE Venturini, 248
30015 Chioggia (VE)
Phone. : (+39) 041 491544
Fax: (+39) 041 5541337
Production ad packaging facility
97014 Ispica (RG)
Phone. : (+39) 0932 951822
Fax: (+39) 0932 952801