La Cooperativa Agricola La Collina was established in 1975 by a group of young people from Reggio Emilia who believed that it was possible to combine life, work and assisting the socially disadvantaged.
Initially, the agricultural cooperative relied on traditional farming, focusing on vines, fodder, grains, and cattle and pig breeding. Later, the decision was made to grow vegetables as well, sold directly on the farm. A few years later, the founding group’s philosophy clashed with conventional chemical farming, which impoverishes the land and pollutes the soil. It also did not yield the much desired results as these do not take into account the high price paid by Mother Nature and the entire community.
In 1985, the group adopted organic farming methods for crops and breeding, guaranteed by the Icea – Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification. Its interest in respecting nature and the Earth prompted the Cooperative to learn more about biodynamic agriculture, which was conceived in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophical science.
In 1996, the whole company adopted this cultivation method, which has been continuously perfected thanks to the contribution of researchers such as Eugene Kolisko, Pleiffer, Maria Thun and Alex Podolinsky.
La Cooperativa Agricola La Collina believes in biodynamic agriculture as a way of protecting the environment and ensuring human well-being. This approach to farming the land takes into account soil fertility, biodiversity and the environment, which are common goods to be passed on – with added value – to future generations. It therefore complies with production limits while maintaining an efficient economy and ensuring excellent results in terms of the agronomic aspects and quality of the products obtained.
La Collina’s crops include a wide range of products:
- The vineyards, mostly of Lambrusco grapes: Grasparossa, Maestri, Salamino, Malbo gentile as well as aromatic Malvasia di Candia
- Grains: soft wheat of ancient varieties such as Gentil Rosso, Gold Korn, Frassineto, Marzuolo, Gamba di ferro, Inallettabile and Risciola
- Alfalfa of the Ecotipo Romagnola type
- Vegetables: various types of salad, tomatoes for canning and table tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, white cabbages, green cabbages, Savoy cabbages, leeks, cauliflowers, broccoli, eggplants, bell peppers, cucumbers, chards, chicory, lettuce, spinach, turnips, radishes, celeriac, asparagus, fennel, celery, yam, potatoes, garlic, onions, shallots, beans, broad beans, peas, strawberries, basil, parsley, arugula, Jerusalem artichokes and others.
La Collina raises pigs and cattle of the Charolaise breed and rabbits.
It is a closed-loop supply chain breeding system: the animals are purchased when young from trusted suppliers of organically raised livestock, and are then reared on the farm in free stalls with access to pasture.
They are fed exclusively with produce grown on the farm, such as hay, and with organic fodder, some of which is produced on the farm and some purchased from organic farmers.
The closed-loop supply chain allows us to trace products back to their source with 100% certainty and is certified at every stage (fodder, medicines, slaughter) by the Icea – Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification, which monitors our work by conducting inspections and analyzing samples of the products we use.
Fresh and processed meat (e.g. cured meats) are sold in the farm shop.
The core values that underpin our work are:
- Sharing and Welcoming: the driving force behind our work since our inception
- Respecting land and the environment: we grow crops according to the principles of Organic and Biodynamic agriculture and strive to minimize our impact on nature
- Genuineness: we do not use chemicals
- Quality: our products stand out for their organoleptic qualities and high nutritional value
- Passion: our job is hard and we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t love it
All our products, which are exclusively organic and biodynamic, are sold directly on the farm and in retail stores in the city and throughout the province.
In addition to fresh produce, the Cooperative sells processed products, made from its own produce and processed by small artisan businesses, which are also organically certified.
Other processed products from Italian farms, carefully selected for their organic and biodynamic farming methods, can also be found in retail stores.