The peculiarity of Latium farming is given by the presence of all the agro-food chain-systems, with special relevance to the husbandry of sheep, cattle and buffalos and therefore forage and grain crops, which are largely predominant. But all the sector of fruit and vegetables has a relevant economic weight with olive tree, wine, hazelnut, kiwi and specialised orchard crops.
The vocation of the regional territory to quality agro-food productions was not lost and today even more, is recognised from many side the urgency of a cultural enhancement of the 80 environmental-protected sites, covering 11% of the regional territory, taking advantage of their proximity with the town of Rome, his history and his nature heritage. The quality productions, organic or certified with appellation of origin, are strictly linked to the preservation of farming traditions and of an environmental and agricultural biodiversity that even today are evident in the landscape. Before the EC reg. 2092 of 1991, Latium Region enacted since 1989 the first Italian law on organic farming (Regional Law n.51 / 1989 “Norms for Organic Farming”), establishing a pure public certifying system to protect consumers.
Still today the majority of the 100 farms which started the conversion to organic system in those years, continues to be certified organic operators. The regional organic operators represent a well diversified scenery of regional productions. We have wines, olive oils, cheese and fruit and vegetables organic products with appellation of origin too and more greater is the presence of organic inside the traditional productions. The relevance of organic component inside the farmers-keepers group is not so relevant, but their interest is great toward the possible utilisation of autochthonous genetic resources in their productions, because of the importance and the interest that consumers today give to these aspects. The organic operators and their productions presented in Biofach 2014, correspond to this scenery with some products of excellence. Wine, olive oil, tomato, pasta and kiwi are originated by those area linked to the collective imagination as “Castelli Romani”, Campagna Romana, Sabina and Agro Pontino.
The main operators of these areas are in continuous evolution toward sustainability, taking part, for instance, to different projects to obtain wine without sulphites, or enlarging acknowledgements of their business with carbon credits or green certifications. The near presence of such a town as Rome has always pressed the neighbouring farms to diversify as most as possible their own products in order to answer to the roman market request. Organic operators are exploring new short connections with roman urban compound with special approach to direct sell of a huge scenery of products: vegetables, jams, cereals, bread and pasta, dairy products, honey, meat and sausages.
In the last year specialised selling points grew up all over the region with more than 100 shops, as for direct sell with about 100 organised purchase groups and about 50 farmer markets, not taking in account the direct reception in farm. Another special feature of Latium organic farming is offered by the historical presence of a good 20 biodynamic farms, among whom we find very specialised business particularly inside orchard produce destined almost entirely to the European market. Successful farms induced other organic operators to convert to biodynamic system, in order to reduce other input and in the overall philosophy of the farm as a unique organism tightly linked to soil fertility.
Another specificity of Latium organic farming presented into the exposition, is given by organic processed products. They conquered international relevance enhanced by the general agro-food Italian experience. Some instances could be found in the business for fresh and dry pasta, vegetables processing, from tomato sauce to oil conserves, creams and pâté, special bakeries and dairy products, sausages and coffee not for the last.