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FRI-EL Green House presents Strabena

Italian greenhouse growers launch new premium tomato and expansion plans

On Wednesday, May 17, at the Vergani-Navarra Institute,  Fri-El Green House presented Strabena, the De Ruiter midi cherry truss variety for which it holds exclusive cultivation and distribution rights on a national level. The variety is grown all year round under controlled conditions so that it is available with continuity and using techniques with a low environmental impact. 

Left to right: Simone Giusti, Davide D'Ignoto, Sandra Gostner, Roberto Orlandi

"It is a prestigious variety for us, and we are certain it will give us great satisfaction by conquering the Italian market in a short time," the team said, adding that Strabena is a premium tomato with a strawberry shape that stands out thanks to its sweetness, flavor, and elegant appearance. "Berries weigh 20-25 grams and boast a high sugar level of 8-9 degrees brix with a unique sweet flavor."

After successfully passing all the flavor tests carried out by Fri-El Green House before being placed on the market, Strabena is ready for the big retail chains. "It is sold under the H2orto brand and with a new sustainable, recyclable cardboard or plastic packaging depending on client needs. The Nickel Free sticker is present on all packets and fully reflects company values and the maximum sustainability of hydroponic cultivation," reported Davide D'Ignoto, Sales Manager Italy. 

Strabena is produced all year round and is sent to the main big retail chains in Italy as well as to Germany and Austria. 

"We started distributing Strabena, and we have already received a lot of great feedback as this tomato is of high quality, resulting in a good demand." 

"We want to expand the product range, so we are performing tests to grow zucchini, eggplants, three different melon varieties, and snack peppers in three colors weighing between 40 and 60 grams. Our most immediate challenge is the achievement of the energy transition by 2026. We want to avoid relying on fossil fuels and become carbon neutral. In addition, a geothermal and a photovoltaic system will be installed by the end of 2023, so we will achieve full energy autonomy." 

The company is a pioneer in its sector in Italy. It was set up in 2015 on 1.5 hectares and expanded over the years to reach 31.1 hectares of greenhouses in 2023. The expansion plan aims to reach 60 hectares, and the company's main objective is to achieve the energy transition by 2026.

"The turnover has increased steadily since 2015 due to the continued expansion of the production area and the passing from mass products (traditional bunch tomatoes) to premium ones (premium copper, cocktail, and mini plum tomatoes). From the €13 million turnover of 2020, we have estimated €30 million for 2023 with a tomato production of 13,000 tons." 

"The hydroponic cultivation project that characterizes Fri-El Green House activities are carried out with professionalism, ongoing training, and investments in research. The H2orto brand characterizes, in fact, a company with over 500 collaborators with an average age of 34 years and 41% of which are women.

Florian Gostner

"Fri-El Green House is committed to reducing environmental impact to a minimum through hydroponic cultivation that saves water and land, without using herbicides and using useful insects. The company also guarantees gender equality, meritocracy, the promotion of the local economy, and of all those professional figures who share the dream of a better and more sustainable future", the team concludes. 

For more information:
Via delle Serre 1
44020 Ostellato (Ferrara) - Italy
Tel.: +39 0533 57411

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