A number of arable farms formed a consortium to explore the possibility of growing oleaginous crops and adding value to the local production.
Nine arable farms in the province of Pisa, in Tuscany, came together in a consortium in 2010 and two years later they presented a project to explore the possibility of growing oleaginous crops and adding value to the local production.
Project activities included cultivation trials and selection of oleaginous crops, developing and testing of new products and processes, and a market analysis. The farms partners of the project carried out these activities with the assistance of the consortium and of the University of Pisa.
Two innovative products were created: i) high-quality flax and safflower oil for human consumption; and ii) flax and safflower feeding cakes.
A specific packaging to better preserve the organoleptic qualities of the flax oil was developed.
Cultivation protocols were defined that allow to improve the crop rotation, enhancing soil fertility thanks to the introduction of pioneer crops.
All farms involved had positive economic effects, due to the diversification of crops and the possibility to process and sell in the market high-quality products.
The consortium Strizzaisemi, today, counts for more than 300 hectares cultivated with oleaginous crops.