Already at the end of the seventeenth century, our ancestors in Val di Non cultivated mulberries and grapes. After the First World War, their descendants introduced the cultivation of apples and pears which, over the next twenty years, became the most important agricultural activity in the entire valley thanks to the new irrigation systems, the increase in professionalism and specialisation, and the increase in fruit consumption.
The 70s: The cooperatives were founded
The farmers of Val di Non were wise to group together, founding 17 fruit cooperatives to overcome the bureaucratic, organisational and financial obstacles and difficulties that would have crushed the will of lesser men lacking the same qualities of determination, stubbornness and perseverance that are typical of those born and raised in these mountains.
Anni ’80: le cooperative crescono
The number of members and the quantity of fruit produced increased more and more. The cooperatives invested in structures and technologies, more modern every day, winning over new markets and customers, promoting the spread of farming methods which were respectful of the environment. And they fiercely competed against each other to obtain the best possible results for their own members.
1989: The Val di Non Apple Production Guidelines, the Consortium for the Enhancement of the Val di Non Apple and the Melinda brand were all created.
Thanks to their goodness, the apples grown in Val di Non began to be highly appreciated but this led to the proliferation in the offer of "fake" Val di Non apples. This created a need to register a brand name that identified the origin of the apples of the 17 cooperatives, which decided to collaborate with each other.
The Val di Non Apple Production Guidelines were issued, which regulate the area and the production methods, the product quality standards and the related control process.
In 1989, the cooperatives created the Consortium for the Valorisation of Val di Non Apples and registered the trademark "Melinda" (in Italy and in the European Community).
Our first slogan was: "If it's not Melinda, it's not Val di Non".
Early 90s: Melinda premiers on TV!
To increase brand awareness, the cooperatives decided to branch out to mass media. In 1992, for the first time in Italy, Europe and the world, an apple, a Melinda apple that is, was the protagonist of a commercial broadcast on the major national television networks. Melinda became the most famous apple in Italy, and still is today.
1994: Cooperatives cooperated
Having given the same name to the apples, the cooperatives of Val di Non also became partners with each other. The first clear result of this change in mentality was the decision to market the product for industrial transformation in a centralised and unitary way. This was only 4% of the total quantity and 2% of the turnover, but was a huge step in terms of a change in management approach.
1997: MondoMelinda opened
Every year, more than 40,000 people enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience in our MondoMelinda outlet: it's not just a shop where you can buy all our specialties, but also a place for tasting and discovering the secrets of the cultivation, conservation, selection, packaging and shipping of apples. Welcome to MondoMelinda!
1998: The Melinda Consortium
The good results obtained from the collaboration of the 17 cooperatives - which in the meantime had become 16, following the merger of two of them - led to the evolution of the Consortium for Valorisation with the Melinda Consortium. The centralised sales of 100% of production was organised and the directors of the cooperatives became part of the Melinda team, splitting up roles and responsibilities on the basis of talents, skills and needs.
2000: Melinda and MelaSì, different twins
The day before the start of the harvest of 2000, Val di Non and Val di Sole were beaten down by an unprecedented hailstorm. Half of the Melinda crops were destroyed, and the remainder was severely damaged. Morale couldn't have been worse, but we virtuously did what needed to be done. With the support of an important communication agency, we launched the "Melo-drama" advertising campaign that presented MelaSì (with a yellow sticker instead of blue) to the Italians: it was the new brand of Melinda's twin apples, with slight aesthetic imperfections, but also less expensive.
2003: Mela della Val di Non became a Protected Designation of Origin product.
The varieties Golden, Red and Renetta Canada Melinda - about 95% of our production - were awarded the P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) Mela Val di Non label by the European Community. It was the first time that an Italian apple was given this designation, confirming the exclusivity of the Melinda brand.
2003-2009: Melinda growth
All the structures and infrastructures of the 16 cooperatives became the property of the Consortium and all the workers (over 1,150) passed directly under the same in order to optimise productivity and improve services for the consumer.
The Gala and Fuji varieties were introduced.
Returns increased, processing costs decreased, the harvest grew and marketing was perfected. All of our goals were gradually reached or exceeded, to the great satisfaction of the apple-grower partners.
2004: Healthy Melinda snacks
The Melinda Consortium began a partnership with certain Trentino companies to produce and sell apple-based products, giving rise to Melinda Mousse, Melinda Snack, Melinda Barretta, Melinda Juice and Melinda Strudel. The success was immediate.
2009 - 2010: Continuous collaboration
Together with the other major apple producer organisations of Trentino Alto Adige, the Melinda Consortium established FROM and became shareholders of VOG products. In 2010, NovaMela was established in collaboration with another leading international fruit group.
2014: Melinda cherries, strawberries and berries on Italian tables.
The particular soil and climate characteristics of our territory also make it very suitable for the cultivation of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, etc. And so, in the summer of 2014, the first Melinda-branded packages of these fruits, delicious and healthy, made their debut on the Italian market.
March 2017: Embracing organic farming
Reaching three hundred hectares of organic farmland in five years: this was the goal of the Melinda partners to differentiate its crops and further solidify the path they had embarked on towards the ever-increasing sustainability of the Trentino fruit industry. The choice of converting to organic represented a further step forward compared to the results achieved in recent years in this sense. It also offered a commercial and service opportunity to ensure constant supplies to customers by the Consortium.
The Melinda project envisages:
"Melinda has always been committed to farming that is attentive to the environment and to the relationship between the population and the agricultural system, and strongly believes in increasingly sustainable development. The Organic Plan and the inclusion of resistant varieties in the varietal assortment of the Valley are concrete examples of this orientation."
(Michele Odorizzi, President of the Melinda Consortium, 2 March 2018, at C.O.CE.A - Segno di Predaia - Trento, Assembly of councillors of the Associated Cooperatives)
August 2017: Melinda and La Trentina officially together.
At the end of the month, during harvest time, an agreement was signed which opened new scenarios for the two main producer organisations in Trentino and the fruit industry in the region: Melinda and La Trentina. This translates into joint organisation in the marketing of products, while respecting the value of the respective brands, as well as opening a new commercial branch, with the resulting improvement in sales and service management and the optimisation of internal resources. And finally, the redefinition of the varietal assortment, to ensure ever greater production sustainability.
2018: The transformation of apples continues.
Apple vinegar, organic apple vinegar glaze with natural starter, yogurt with apples, apple crumble, apple juice, dried apples: Melinda expands its range of processed apple products to offer you the fruit of all fruits in all its forms. When you don't have the chance to bite into a fresh Melinda, its unmistakable taste is still at your fingertips. Each specialty is guaranteed by the Melinda blue sticker and is sold in the best distribution chains in Italy.
The transformation also continues with pears, strawberries and tropical fruits to offer you a 100% natural puree, free of preservatives, colouring and added sugars, in fun apple-shaped packs that the little ones adore: Melinda Squeez.
Melinda won the Quality Award 2018 for its mousses.