We cultivate sustainability

The Melinda Sticker - a guarantee!

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The homes of those living in Val di Non and Val di Sole are surrounded by orchards on all sides and it is only natural that the apple-growers support a production method that is in perfect harmony with the territory, a true heritage to be preserved in the interest of both growers and consumers.

This is why the 4,000 members of the Melinda Consortium have signed the "Integrated Production Guidelines" to grow quality apples using sustainable cultivation methods, in compliance with environmental protection standards such as:

  • respect for the biological cycles of the orchard
  • the use of natural antagonists of plant pathogens
  • resorting to crop protection products only when absolutely and imperatively necessary and under strict technical control  
  • the use of natural defence techniques against pests such as "sexual confusion", which decreases the proliferation of harmful insects through the reduction of the probability of male and female mating.
  • attention to preserving the environmental balance and biodiversity.

 

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The Melinda sticker is a guarantee

The Quality Department only puts our sticker on an apple when it can be called a Melinda.

All our apple-growers keep  scrupulous annual reports where they records every fundamental event in the life of their apple orchard: from mowing (or cutting the grass) to fertilisation, from fertilisation to defence against plant pests, from the thinning of the fruit to the harvest.

The Melinda Consortium verifies the correctness of all the cultivation operations, and carries out analyses of the soil, water, leaves and fruit.

 

Apple quality control

The harvesting of Melinda apples is set at staggered dates, from area to area, according to the different varieties. The apple-growers carry out a pre-selection already in the orchard, separating the "blue sticker" apples from those which are too small or have defects, bruises, stains, etc. Then in the cooperatives further selection of the apples is carried out by specialised personnel and sorting machines.

The Melinda Consortium codifies the intensity and balance of the apples' flavour, crunchiness and minimum aesthetic characteristics to classify the apples in the various commercial categories with respect to their external shape, colour and appearance.

Innumerable chemical and physical analyses (sugars, acidity, hardness) are carried out throughout the storage period and special panel tests are organised to assess the goodness of the apples tasted by the experts.

 

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Packaging checks

The quality of packaging and the accuracy of  the transport packaging guarantee that our apples reach consumers without being damaged. The uniformity of processing provides apples of consistent quality (calibre, category, colour, lot, etc.) inside a particularly detailed package, also in relation to hygienic-sanitary aspects.

 

The only P.D.O. apple of Italy: the origin makes the difference.

In 2003, the European Union conferred the P.D.O. recognition (Protected Designation of Origin) to the apple varieties Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Renetta Canada of Val di Non. A label to safeguard the uniqueness of a characteristic product cultivated by thousands of small producers, in respect of traditional rules.

  • Protecting origins and tradition

P.D.O. apples from Val di Non are only produced in a limited area, located in the northwest of the province of Trento at an altitude between 450 and 900 metres and characterised by climatic and soil conditions that make it one of the most suited areas in the world for growing apples. For over 2,000 years.

  • Double environmental protection

The fruit growers of the Melinda Consortium which belong to the Safeguarding Consortium must comply with both the Melinda Production Guidelines and the P.D.O. Mela Val di Non Production Guidelines approved by the European Community.

The main rules of the Melinda Guidelines:

  • respect for the orchard as an integral part of the valley's ecosystem
  • cultivation and protection of plants using  low environmental impact methods (integrated production techniques)
  • diversified harvesting in line with the characteristics of the orchard
  • manual packaging of apples.

The main rules of the P.D.O. Mela Val di Non Production Guidelines:

  • intrinsic quality of the fruit (minimum values for sugars, acidity, hardness);
  • regulation of the quantity of fruit produced (maximum production per hectare);
  • a maximum number of plants per hectare.
  • Protecting the Consumer

Guarantees for our consumers come from CSQA (Agri-food Quality Certification System), the Certification Body authorised by MiPAF (Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies).