On September 11th in Udine, in the stunning Loggia del Lionello, the 2021 Coldiretti Giovani Impresa FVG Oscar Green Awards (“Young Agriculturists of the Friulan region awards”) were presented to the winners in the “SUSTAINABILITY AND ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION” category.
This is a great acknowledgement for our company and for our ongoing commitment towards the protection and the safeguarding of this species, mountain Arnica, which is increasingly threatened with extinction not only locally but also in Europe.
We are in the national finals
The good news doesn't end here. In fact, among the six amazing companies which received the awards (you can find the other award-winning companies in this article), we are the only ones to have had the honour of entering the national finals which will be held in Rome in the near future. We will be competing against two other finalists in the same category, "SUSTAINABILITY AND ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION".
Whatever may happen, it will be a great opportunity for us to raise awareness on the issues we are fighting for, which are sustainable agriculture through the respect of natural habitats and what nature provides us with, but also the difficulties of a substantially pioneering agriculture in an unpredictable place like the mountains (you can find some interesting facts in this article).
In our own small way, what we care about is trying to make people and our potential customers understand that it is possible to benefit from what nature gives us but safeguarding what it gives us without exploiting it irresponsibly.
The largest cultivation in Europe
Once again, this year the news from the major European wild mountain Arnica harvesting sites is negative. Several factors are leading to the disappearance of this species, from climate change to poor management of the mountain pastures, but perhaps the most significant is the wild harvest that has been unregulated or poorly managed for too long.
The major producers of mountain Arnica cosmetics are making a real effort through “responsible harvesting” to safeguard this plant where it grows wild, but unfortunately results are late in coming.
With our cultivation, which is now the largest known in Europe, we want to try to offer natural cosmetic products based on mountain Arnica that are sustainable, of high quality and genuine, so that the customer can see where and how what comes out of the bottle of cream or bottle of oil originates from.
This is made possible by closing the supply chain, therefore starting with the raw material, and ending with the finished product, by controlling the various stages of the process.
But why doesn't anyone grow mountain Arnica?
Although there has been talk of cultivating mountain Arnica for over thirty years, the practice has never really taken off. Obviously, we are not the only ones who have tried or are doing it, but no one, according to experts in the field, has ever done it on such a large scale as we are trying to do.
The cultivation of mountain Arnica is unusual, risky, and expensive. Seed germination is very low, plant mortality is high, and productivity is rather unpredictable due to the variability of soils and seasons. The costs of running an organic crop are very high, especially for the hand-picking of the flower heads and the cleaning of the weeds. Given these aspects, the remuneration for the grower is very low.
So, this is what's behind our Oscar Green. We started from afar, from scratch, 10 years ago, with a dream that perhaps today is something more.
Rome, here we come! 🏟