The north of Italy, and the city of Parma in particular, has been distinguished since the end of the 19th century for the development of an major national center for the production and industrial processing of tomato. In the last decades, the area where the industrial tomato is cultivated has expanded into neighboring areas due to the conversion of other crops’ farms and the emergence of processing farms.
The district area includes the Regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, however only Emilia-Romagna (60% of cluster production) and Lombardy (20% of cluster production) are directly involved in the PREFER project.
In 2013, 29,175 hectares of industrial tomato have been cultivated within the district area. The production of 1,879,993 tons produced by the 15 associated Productive Associations has been transformed by the 25 processing farms in the 30 factories of the area, 60% of which being private companies and 40% being cooperative enterprises. The 96% of produced tomato is cultivated as integrated production an the remaining 4% is cultivated as organic production. The fresh tomato has turned into tomato concentrate (half, concentrated, double or triple) for the 36%, pulp (diced, fine or extruded) for the 36% and tomato sauce for the 27% and pasta sauce for the 1%.