Within five years, the Tenuta Le Piane estate of BF Group, located in Tuscany, will set an example of a sustainable circular economy in Italy. The plan to relaunch the estate, with a €2 million investment in a 1,000-hectare area in the Maremma region, will include initiatives in four areas: breeding the Maremma breed of cattle in the wild, recovering and enhancing woodland, growing organic crops that will be integrated with the woodland environment, and a new tourist accommodation complex for experiential travel. The project, which was presented on 30 June in Massa Marittima, at the Tenuta il Cicalino estate, is an outstanding example of how tradition and innovation can come together to enhance the local area by implementing good practices with regard to the development of biodiversity, certified organic products, crops for bioplastics, energy saving, environmental protection and enhancement, and the creation of jobs for the local community.
This project, which could help turn the current economic, social and climatic challenges into opportunities, was very well received and endorsed by guests at the event. Participants included: Stefania Saccardi – Councillor for Agri-food, Hunting, Fishing and inland areas and Vice-President of the Region of Tuscany, Leonardo Marras – Councillor for Production, Economy, Credit, Tourism and Labour of the Region of Tuscany, Pier Giovanni Capellino – President of the foundation Fondazione Capellino, Francesco Limatola – President of the Province of Grosseto, Marcello Giuntini – Mayor of Massa Marittima, Giacomo Termine – Mayor of Monterotondo Marittimo, Fabrizio Filippi – President of Coldiretti Toscana (National Confederation of Independent Farmers), Angelo Frascarelli – President of ISMEA (Institute of Agricultural Food Market Services), Stefano Ciafani – President of the Italian environmentalist association Legambiente.
The relaunch of the Tenuta Le Piane estate is set to bring the expertise and state-of-the-art services offered by the BF Group into play with the aim of boosting the productivity of local agricultural produce and promoting the unique tourism experiences available in the Tuscan Maremma. A key element of this investment is the complex dedicated to organic livestock breeding and, in particular, of the Maremmana breed of cattle, the purpose of which is to protect a thousand-year-old breed and promote the use of land for grazing. The construction of a new company facility is scheduled to begin at the end of the summer, and its purpose will be not only to allow experts to assist with herd health and management (including, for example, birth control), but also to relaunch a historical figure of the Maremma tradition, that of the buttero, a mounted herder who has the skills and professionalism required to manage a wild herd. As part of this project, the local woods will once again play a key role not only in the quality of life of the people living in the neighbouring area but also as a business magnet. First of all, due to the current state of the woods, which are SFC certified, routine maintenance activities – now well underway – had to be resumed. In addition, PEFC certification (which is awarded to virtuous forest owners as a guarantee of responsible and sustainable management) will be achieved as soon as possible, which will allow the amount of avoided CO2 emissions to be calculated, and this is crucial in order to obtain the so-called carbon credits. This certification will allow Forest Bathing itineraries to be made: this activity, which has its origins in Japan and is now becoming popular in Europe as well, sees people immersing their senses in an environment, i.e. the forest, which becomes a source of well-being and health.
At the end of the presentation, Federico Vecchioni, CEO of BF S.p.A., said: ‘The Le Piane project is a tangible way for the BF Group to express its commitment to recovering and enhancing areas of great landscape value. The Tuscan Maremma has been included in the investment plan of the industrial project since the integration with the Tenuta il Cicalino estate for the olive-growing and rural hospitality industry (…). We cannot rule out the possibility of expanding further, both in the animal husbandry sector with native breeds such as the Maremmana breed, and of improving hospitality services in the Maremma, also by forging alliances with major groups in the global tourism industry. For BF, biodiversity is not an ideological goal, but rather the outcome of a responsible management approach that balances innovation with respect for nature.’