Five sisters for technological and sustainable rice

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From soil care to compostable packaging, the five sisters who own Meracinque in Verona have made sustainability their mantra. Specialized in the cultivation and marketing of Carnaroli rice, Meracinque is the brand that Margherita, Benedetta, Silvia, Anna and Maria Vittoria created in 2018, taking over part of the family business, which is instead focused on breeding. Precision agriculture and technology are key words for the entrepreneurs who cultivate classic Carnaroli. «For us, raising the quality bar in this sector is only possible by applying an innovative approach, both in cultivation and transformation» says Silvia Tovo, commercial director and co-founder. «New technologies allow us to produce excellent rice and at the same time respect the soil and the environment, therefore being sustainable». Meracinque uses latest generation technologies, such as sensors, weather stations and satellite images, to analyze the real conditions of the soil before sowing and cultivation. In this way it can implement a variable rate approach, i.e. calibrated to those conditions. «Furthermore, we do not carry out chemical treatments, although carnaroli is a delicate plant. To combat fungal diseases and insect pests, we instead use a Japanese technology, effective microorganisms. It is a mix of 80 natural bacteria that strengthens the immune system of plants, so there is no need for treatments” says Tovo. As regards processing, the Veronese company is among the few in Italy to use a dryer powered by liquefied natural gas rather than diesel, so as not to leave residues on the rice. And he opted for packaging that, when thrown into compost, decomposes in 90 days. With a turnover of around half a million euros, Meracinque sells mainly in Italy, but also exports its rice abroad, to France, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and Australia. She has a website with e-commerce and is very active on Instagram and Facebook. «For us, social media are essential tools for telling what we do», observes Tovo.

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