Production Sites

Vitroplant Italia Srl has three different types of production site: the laboratory, greenhouse and nursery areas.

The micropropagation laboratory is at the heart of all our nursery activities. All these plants are produced from the start by in-vitro micropropagation and, subsequently, according to the client’s requests, they are set out, hardened and/or re-micro-grafted and re-potted. In the nursey area bare-rooted, grafted or self-rooted bare roots and micro-grafts are produced.

The nursey operations of Vitroplant Italia Srl Società Agricola take place in the three indicated production areas and they can produce the following end-products:

  • Seedlings induced/rooted in vitro and rooted ex vitro;
  • Seedlings planted in peat, which have a growing cycle in the greenhouse varying between 45 and 60 days according to the seasonal patterns;
  • Self-rooted or grafted plants in a pot/jumbo pot;
  • Plants grown in the nursey in an open-air field, which may have a lifespan of one or two years.

All the production processes take place across three production phases within an area specifically related to these: the Laboratory Area, the Greenhouse Area, the Nursery Area.

The Laboratory Area

The laboratory area is the heart of all the Vitroplant Italia activities and it consists of a laboratory for the preparation of  growing substrates, a sterilisation room with industrial autoclaves (with a maximum operating potential of some 10,000 pots with substrate a day), a white room for post-sterilisation cooling with controlled temperature and humidity, the industrial washing machine room for the re-use of glass pots in plastic-free mode, the laminar flow hood rooms, the cultivation rooms, the in-vivo selection and in-vivo planting rooms, the roboticized planting room, the store-rooms at 4°C for conservation of the “in-vitro” germplasm and storage areas for the materials necessary for ordinary production.

The laminar flow hood working areas consist of 70 usable hood positions with double capacity potential, if a double working shift is used.
Below are listed the storage capacity of each working area located in Via Loreto 170, Cesena in the Micropropagation Laboratory:

Unit 1:

2 in-vitro culture rooms for 48,600 pots.
1 room for special activities with 7,200 in-vitro pots.
1 in-vitro culture room for the Research phase and for initial in-vitro intake for 2,940 pots.
2 Cold-Storage Units for 40,000 in-vitro culture pots.

Unit 2:

5 in-vitro culture rooms for 60,000 deluxe pots (Stage 1 Multiplication – Stage 2 Extension – Stage 3 in-vitro Rooting).
1 room for special activities for 29,000 in-vitro pots.
7 culture rooms for 3,200,000 ex-vitro plants (live Rooting).
Cold-Storage Units for 110,000 in-vitro culture pots.

The capacity of the above-listed rooms leads to an annual production figure of some 28,000,000 plants with an even greater potential.

Research and Development Area

1 hood-processing room with 4 working posts for the Vitroplant research Team with growing pallets for 2,940 pots/petri dishes in the in-vitro adaptation stage and for assessment of the Research and Development Substrates, the phase preceding the shift to the industrialisation phase.

1 section of the laboratory for the preparation of the substrates dedicated to the formulation of new micro and macro elements and innovative Vitroplant substrates, which makes use of a Team of Researchers from within the Company who carry out daily tests in order to improve production efficiency, to introduce new in-vitro processes and to acquire the techniques for the industrial-level reproduction of the new Varieties according to market demands. Indeed the most important know-how concerns the substrates and the innovative macro and micro elements studied, conceived and obtained over the course of the years which have made it possible to achieve the current production levels.

The Research phase subsequently extends to the evaluation of the successive production areas in order to obtain a 360° and repeatable evaluation.

Greenhouse Area

The greenhouse area is divided into two main areas, one in the Cesena (Vitroplant 1) unit and the other in the Gatteo (Vitroplant 2) unit.

Vitroplant 1 (VP1) – Cesena Unit (FC)

This consists of some 20,000 m2 of greenhouse area with an automated environment, of which 10,000 m2 containing all the instruments for climatic control and monitoring (cooling system, fogging system, heating, automatic shading) and 10,000 m2 of hardening greenhouses of which 3,500 m2 have anti-insect protection. The greenhouse department is used for the transplanting of plant material that, following a period of growth, is selected and destined for the subsequent hardening phase, making it suitable for the delivery or subsequent potting and placing in the open-field nursery. The Vitroplant greenhouses are completely covered in anti-insect nets in compliance with the rules prescribed in D. Lgs. (Italian Legislative Decree) 214/2005, a technology re-introduced into the production system in the last 2-3 years. Key points in the greenhouse area are the Transplant Room and the Selection Room. These two processing Areas contain two highly professional automatic production lines for the transplanting of plants into alveoli and for their subsequent selection.

Vitroplant 2 (VP2) – Gatteo Unit (FC)

In the VP2 greenhouse with 16,200 m2 of usable protected and air-conditioned surfaces, plants are reared in alveoli, in small-sized (7x7; 9x9) or large-sized pots (over 1 litre in capacity). Selection and grafting processes are also performed to provide the end-client with potted plants that are already grafted and, therefore, ready to be placed in open field nurseries or directly in production plants. In this area all the work is carried out in an air-conditioned environment making all the various greenhouses in communication and rationalising the movement of the plant material.

Nursery Area

The nursery area extends over a surface of some 130 hectares in a fully protected, open field environment.
One of the jewels in the crown of the Vitroplant agro-food exports is undoubtedly the fruit and vegetable sector, in which the company is a world leader, at least in terms of quality. Currently Vitroplant Italia products are destined for 35% to the national Italian market and 65% to the overseas market.
The principal recipient countries for these products are Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, Romania, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Chile, Israel, and South Africa.