The birth of La Valle Società Agricola began when the first farm was purchased in 2005 in Fidenza, between Tabiano and Salsomaggiore Terme. These are places that have been known for centuries for their thermal waters and have always been dedicated to the health of the individual. We were attracted and fascinated by the beauty of these fields that scale the hills on the edges of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines in the province of Parma, where the sea breezes from the Ligurian coast channel through valleys and mountains, giving unique flavours to every product made in these unspoilt places, rich in history and surrounded by still pure streams. It is no coincidence that we are talking about one of the most prestigious Food Valleys in the world.
Right from the start we favoured organic farming and our first motto became and remains to this day: “health is grown in the field”.
The mission: to preserve the wholesomeness of these places in order to carry on the wisdom of the old farmers, by focusing on quality and not getting caught up in profit and the possibility of increasing production by using poisons, such as herbicides.
Poisons such as glyphosate, the world’s most widely sold herbicide, are designed to kill off wild plants that grow naturally, but are absorbed by the cultivated plant and then make their way, fortunately in small quantities, into our intestines.
We have been happy to follow the strict rules and controls that govern organic farming in Italy. No pesticides, no chemical fertilisers, no antiparasitics, and no herbicides have ever contaminated our fields.
In 2007, what was now a great passion led us to want to cultivate even larger areas and therefore to purchase a new farm at even higher altitudes. The lower yields obtained compared to at ground level did not concern us, our desire always being to offer quality products.
Thus another “oasis of health” was purchased in Possessioni at 700 m above sea level, between the municipalities of Pellegrino Parmense, Medesano, and Varano de Melegari.
After years of working the fields producing quality cereals, our next aim was to see the “grains of wheat” transformed into flour, a major product that has been the basis of our diet for 32,000 years.
This is how, in 2016, the Campi Alti brand was born and we took our first steps into the world of flour production. This decision immediately turned to the search for ancient stone mills and millers who, through their knowledge and wisdom, combined with the scientific expertise of university professors, could help us to retain the flavours and nutritional values of the cereals. We knew straight away that we would never produce refined flours, commonly known as white flours.
0 and 00 flours involve the wheat grains being milled by specific, modern machinery, which remove the germ, i.e. the nutritional core containing amino acids, fatty acids, mineral salts, vitamins B and E, and the bran, the outermost part that is particularly rich in fibre. This process produces a very smooth and light flour that can be stored for a long time, but which is decidedly low in nutrients and overly rich in sugar. Like all refined products, regular consumption leads to an increase in blood sugar levels and a greater accumulation of stored fats.
Having our own flours meant that we could make our own homemade bread on our farm. The discovery of forgotten flavours for the oldest amongst us and of unknown flavours for the younger generations led to the birth of a new dream: to reduce the supply chain even more by giving our customers the opportunity to go back to the old ways of making their own bread at home, thus preserving their health. And so, in 2020, the new “Pane in Casa” brand was born. We just needed to add a few more words to our first motto: “health is grown in the field… and brought to the table”. To date, we have created 7 flour mixes that have been designed with the help of university professors and baking experts, and they have been specially developed to support a balanced and supplementary diet. Each bread contains unique aromas and flavours, together with different nutritional values depending on the needs of each individual.
Want to know more? Visit the Campi Alti website.