ALBANESE LABARDI FARM
What was the seed for what is now your food business?
In 1982 the ALBANESE LABARDI FARM was founded, located 15 kilometres from Florence. Alba and Domenico decided to leave their jobs in the chaotic city to go and live in the beautiful Italian countryside and from there the farm developed.
In 2005 they passed the management of the farm and agritourism to their daughter Lorenza. She had graduated in agriculture specializing in Agri-engineering.
Lorenza has a passion love and respect for nature and Italian farming traditions which have developed from growing up on the farm with her parents. The farm specializes in the organic agriculture and cultivates 7 hectares of land that contain olive groves, seasoned vegetables and fruit vineyards.
The farm also breeds Tibetan goats and other farmyard animals. While the farmhouse is the ideal place for ecotourism and ecological holidays; where you can visit and taste the typical flavours of Florentine and Tuscan cuisine. Produce developed from the crops are available to taste and buy from the on-farm shop; selling their specialty Tuscan IGT Red Wine, PGI extra virgin olive oil and seasoned fruits and vegetables (IGT/PGI – Protected Geographical Indication).
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome or lesson you have learnt as a female food entrepreneur?
For me when I started working on the farm, I was an undergraduate student and after graduating I took it over. However, I found the governmental rules and regulations provided a lot of hurdles for me to get started in the business despite what we are led to believe. While governmental support was an issue, I also could not obtain any financing help from the banks.
What advice would you give to aspiring female food entrepreneurs?
I would recommend keeping up to date with your skills, research trends and your market often and thoroughly. Develop patience and gratitude for agricultural activities (not everything can happen quickly, agriculture is a natural activity that requires time, hope and patience).
If there had been (female entrepreneurial) training available to you before you set up your business would you have engaged with it? Did you do any training?
I did not do any training besides my Agricultural degree. But yes, I would have used appropriate training courses that would have helped me to start my business.
If you were interested in engaging with training/ further training what areas would be of most interest to you?
I would be interested in training on IT skills, digital marketing and social media use. Along with this I would love access to training on finances, business acumen, credit and European/ national/ regional funding training courses.