Close to farmers:
Farming Insider: Luigi Torri
About Luigi and Davide Torri
As far back as the 1930s Luigi Torri’s grandfather was already farming the Pontine Plain, where the farm is located today. Agrisole farm was founded in 1996 by Luigi Torri as its sole proprietor. On an area totaling 36 hectares, Agrisole produces different varieties of tomatoes and agretti (also known as monk’s beard). Of the 36 hectares, 12 are cultivated with technologically modern greenhouses. While Luigi Torri takes care of production and marketing, his wife Rosa is responsible for the administrative and logistical sides of the business. The couple has six children, some of whom already work on the farm. Their eldest son Davide joined the family business full-time in 2020.
Family-run farm where two generations work together
Location: Agro Pontino, Lazio, Italy
Crops cultivated: Table tomatoes (summer crop) and agretti (winter crop).
Special features: Luigi Torri spent eight years working as a pipe fitter. He says he enjoyed the job, but it was nothing like his passion for agriculture. These days, he wouldn’t change his favourite profession for anything.
Luigi: Production, marketing
Davide: Organization, logistics
I hope my sons will pass on the love and respect for the earth and all the values I taught them.
Luigi and Davide, when you think back to your younger years, what is your fondest childhood memory that you associate with farming?
Davide: One of the most important memories of my childhood is when I was about seven or eight years old and I asked my father if he would let me work alone in the field. Without saying a word, he got out of the tractor and left. The whole thing really grabbed me because I found it really fun. I try to give my younger brother Matteo the same feelings by letting him do the things I did when I was his age. I want him to have the same good memories that I have.
Luigi: The nicest thing I remember is that I loved going to the night market with my father. I was fascinated by it, all the noise, movement and colors. That experience that used to be there, with all the coming and going in the fruit and vegetable markets, that’s all gone now because the new sales methods have become quieter, the way things are sold has really changed. It’s a shame to have lost this tradition, because nowadays agriculture has become very industrialized.
Davide: I do believe, though, that this has also led to a positive change in agriculture, starting with the vehicles and tools that can be used to work the soil, which are now more comfortable and faster. The treatments are also less full of chemicals than they were before.
Davide, you’ve been involved in the family business full-time for the past two years. When did you first become passionate about agriculture?
I have always been a part of this farm. Spending so much time with my father and following the work he was doing, I fell in love with the
profession, and more and more I came to understand that this was the right path for me. Now it’s not just a job for me; it’s a passion.
Luigi, it sounds like your son is emulating an ardent role model.
Luigi: It would be a shame if my children didn’t have this love for agriculture, because that would mean it’s not the right profession for them. For me, the love of agriculture has always been there since I was young, and I hope my children have it too. At the end of the day, I do what I do out of passion.
Besides your passion for the job, are there things you have in common across two generations on the farm?
Luigi: You can only run a farm as a team, so I hope that my children will work together and continue what we have started.
Davide: That fits perfectly with the values that my mother and father taught us. First, that we shouldn’t argue with our brothers, because that doesn’t get us anywhere. Second, respect for our employees, because it is also thanks to them that the business is successful. Another important value is respect for nature, because our work is only possible thanks to the soil.
Are there moments when your love of the job becomes tangible for you in really good product quality?
Luigi: I put my whole heart into it, and then the work becomes pure satisfaction. One example for me is that I shape a plant and give it all the facets I want to. Because you don’t just plant the seed and it grows by itself, it’s not like that; it really depends on what you do.
Davide: That’s also one thing we really invest in: delivering a good product. We are improving every year and learning from the mistakes in order to achieve better quality.
Luigi: For me, that’s also part of providing good service to customers. As a farmer, of course, I’m also concerned with profitability, but that’s always secondary for me. I want to satisfy the customers – and I can only do that if I have a good product.
Luigi, how do you see your professional future on the farm and how do you hope your family will continue the business?
In the future I aim to do what my father did: retire from active work and observe the farm from the outside. Then, I hope that my sons will continue our work. My other great wish for the next generation is that the period of uncertainty we are currently seeing in almost all areas of life will end. I also hope my sons will pass on the love and respect for the earth and all the values I taught them.
Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.
Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.