HORTI+ 04: Innovation at the heart of the Vila Group

If you look behind the Biogrow brand you’ll find the story of a family of French farmers, the Vilas, who have been growing fruit and vegetables in the South of France for the last 40 years.

They started off growing in open fields, then moved into greenhouse growing and for more than 2 decades now they’ve been producing and commercialising coco fibre substrates under the Biogrow brand, which they use in all their hydroponic production sites.

At the head of the operation is Bruno Vila. In the 15 years since Bruno took over the running of the family business, the Vila Group’s activities have expanded, been modernized and this constant drive for more efficient and environmental growing continues today. Nowadays, their activities include hydroponic production in greenhouses, orchards, organic growing, renewable energies, and of course the production and exportation of coconut fiber through the Biogrow company. From the very beginning, Bruno set out to work in partnership with other farmers to create a network of growers in the South of France that would eventually turn into the Paysans de Rougeline. Today there are more than 200 small-, medium- and large-scale growers who participate in this cooperative.

In order to thrive in the modern agricultural market, you have to constantly adapt and diversify to meet the demands of this ever-changing market. In addition to growing tomatoes in greenhouses, the Vila Group has also converted 110 hectares of land for organic growing (kiwi, nectarine, peach, apricot, pear…). « This allows us to not be dependent on one area of agriculture and also enables us to respond to the growing demand for fresh, organic and local produce. » said Bruno.

At the heart of everything they do is a very strong environmental commitment to grow fruit and vegetables as naturally as possible. This includes the creation of the « zero pesticides » label, and renewable energies are increasingly used on all their sites. Innovation is at the heart of everything the Vila Group does and they continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in modern farming.