From Best Practices WIKI
Italy Region of Apulia Province of Brindisi

Basic Information

Company details
Organization name: MASSERIA FERRI
Contact: Rosa Lella Motolese
Address - city: Contrada Ferri 1 -72017 Ostuni (BR)
Phone: 080.4395483
Fax: 080.4858200

Description of Best Practice

In which field can you company consider itself an example of best practice?
sustainable development of a rural area
Type of best practice?
Brief history of the Pilot Action
Description of the ideas behind the development of this action/project; the initiator(s) of the action/project; the involvement of local partners
(LAG, project operators etc.) in the conception/development of the action/project;how this action/project is embedded in the territorial strategy.
The origins of this farm (“Masseria”), which is located in the territory of Ostuni almost on the border with that of Martina Franca, go
back to 1700, when there was allowed the creation of a supporting farm, or rather the start of a small agro-pastoral nucleus, spread out
across only 3 “tomoli”. From the late Middle Ages there had been in the area a vast ecclesiastical estate, initially belonging to a
Benedictine convent and then to an order of monastic knights – the Abbey of San Salvatore di Pecoraia, under the Bishop of Ostuni.
This estate came in to the property of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (from 1530 known as the Order of the Knights of Malta) and
successively, during the 17th Century, the owners decided to sell part of the estate to private individuals in order to increase their
income. A part of this was the “Masseria Ferro”, owned by Domenico Goffredo the Magnificent, known as “Ferro”. Following the
marriage in 1797 between Donna Teresa Goffredo di Donato Antonio and Don Francesco Lella di Bonaventura, the farm became the
property of the Lella family, who are the owners still today.
It is therefore a place that is rich in history from the far distant past, which has been enhanced by bringing to light the farm’s history and
the habits of farm life.
Main activities of the best practice
Description of the main activities planned and put in place, including where and when they took place, and who brought them to a conclusion
(indicating local operators and other subjects).
The activities taken forward that have arisen over the years are numerous. In particular the activity of the farm started with the creation
of a dairy-products company, which makes use of the milk produced by the farm’s Podolica cows. A butchery was then created for the
butchery and sale of these same cows, which roam free around the fields of the farm’s holdings; the products (wine, cheese, meat) are
mainly sold on the farm itself.
Later 6 hectares of vines were also planted, since the area has a particular calling for this type of cultivation, and its grapes produce
DOC Martina wine. These activities are carried out alongside:
Catering (which offers local and regional typical gastronomic dishes, reproposed in a refined way and made with natural products
produced on the farm);
Hospitality (in suggestive and characteristic stone rooms, with barrel vaults and arches, situated on the round floor where previously
there had been handicraft workshops, stables or cellars, and which still have the original stone floors (made of “chianche”);
Teaching Farm (a real open air school offering workshops on aromatic plants, workshops on the construction of bird boxes/bird
feeders, nature-themed walks in the wood, the discovery of life on the farm, and workshops on the production of bread from wheat, and
cheese from milk).

Qualitative Information Regarding the Product

Describe the area of production
Are there specific resources that characterize your area of reference? Are they agro-alimentary resources or products of handicraft? Are
there interdisciplinary and inter-territorial integrations that confer an added-value to the product?
“Masseria Ferri” spreads over 100 hectares, in the area known as the Alto Salento, and maintains its agricultural vocation with the
rearing of podalica cows and the cultivation of grapes in order to obtain the fine DOC Martina wine. It also includes numerous hectares
of oak woods, in which it is possible to go on excursions in an uncontaminated environment, alongside the typical vegetation of the
Murgia area (in the Autumn it is possible to find mushrooms, and in the Spring one can collect excellent wild asparagus), and alongside
the typical fauna of the place; it is actually possible to come across grazing “Murgia” horses (a typical moorland horse) and the donkey
of Martina Franca, both animals that are in danger of extinction.

Product Description of its Relationship with the Market

This part of the questionnaire will cover the description of the product with the indication of the characteristics of the raw materials used, and
of the eventual phases of transformation. Please describe and underline, in the description the specific nature of the product and the
production process which differentiates it from other product that fall into the same typology.
Describe the characteristics and the origin of the main raw materials used
All the raw materials used are produced on the farm itself; they are therefore obtained using natural methods, according to the ancient
customs of farm life.
The milk from which the cheeses are obtained is obtained from the Podolica cows grazing on the farm’s holdings, along with the meat.
To be specific, Podolica cows come from a very old race, and are commonly present in the farms of the area since they helped the
people carry out various agricultural activities.
The grapes belong to the Cabernet Sauvignon 100% and Verdeca della Valle d’Itria varieties.
Also, with the aim of promoting native varieties that have fallen into disuse several hectares of land fit for sowing have been cultivated
with the durum wheat variety “Senatore Cappelli”.
Describe the production process, and the techniques and methodologies used during processing
If the product presents distinctive characteristics in terms of quality, raw materials, techniques and methods of processing, briefly describe.
The milk obtained on a daily basis from the Podalica cows grazing on the holdings of “Masseria Ferri” is worked in a handcrafted way in
the dairy product company in order to obtain typical regional cheeses (mainly “caciocavallo”, “canestraio pugliese”, “cacioricotta” and
“ricotta forte”).
Specify any variations in the product in relation to the different areas and typologies
(E.g: ………in the area of this Municipality ………….. one uses olives that are treated in a different way than in other bordering
The products are sold directly at "Masseria Ferri”, with the "Masseria Ferri” brand.
Describe how the product is presented on the market (state the brand or describe the pack used)
(E.g: “Pane d’ Altamura”(Bread from Altamura) is packaged inside......…... The dimension o f the bag is.... colour, etc ........)
The product is sold using the ethical brand “Libera Terra” both in the large-scale retail trade (Coop Italia) and in the network of “Botteghe
del Commercio equo e solidale” (Fair Trade shops). Information regarding the spirit that characterises the co-operatives producing
“Libera Terra” products is very evident on the label.
Describe the product’s market outlets and its diffusion locally, nationally and internationally
The product is handcrafted to a large extent, and has a mainly local diffusion.
The product is sold:
Only on the local market (municipality/province/region) 100 % of total sold
State the sales channels used when marketing the product
Modern distribution (supermarkets/ ipermarkets) 10 %
Retail /Specialized shops 80 %
Direct Sales 10 %
During the process of company improvement aimed at promoting products locally and Europe-wide have you created a
marketing plan?
No marketing plan was set up, but the various activities were realised bit by bit, as if they were the various parts of a mosaic.
Concrete outputs and results of the action / project
Explanation of the concrete outputs and the results of the whole action/project for the territory; identification of the direct beneficiaries of the
The initiative of promoting such a precious thing as the farm started about 8 years ago, and the various initiatives were developed in a
gradual way.
Problems encountered; lessons learned
Explanation of the main problems encountered, how they were solved and the lessons learned..
The main aspect that has often slowed down the activities has been a “bureaucracy" that has often been unclear and very artificial.
However, with lots of tenacity and will power we have managed to go forward and overcome the obstacles that arose mainly due to
these bureaucratic aspects.

Why this Action/Project is a Good Practice?

Bottom-up approach
This aims to encourage participatory decision-making at the local level for all development policy aspects.
The initiative started from an individual desire to promote a property of inestimable value – the rurality of the area – without any need for
financial assistance from the government.
Approach aimed at promoting partnership
Certainly initiatives involving the other actors of the territory are to be wished for, and would be well accepted. A first collaboration was
had with the Alto Salento Local Action Group (LAG), with whose collaboration the vineyards were planted and a solar-power plant was
set up for the production of the electrical energy used by “Masseria Ferri”.
Creation of a network and cooperation between areas
All the initiatives taken forward by “Masseria Ferri” are suitable to the territorial context, and are pushed by the desire to make an ancient
farm live again according to ancient customs, and in full respect for the nature of the place.

The present information regarding data protection is rendered according to article 13 of D.L. 196 (30 June 2003) - Code regarding the protection of personal data. We inform you that the personal data provided will be processed in accordance with these norms, and that such processing will be characterised by the principles of correctness, lawfulness, transparency and the protection of privacy and rights. The data is processed electronically only for the time strictly necessary for carrying out the aims for which it was collected. Specific security measures are observed as a safeguard in order to prevent the loss of the data or its illegal/incorrect use and access by non-authorised people. All the necessary data protection interventions, as foreseen by the new dispositions of ex. art. 33 (and following) of D.L. 196/2003 have been adopted. The subjects to whom the data refers have the right in any moment to obtain confirmation of the existence of this data and to be informed of its content, origin and method of processing, as well as to the logic applied when using electronic equipment. They may check whether the data is correct, and request its updating, rectification or integration, as well as be informed of the details of the subjects or categories of subjects to whom the personal data could be communicated, or who could have access to the data in their roles as controllers or processors of the data (art. 7 D.L. 196/2003). In accordance with the same article they have the right to obtain the cancellation, transformation into anonymous form or the blocking of data being processed in violation of the law, as well as opposing in any case, for legitimate motives, the processing of their data, even if it is pertinent to the aim of the data collection. 05th November 2007

Interviewer: Mariantonietta Porcelli
Name Gianfranco Surname Ciola
Phone 3939654169