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"Živa" – a new method of growing and selling lettuce and herbs

Author: Danila Golob

Date: 2. June 2020

Time to read: 3 min

The success story of Ljutomer-based company Panorganix began in 2011 with the cultivation of garlic, followed by goji berries, American blueberries, chilli peppers and beans. Their wide range of greens has been complemented with "living" (živa) lettuce and herbs.

Panorganix, established by Mario Kurtović, is currently developing into a leading farming establishment in the field of growing and selling fresh, high-quality crops and products. Their vegetables and herbs are grown in technologically advanced greenhouses equipped with automated air conditioning and machinery. The cultivated area covers approximately 40 ha. All products are grown locally, without causing harmful environmental effects.

"Living" food

The company has found an innovative way of growing and selling lettuce and herbs.

Their "Living lettuce" (Živa solata) and "Living herbs" (Živa zelišča) are cultivated 365 days a year in greenhouses without the use of chemical sprays or fertilisers.

The state-of-the-art cultivation technology (recirculation hydroponics) has several advantages compared to conventional production. In these greenhouses, ten times as much produce can be grown as in outside areas, meaning less strain on the land.

The elaborate cultivation system saves large amounts of water, as much as 90 percent.

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When picking lettuce and herbs, their roots are preserved, so that "Živa" products are "living" when sold. Consumers receive them in pots together with their root systems, which can be placed in water-filled glasses, thus staying fresh for as many as ten days. 

The company is also mindful of the environment when it comes to packaging. "Živa" lettuce is packed in a special biodegradable bag or foil (Home Compost), which can be discarded together with other organic material as biowaste.

The lettuce is available for consumers within 24 hours after harvesting. Due to a shorter transport route, it is healthier as it contains more nutrients and is more environmentally friendly compared to similar foreign products.

Panorganix – ambassador of Slovenia's economy

The SPIRIT Slovenia Public Agency has recognised Panorganix as an innovative and exceptional Slovenian company offering unique products in its field.

As part of the national campaign for the promotion abroad of the Slovenian economy, led by SPIRIT under the slogan "I FEEL SLOVENIA. GREEN. CREATIVE. SMART.", Panorganix has become one of the 19 proud ambassadors of the Slovenian economy.

"Modern farming and food cultivation are an increasingly important link in the domestic economy. We are pleased to be chosen as an ambassador of the Slovenian economy. This suggests that others are also aware of the importance of high-quality, locally grown food and self-sufficiency for the future of us all," said Niko Miholič, Panorganix's sales manager.

New plans

With the pioneer project of growing "living" lettuce and herbs in Slovenia and Austria, Panorganix has proven that agriculture is a field of the future and that crops can be grown in a manner friendly to the environment and to the people. The successful producers wish to expand their activities to new locations.

Panorganix is planning to build four modern greenhouses near major European cities, with the goal of becoming the largest European producer of pesticide-free lettuce and herbs.