Author: Maria Teresa Moschillo
Severino Becagli: reinventing tradition and taste with organic Spirulina made in Tuscany
by Maria Teresa Moschillo
Tuscany agrifood tradition evolves, changes and takes a new shape, moulded by the learned and farsighted hands of Severino Becagli. The company, started as a small grocery shop in Florence a long time ago, is today leader in the production of Spirulina 100% made in Tuscany.
Spirulina is a superfood, powerful and balanced, one of the key resources our planet has available.
Severino Becagli’s spirulina is grown and harvested exclusively within the company premises: the country estate Tenuta San Lorenzo, in Grosseto, heart of the Tuscan Maremma region.
Spirulina is certified and controlled, natural, GMO-free, without additives or pesticides.
Not just pure spirulina (available either fresh, granulated or dried): Severino Becagli has gradually turned his attention to products that are based on Spirulina, with a goal to increase awareness of a superfood that was, only a few years ago, unknown to most consumers.
Originally set up as a b2b company, in recent years the company has taken the next step to operate on a b2c basis. Leading this transaction, aimed at reinventing and evolving traditional Tuscan values towards a more sustainable and healthier lifestyle, is Tommaso Becagli, current owner of the company.
Severino Becagli’s story begins in a small shop in Florence. It belonged to Tommaso Becagli’s great grandfather. Over the years, the small business expanded and the family moved to Grosseto. Here, built from an old rural estate dating from the 19th century, Tenuta San Lorenzo was founded and proved to be a highly productive agricultural farm.
Tenuta San Lorenzo is still today the Company’s headquarters. In this old farmhouse the Becagli family created a perfect combination of tradition and innovation, embarking on the Spirulina project.
They felt the need to develop green and innovative farming techniques, guaranteeing a circular and sustainable economy in an area that was already planted with corn and grain crops, and also had biogas plants (providing energy for the Spirulina plants).
The work on the plants was carried out between 2015 and 2016, while in 2017 Severino Becagli made his debut in the Spirulina market.
THE LOCATION AND THE PLANT
The Spirulina production facility of Severino Becagli is located within the Tenuta San Lorenzo and surrounded by fields (1186.11 acres in total) where new types of seeds and crops are tested.
A rural building, dating from the early 1900s and faithfully restored to its original appearance, accommodates the technological core of the plant, faithfully made in Tuscany.
Severino Becagli spirulina grows in raceway ponds placed inside automated greenhouses that ensure ideal farming conditions.
The harvesting takes place through a system of innovative machinery that does not compromise the integrity of the algae and allows it to be transferred to the annexed building, where the processing is carried out.
The plant, in fact, encloses a “building within the building” which provides perfectly confined areas, including two “clean rooms” for filtration and drying, which take place at a controlled temperature and with air conditioning equipped with HEPA filters to guarantee ISO 8 class environments.
Indeed, the plant encloses a “building within the building” which provides perfectly confined areas, including two “clean rooms” for filtration and drying at a controlled temperature and with air conditioning equipped with HEPA filters to guarantee ISO 8 class environments.
The process is managed and monitored by a centralized system at every stage: from cultivation to harvest, passing through processing. The building is also equipped with an internal laboratory used to keep the inocula of the cultivated spirulina strains active and in which chemical and microbiological checks on greenhouse crops are regularly carried out.
SPIRULINA MADE IN TUSCANY BY SEVERINO BECAGLI
Spirulina is an alga with many properties:
- it strengthens the immune system
- it counteracts fatigue
- it is a natural anti-inflammatory
- it is antioxidant and detoxifying
Its production is environmentally friendly and takes place in perfect harmony with the environment. Indeed, cultivating spirulina does not cause atmospheric pollution, nor does it contaminate the water or cause soil erosion.
When referring to spirulina though, talking exclusively about its eco-sustainability can be belittling. The cultivation of spirulina not only respects the environment: it helps it. Indeed, Spirulina is by far the organism that produces the most oxygen and it captures C02, thus reducing the atmospheric gases that cause the earth to overheat. Producing spirulina makes the air cleaner: 1 kg of spirulina absorbs 2 kg of CO2 and emits 2 kg of oxygen. It is also important to stress that Severino Becagli’s spirulina is not only Made in Italy, but specifically Made in Tuscany: it is 100% organic-certified, grown and harvested in tanks, completely free from external contamination and always in compliance with the highest quality standards.
As for the raw material, the product range includes:
- Becagli Fresh Spirulina granulate (prepared with pea protein and Spirulina)
- Dried spirulina (powder, sticks, flakes and single-serve)
- Spirucap (Spirulina powder in capsules)
- Phycocyanin (liquid extract with a high protein content of spirulina)
SEVERINO BECAGLI SPIRULINA FOOD PRODUCTS
The food products, inspired by the Tuscan culinary tradition, combine taste and well-being.
Severino Becagli relies on the collaboration of historical Tuscan companies, thus managing to offer the consumer unique products that keep intact the beneficial properties of spirulina.
The important shift from pure production of the raw material towards a much broader scope of action coincided with a key change in focus: to gain the consumers’ trust through educating them to spirulina.
In order to encourage consumers to approach this superfood not only as a supplement but also as a food resource, it was essential to make it clear that it can be eaten and it is good.
Severino Becagli Spirulina is never burned and is dried below 40 °.
Spirulina Severino Becagli food products are:
- Organic penne with Spirulina
- Organic corn or rice triangles with peas and Spirulina
- Organic Pecorino Cheese with Spirulina
- Italian organic honey with Spirulina
- Organic craft beer with Spirulina
- Extra Dark 70% Organic Chocolate with Spirulina Powder
- Becagli sauce with Spirulina
- Organic SpiruWeek (cold apple and spirulina extract)
Among those that have so far received the greatest response in terms of attention, the Dark Blu Pecorino Cheese and the Green Beer stand out.
In terms of sales, alongside the dried Spirulina powder, which is one of the company’s best sellers , customers have particularly shown their appreciation for Becagli Sauce with Spirulina, by far one of the most representative products. It is a sauce made with fresh Severino Becagli Spirulina, a sort of vegan mayonnaise sauce excellent not only from a nutritional point of view but also in taste. The company is currently engaged in the production of additional fresh spirulina-based food products.
SOCIAL AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
Severino Becagli is a dynamic and young company: it is made up of under 40s only, starting with the owner Tommaso Becagli, and a good 50% is made up of women. It currently has 15 employees.
The environment is the company’s core business.
Product packaging is mainly recyclable, requiring the use of very little plastic.
Severino Becagli loves nature: each package includes a “plantable” thank you card for the customer, from which a flower can be born.
The company carries on a fruitful collaboration with local schools and universities and is part of the Spirulina Union.
MARKET AND CONSUMERS
Those who buy Severino Becagli Spirulina are attentive to well-being, but have no intention of giving up on taste.
Among the company’s projects is that of gradually moving towards and include the sport and wellness sectors.
There are two targets the company wants to focus on:
- women aged 25 to 60, attentive to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, and
- professional athlets , increasingly aware and looking for more natural and powerful supplement alternatives.
Severino Becagli products are sold in the physical store inside the company in Tuscany and through the company's online shop.
The website has always been in double language and Severino Becagli is finally laying the foundations to launch sales on the foreign market.
In the UK, in addition to other retailers, it is also distributed by The Secret Sanctum.
Find out HERE how The Secret Sanctum helps Severino Becagli brand to operate in the UK market, or write to us for more information.