Ruggiero family since 1910

Since 1910 Ruggiero family of Sarno (SA) has been direct growers of PDO San Marzano tomato, the tomato famous all over the world.

About us

DANIcoop is an agricultural cooperative with more than 100 members and one of its main activities is marketing San Marzano PDO plum tomatoes. Our cooperative supports the Presidio Slow Food foundation with regard to, is entered on the Fattorie Didattiche (educational farms) register of the Campania Region and is a member of the farmers association, Coldiretti of Salerno.

DANIcoop meticulously supervises the entire production process of San Marzano tomatoes, supplying our member with plants and providing them with technical assistance throughout the transplanting, growth and harvesting phases. Behind every can of San Marzano tomatoes marketed by DANIcoop there is a production chain, made up of farmers, experts and controls of the raw material, working to bring our country's best products into the homes of the consumers.

Our products are distributed worldwide. You see our distributors

Traditions of territory

The city of Sarno grows at the slopes of Saro mount. Here you will find many sources that give birth to many watercourses: the rio Foce, the rio Palazzo and the rio Santa Marina, which, flowing, form the Sarno River, that gave to the city its name. For its fertility, the latter was the heart of Campania Felix of the ancient latin poets. Called "Real Valle" from the Angioini. There are traces of prehistoric occupation, at the dawn of civilization, in the sarnesi sites of Foce and San Giovanni, adjacent to the source of the river and far apart just 2 Km. The appearance of prehistoric man at Foce goes back to a time of advanced middle Neolithic, in the second half of the 4th Millennium (3500 BC). His presence persists in place for about 1700 years, until the early Bronze age (1800 BC). It’s in this last period that is dated the abandon of prehistoric village, who had been born in Foce. Towards the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. begins to have commercial and strategic importance the old prehistoric “tratturo”, become the real Piedmont Road (the future Popilia, then Tabellara), that along the sarnesi mountains, from nocerino territory arrives to Nola. The Etruscans coined the name Sarno, which etymologically means "the River from many sources".

The river and the people of Sarrhastes, who lives along its banks, are frequently cited by many ancient authors. Among the biggest we remember: Conone, Strabone, Virgilio, Silio Italico, Lucano, Stazio e Servio. A votive descendent, discovered in Foce area and dating back to the IV century BC bears witness to the cult of "Holy Sources". This cult of the waters coagulates in the deification of Sarno as healthy river deity. Numerous pictorial parietal representations, found during excavations in Pompei, depicting the God with the green holy rod attribute. Always in Foce we have found the remains of a Hellenistic­Roman theater. The original you date to the second half of the 2nd century B.C., this would lead to the hypothesis, the presence of a “vicus”, to identify with the name "Teglanum" reported by Tabula Peutingeriana. Among the monuments of the Roman period the most significant, on sarnese territory, are the remains of the aqueduct of Julio­Claudian age, which, with a path of over 100 Km, carried water from the springs of Serino to Miseno, seat of the Roman imperial fleet. Part of this aqueduct can be seen in the area named Arce Walls. Throughout the high middle ages, the river is called by the historian Procopius of Caesarea with the new name of Draconteo. Meanwhile, on the roadway, which resembles the ancient via Popilia, took up residence the first nucleus of Lombard race. It's the lombard Prince of Benevento, Arechis II, within the framework of strengthening the Valley of military defenses against the frequent incursions of the Byzantine Duchy of Naples, to proceed around 758­786 AC with the construction of the castle in Sarno on top of Saro, called "parvulum castrum" in the maps of the time. In the area below, then called Terravecchia, the first settlement of present Sarno took place. Always at the time of the Lombard goes back the cult of St. Michael the Archangel, which becomes the heavenly patron of the city and to which will be dedicated later the Cathedral built in the Bishop's Palace. In the year 970, Prince Gisulf I Prince of Salerno, elevates Sarno to the rank of County and gives it to Indulfo of lombard royal blood, which thus becomes the first of 43 feudal lords, who will have the lordship over the city for over nine hundred years.

Distinguished members of Royal families, such as the House of Anjou, as well as famous and powerful Italian noble families, such as Aquinas, the Orsini, the Sanseverino, the Colonna, the Barberini, will receive, over the centuries, the title of Count and Lord of Sarno. With the advent of the last feudal lords, the Medici (1690­1806), the County will be elevated to a Duchy. With the seal dated the Lord's year 1066, the Archbishop of Salerno, Alfano I, establishes the Diocese of Sarno and delimits the boundaries. The first bishop was Riso. Around the Cathedral begins to develop the village of Episcopio, which derives its name precisely from the bishop seat. With the rich Count of amalfitan origin as well as Grand Admiral of the Kingdom, Francis Coppola (1485­1487), the castle of Sarno relives the magnificence of the great Sarno in the Lombard time. But it's the swan song. Coppola, promoter of a conspiracy against his King, known to history as the conspiracy of the barons, is arrested and later beheaded. Sarno's Castle was pillaged and hijacked. New headquarters building became the majestic Palazzo Baronale, also known as Domus Imperialis (now Palazzo Napoli), set in Market (piazza Garibaldi). Mariano Abignente, (1471­1521) belonging to the Seat of Nobles, is one of the thirteen Italian champions, who in 1503, the famous “Disfida of Barletta”, fighting gallantly, restored the honor of arms, against many French knights. Towards the end of the 16th century the Count Maurizio Tuttavilla constructs a water channel from the Foce source to the sea, called "Fosso del Conte", to power the mills he owned in his farmhouse of Torre (Annunziata).

The contemporary age sees Sarno, for the richness of water, becoming an important industrial centre. In this age of fruitful activity, the city receives the nickname of "Manchester of the South”. Specialized weavers arrive from all over Europe, settling there with their families. Are the English Turner, Irish Strangman, the Swiss Buchy, the French Franchomme. The thriving industry receives a new impetus when, in 1856, the railroad comes to Sarno. Always around 1850, in the southeast toward the borders of nocerino area, there is the birth of big agricultural settlement of Lavorate, contraction of the name Terre Lavorate. It is the last hamlet to born in town. In 1904, finally inaugurated the new Circumvesuviana, which connects directly Sarno with Naples and with Vesuvian municipalities. In the last postwar, after the severe crisis of “canapifici”, rise numerous canneries, which enhance the agricultural vocation of the Sarnese territory.

The San Marzano DOP

The San Marzano tomato is known and appreciated in all the world for its features, which are enhanced by the transformation into "peeled". The presence of a number of concomitant factors such as: the Mediterranean climate and extremely fertile soil and of excellent structure, the skill and the experience gained by the farmers of the area of production over the decades, has contributed to its success in the world, crowned in 1996 by the European Union's recognition as P.D.O.

The intrinsic characteristics that have enhanced the product, favouring its knowledge and its consumption are: tipically sweet and sour taste, elongated shape of the berry with parallel longitudinal depressions, deep red colour, low presence of seeds and placental fibers, red skin and easy to peel. These, together with the physical and chemical properties, make it unmistakable. The protected designation of origin designates the product only "peeled" (the EU is under evaluation the Consortium's proposal to admit in the specification, in addition to "the whole" peeled tomato also "peeled in fillets”), coming from the processing of the fruits of the ecotype San Marzano and improved lines of it.

The product entered for consumption must have precise technological features: uniform with red colour a/b ratio of not less than 2.2; elongated and parallelepiped structure with lengths from 60 to 80 mm; absence of extraneous odours and tastes; the drained weight not less than 65% of the net weight; refractometry residue not less than 4%; ph between 4.2 and 4.5. It allowed the addition of salt (max 3% of p.n.), basil leaves, tomato juice (but only San Marzano). The cultivation technique of the fresh product provides the vertical type of plants with the use of braces, respecting the tradition, though, for the high number of man- hours required, this technique greatly impacts on the cost of production. The tomato, as it is known, is native of Central America. In Europe came in 17 beginning in Spain, where he was given an ornamental value. The food value of this crop was only discovered later, according to somebody not until the 18 when it was released in different countries of the Mediterranean. According to some testimonies of oral tradition it is said that the first tomato seed is in Italy around 1770, as a gift of the Kingdom of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples and that would th century, at the have been planted in the area that corresponds to the district of San Marzano. From this, derives the origin of this famous tomato, that over time, with various actions of selections, has acquired the characteristics of the current ecotype. According to other testimony, however, only in 1902 it has some evidence of presence, between Nocera, San Marzano and Sarno, of the famous ecotype. Gourmets delight, smell of Sundays and of feasts characterized by the red sauce that covered the white pasta from Gragnano and Torre Annunziata, San Marzano tomato took great appreciation from the gastronomic point of view towards the beginning of the 20 first industries were established, by Francesco Cirio, which produced the famous "peeled" for sauce. In a recent past the San Marzano was also called "red gold" for the economic value that had managed to take to the farmers of the agro sarnese- nocerino.

In the 1980s the culture underwent a drastic reduction, both in terms of surface and production, for phitosanitary and economic reasons (referring especially to burdensome cropping technique), but the recovery action, to preserve genetic lines and improvement started by the Campania region and today consolidated by Consortium, has allowed the protection and its relaunch on international basis. In fact, the San Marzano PDO tomatoes are witnessing a new era of rebirth and today it is required not only in Europe and America, but also in other continents, where it is expanding thanks to the growing success of the "Mediterranean diet".

Slow food presidium

Coming in a field of ripe Tomatoes is a unique experience, you remain as stunned by the aromas rising from the earth: aromas of freshly cut grass and spices that this tomato releases already when it is green. And some of these flavours are still in the boxed product. Ancient perfumes that remember the time when the salads tasted of tomato and sun and they were not strange objects odorless and tasteless. Until 20 years ago, the land suitable for growing vegetables around Naples and in the Sarnese­Nocerino countryside in the province of Salerno was almost entirely planted with San Marzano tomatoes.

These delicate fruits have a thin skin and low acidity and keep their flavor for a long time, even when preserved. However, they must be handled with care. Because of the high cost of growing San Marzanos, they have mostly been replaced with more productive and resistant hybrids, whose cultivation can be mechanized but whose quality is inferior. The canneries that produce "peeled" began to buy elsewhere hybrids more resistant to mechanical production and autochthon San Marzano risked extinction.

The ANCIENT NEAPOLITAN TOMATOES are cultivated as vineyards and they can be harvested seven, eight times, but even more, from July to September. Only if it is quite mature and only when the sun is lower. Just picked up you must rinse and place it in jars, then you can cook in 13 minutes. Nothing else: no additives, no preservatives. It will keep fine in jars for at least one year. The numerous small handcrafted industries, which employ mainly women workers, skin tomatoes. But it's in the plate that these ancient varieties of tomatoes reveal his personality: the sauce obtained with these tomatoes is literally stuck to pasta. And does not transmit acidity to the food. This ancient variety of tomato is one of the ingredients of authentic Neapolitan pizza (the Margherita) and a preparation which in Naples is a ritual: the sauce.

Km zero selling

In January 2007 DANIcoop opened an internal point of sale, wholesale and retail, where "km zero selling" really takes place; in other words, the prices are only slightly higher than at source because the products are delivered directly by our member farmers, without passing through the middlemen that push up the final price of fruit and vegetable products so sharply. The main products available at the DANIcoop point of sale include:

  • a wide selection of fresh vegetables;
  • a wide selection of fresh fruit;
  • DOC Gragnano and Lettere wines from the Sorrento peninsula;
  • top quality oils;
  • Setaro pasta;
  • a wide selection of products with the DANIcoopbrand, such as: peeled tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomato puree and, of course, our PDO San Marzano tomatoes.

Products bearing our brand are a guarantee because DANIcoop meticulously supervises the whole tomato production process, supplying our members with plants and providing them with technical assistance throughout the transplanting, growth and harvesting phases. Our point of sale is easy to get to: we are just a little more than 1 km from the Sarno tollgate of the A30 motorway and we are very close to the neighbouring towns of Striano and Palma Campania. The DANIcoop premises are attractive and there is plenty of parking.

In the world

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