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The Italian tomato is prized around the world, but its reputation has soured in recent years over reports of Mafia infiltration, slave labor and toxic fires that poison water sources.Galimberti's farm produces a kilogram of tomatoes or lettuce using just 2 liters of water, compared to 75 in fields, he said.Galimberti tapped private investors and banks to raise the 20 million euros ($22.4 million) needed to open the 13-hectare greenhouse, which now employs 230 people and produces crops every day of the year.Italian tomatoes, particularly the canned variety, have received bad press in recent years, with rights charities warning that foreign workers are effectively used as slave labor.The so-called "agro-mafia" business -- the infiltration of organized crime along the agri-food chain in Italy, from pickers to distributors -- is worth 24.5 billion euros, according to a July report by farming association Coldiretti.'Flavor advantage'Sfera Agricola has bet on a return to the Italian tomato's glory days, producing three varieties that have fallen out of favor with farmers and distributors, but that the company is "bringing back to supermarket shelves".
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