How Buying and Selling Goods Rotates Economy Cycle by rza19948

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									THE PRIDE OF OPO VENETO
Radicchio is a product able to mark out a territory and to lift it up for its peculiarities, like no one
else. The target of the great business organization is to double the turnover, in the next five years.
OPO Veneto and the radicchios from Veneto: an inseparable pair. Since its first appearance on the
market, the Producers’ Organization, which has its head office in Zero Branco, Treviso district, has
marked out its own image by the most famous vegetables of the region, which became their
standard-bearer. Because this Op really believes in “Veneto: the European market garden” and
every vegetable – and since some years ago, also few fruits in great demand, such as the cherry of
Marostica PGI or the “Figo Moro” of Caneva – becomes a leading actor, there.
Radicchio is a product able to mark out a territory and to lift it up for its peculiarities, like no one
else. For this reason the OPO Veneto aims at increasing the value of the product going beyond the
mere business aspect, as they consider the marketing actions fundamental for an effective and
positive communication.
So, during the meeting of 2006, it cannot fail the real contribution and the presence of that
organization, which supports the meeting promoted by “Sole 24 ORE Specialized Publishing”,
since ever, as it is the ideal place for studying in depth the subjects concerning radicchios.
Which are the radicchio novelties?
The radicchios from Veneto are always offering new opportunities – Cesare Bellò, Director of the
OPO Veneto, says. Nowadays, some typologies like the red Radicchio of Chioggia and the early red
radicchio are becoming widespread vegetables and with vertical season. They are in great demand,
all year round, by the large-scale retail trade. Actually, they are radicchios that can be well kept,
they satisfy the aspects linked to the practical use and they are more and more present in fresh-cut
packaging for their colour liveliness, besides their good taste. As far as our organization is
concerned, we are now able to bring radicchios to our customers, all year round, because we can
rely on extra-seasonal supplies.
What’s about season and typicality? Does the Protected Geographical Indication mean nothing,
any more?
The PGI promotion and the achievement were essential for increasing the value of radicchios, and
PGI label is still a distinguishing mark for a specific product. The red Radicchio of Treviso PGI, as
well as the Radicchio Variegato of Castelfranco PGI are and must always be the ideal image of
radicchios from Veneto and, after all, of a territory of production that is qualified and
acknowledged. Nevertheless, we can transversally work on radicchios, by improving some mass
products that can cover the market demands. As for season, I have to say that there are very good
products – from both organoleptic quality and good cropping techniques points of view – tilled in
other regions, with more than positive characteristics, according to the OPO Veneto opinion. Those
regions can yield in off limits months, as for Veneto, so they can cover the seasonal gap and they
can meet the consumers’ requirements.


THE COOPERATION WITH FUCINO
With which areas of Italy do you work?
We have a development plan with radicchios growers of Fucino, in Abruzzi region. We think that it
will be a very satisfying region, in the future, because they are developing requalification processes
of large areas of production and, among other products, vegetables offers wide margins on both
production and economic plan to farmers.
When did the OPO Veneto meet the Fucino area?
During the radicchios meeting, or better say, through the “special on radicchios”, last year. As a
matter of fact, we published our new advertising campaign in the issue of last year, the one in which
we set off the sales office staff. Some growers of that area saw it and they felt themselves as part to
the case. Those pictures, our sales managers and their characteristics hit the target.
Does the OPO Veneto give a great prominence to its own human resources?
We are working for a target common to everyone. Everybody plays his/her part, but we all bring
our own ideas, experiences and techniques. The human factor is essential for carrying out a real and
effective group, like the OPO Veneto is.
Which are the future plans of your group?
We have already launched the New Operating Plan of Development. The challenge, or better still,
our goal is to double the present value of the production marketed by the OPO Veneto, for the next
five years. So, we are taking two directions: the first goes towards the market, the second one goes
towards the product. Therefore, we are showing ourselves on new markets, but we are also referring
in a different way to the marketed products. On the one hand, by seeking for niche vegetables and
fruits and, on the other hand, by increasing the value and widening those products that we may call
commodities for the masses. The “radicchio case” is a clear example of that: the range of PGI
radicchios satisfies the most selected and demanding customers, while the other radicchios, which
have a good quality, however, but they have fewer ties with territory and season, they cover the
requirements of a wider market.
The supplying, all year round
Which kind of message does the OPO Veneto send to the Meeting on Radicchio in Legnaro?
We are actually sending two messages. The first to buyers: OPO Veneto is able to satisfy the
radicchios supply all year round, changing from a “Veneto system” to an “Italy system”, through
regions and seasons, and always offering the same operating standard linked to quality, service,
timing and logistics, which are the features of our organization. The second message goes to our
social base, actually from this ideal place of meeting and of comparison. To our partners, but also to
all the traders that work with us, we want to say that it is necessary to cooperate: steady prices,
standard quality and constant supplies do not only guarantee reliable relations with the modern
market that is, obviously, the most interested in planned and non-stop supplies, but it is also a real
opportunity for growers.
Could you partners be threatened by the presence of producers coming from other areas?
I think they couldn’t. On the contrary, that would be an opportunity for carrying out a service to
customers, so, answering to the large-scale retail trade and finding the right position also for our
productions.


FROM THE SEED TO THE COUNTER
Francesco Arrigoni, deputy manager of OPO Veneto and Responsible for the supply chains.
What does it mean to be responsible for the supply chains?
At present, in OPO Veneto we have about fifteen products that follow, at first, a self-controlled
system of certification and then the control and the supervision of the CSQA. From the seed to the
counter, the goods that follow the supervisory course are: radicchios, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines,
cucumbers, marrows and lettuces. On these, I personally follow all the controlling stages till the
certification, according to the wording: “traceability from sowing/transplant stage to the end-
product delivery to customers”; “management/control of the sanitary features from the sowing
/transplant stage to the end-product delivery”.


WEAK POINT: THE VARIEGATO
By the analysis of the quality of radicchios range, in your opinion, which are now the mainstays or
the weak points?
Radicchios are the vegetables above all others, as for growing technique and quality yield. Since
years, OPO Veneto is certified on products and also on service, since 2006. So, the mainstays are
the intrinsic quality of radicchios and packaging and logistics service. A weak point is the lack of
care of the radicchio type. I mean the Radicchio Variegato…too much variegated to be call like
that! When the marketed product is the PGI one, therefore well-known, this type of radicchio is not
as it really is, so the image is completely distorted. As a matter of fact, inside markets and shops
there are lots of radicchios sold as Variegato, but with so many versions that it looses its own
identity. That causes serious damages, but it also creates confusion in the consumer’s mind, who
cannot appreciate the original product, at last. Furthermore, from the economic point of view, that
does not let us assure a proper income to our farms.
What is it possible to do?
The Op should be more determined to orient production towards the right biotype, respectful of the
Variegato features. In actual fact, for instance, OPO Veneto has an important means, that is to say
the “Committee for market trend and for productions planning”. It is a meeting that we do once a
year, since ten years ago, in which are involved all the subjects of the supply chain. From seed to
customer’s table, every moment is discussed by traders: from seeds firms to farmers; from
wholesale markets to the big food retailers including the precious technical and scientific
contribution of the Veneto Agriculture – fruit and vegetable sector. By acknowledging the EU
directives for the sector, through this inter-professional meeting, we do not only define market rules
suitable for everybody – growers, traders and consumers –, but we also supervise the total quality
and the product’s features.


by Anna Orlando



SERVE HEALTH FOR DINNER!
OPO Veneto registered with the competent Office (Patent and Trademark) of the Chamber of
Commerce of Treviso, its own Logo “Venèto” (Venèto with a green leaflet on the second “e” to
specify è (it’s) Veneto) and the trademark “Serve health for dinner”. OPO Veneto registers, in this
way, the promotional campaign it is carrying out, since years, with the aim of directly speaking with
consumers. What is the purpose? It is to make up a reliable relation with its own customers and with
the people that do shopping, every day. Through this service and a top quality product, coming from
a definite and controlled place of origin, any fresh vegetable is guaranteed by the OPO Veneto
system and consumers can be sure that they can eat healthy goods. The OPO Veneto producers, as
well as traders and people working for services, they do their best for that.


THE NEW IMAGE OF THE OPO VENETO LORRY
The new image of the “typical” lorry of OPO Veneto. First of all, the ® that points out the
registration of the trademarks Venèto and “Serve health for dinner”. Then, the products added from
the entire region: the cherry of Marostica PGI, the chestnuts of Monfenera, the Radicchio of Verona
and the Sweet Potato of Veneto. There is still the sweet smile of a child, which is the real picture of
health, on a sky-blue background.
THE COMMITTEE FOR TRENDS AND PLANNING
From seed to customer’ table is the synthesis of a vegetables supply chain that gathers round a table
for planning mutual strategies and targets, since ten years ago.
The OPO Veneto “Committee for the market trend and productions planning” is something original
that gives always rise to a lot of interest and curiosity in vegetables supply chain. By now, the
importance of planning is a fact for the OPO Veneto, a milestone in its Quality Manual officially
acknowledged by CSQA in Thiene.
From asparagus to marrows, there is a wide range of varieties, of which they plan production and
supplying. The growing techniques, the protection of biodiversities, the low environmental impact,
the best annual return, the satisfaction of market and consumer: these are all results of an important
workshop that follows the EU directives for the sector. To the workshop attend all the most
important purchasing groups of the large-scale retail trade, the seed selectors and the farmers, as
well as some wholesalers and research workers.
The meeting of this year took place in the Corte Benedettina, the seat of Veneto Agricoltura, in
Legnaro, Padua district, and the range of radicchio was in the spotlight, which is the real heritage of
Veneto vegetable growing. The region yield about one million and 200 thousand quintals of
radicchios, that is to say nearly the 50% of the Italian production. The workshop of the Committee
reaffirmed the need of preserving the original biotypes to protect the typicality and the
recognizability of the product on the market. On radicchios they play the freshness match: the
mainstay that lets win the competition challenge with the other producers Countries. Logistics and
service are the most important elements, besides being a great value added. On Radicchio of
Chioggia and on Early Radicchio are lavished all the biggest concerns: as they are cropped in
different places of Italy, they are running the risk of losing their connotations and the territory has
the responsibility of proposing safeguarding actions.


AN ENGAGEMENT ON BIODIVERSITY
OPO Veneto goes on with its mission concerning the biodiversity safeguarding. It is also joining the
OPO group the World Biodiversity Association Onlus governed by Gianfranco Caoduro. In 2006,
in Ecuador there is as official partner for the research in the Amazonian forest the OPO Veneto, for
the second time.
OPO Veneto has among its main targets the scientific research and the constant testing, as means of
growth and of exploitation of its own organizational system. So, that’s why, besides the actions it
carries out on the territory, it has decided to embrace the Ecuador project of the World Biodiversity
Association. Cesare Bellò, director of OPO Veneto, but also entomologist, took part in the journey
to Ecuador.
A very important opportunity for directly testing the chance offered by research on biodiversity, in a
Country such as Ecuador that is a real laboratory under the open sky. An opportunity for
transmitting that experience on the regional territory and for acquiring data and parameters of
reference to study on the spot.
Agriculture shall more and more acquire the awareness that the biodiversity system has to be saved
from extinction, because it is not only a naturalistic resource, but also and above all an opportunity,
the only one and irreplaceable, for preserving a healthy environment and, therefore a healthy
product.
THE RED AND THE VARIEGATO OF TREVISO: TWO SUCCESSFUL PGI
LABELS
The Safeguarding Consortium celebrates the tenth anniversary of the EU recognition. Great
expansions on the market thanks to the strict respect of the production regulation and of the
improvement in quality on the whole supply chain.
There is a great satisfaction in the Safeguarding Consortium of the Red Radicchio of Treviso and
Variegato of Castelfranco.
“And we have good reason for being satisfied, because this year, we celebrate both the tenth
anniversary of the two PGI labels and the ministerial recognition for safeguarding, promoting and
increasing the radicchio value – Luca Giavi, director of the Consortium, says –. In February, as
crowning of a concentrated activity carried out by the Consortium, in cooperation with all the
institutional subjects involved, we obtained the disciplinary at last, which gives us these specific
authorities. For the time being, it is the first and only one disciplinary to provide just a single
Safeguarding Consortium with two types of product, in Italy. For us, this is a fundamental result
that let us start a safeguarding action on product typicality and of supervision, together with a
powerful promotional campaign for these two prestigious and unique radicchios, at the same time”.


THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS AGGREGATION
The secret of this success is the will and the ability of “Marca Gioiosa” producers’ aggregation and
of other areas involved in the PGI, considered as launching pad for giving a definite and
remunerative future to their own activities. Those people know that it is better to work jointly and
having future results, than working for themselves today and gaining almost nothing. So, they join
together, they work as a team and they also cooperate with the institutions and the authorities
involved. The success is a real one, and it is confirmed by the great market results they achieve. A
product like the late radicchio of Treviso, for instance, is conquering new consumers every day, and
the area of spreading has more and more expanded for Veneto to North Italy, Europe, Central Italy
and it is now addressing to the South and overseas Countries.


A STRONG ACTION OF SAFEGUARDING ON DENOMINATION
“From 1996, the year of the Protected Geographical Indication achievement, to 2001, we, the
Consortium, together with the Provincial Administration of Treviso, the Chamber of Commerce and
the Ministry staked everything on promotion, by increasing the value of a qualified image that
caused a strong positioning of the product on the market, but, on the other hand, it also caused an
excessive improper use of the radicchio name, in connection with similar crops that disoriented the
consumer. Therefore, since 2002, we have started a strong safeguarding action for the correct use of
PGI for protecting consumers and the real producers, committed in the rigorous respect of the
production regulation and who are constantly improving the quality of the whole supply chain.
Moreover, it is one of our institutional tasks to guarantee these aims and to assert the uniqueness of
the Radicchio Rosso of Treviso and of the Variegato of Castelfranco”.


THE PGI ALSO FOR PROCESSING
“So, now, we are staring an innovative stage, either for widening the range of products or for
updating ourselves in accordance with a market that is constantly growing – the director says –. In
the last few years, we have given our PGI product to the manufacturing industries, which required it
for raising their offer profile. In short, we will have stuffing and sauces made of PGI radicchio.
Furthermore, by the end of the year, some of our partners are going to put on the market fresh-cut
products, easy and ready-to-use. We are sure that the market is ready for taking up these novelties,
which are almost unique, and these new offers will be welcomed by our customers”.
“As for the Radicchio of Castelfranco, there is a growing trend that let us hope for the best – Giavi
says –. As a matter of fact, we had reservations for the PGI product during the pre-season and also
by the restaurant business, which wants to put our radicchio in their menu”.
But now, let’s talk about numbers.
“The production of our radicchios starts in September, with the early Treviso type, then it goes on
in October by the Variegato of Castelfranco, and in November there is the late Treviso, but it covers
all the winter time till late in spring”.


By Daniela Del Zotto
CHIOGGIA IS WAITING FOR THE PGI, SINCE TEN YEARS AGO
The Safeguarding Consortium for radicchio of Chioggia is made up by ten producers and five
traders, but other two hundred partners would join it if the protected denomination of both early and
late type came. Also the market of Brontolo has to be adapted to the new business needs.
The producers of radicchio of Chioggia are really angry for the turn their efforts have taken for
obtaining the European identification. Patrizio Garbin, owner of the F.lli Garbini farm in S. Anna di
Chioggia, who is also vegetable grower and president of the Safeguarding Consortium of radicchio
of Chioggia, angrily confirms it. “Ten years have passed since we have started the course for having
the PGI label from the European Union, but we did not get anything, yet – Garbin says –. In the last
few years, we have worked a lot for reaching that result, but, up to now, we are still groping in the
dark, and we do not even know the reason why”.


BUREAUCRACY PARALYZES PRODUCERS
After the publishing of the production regulation in the Official Gazette, in October 2002, it seemed
that the road was almost slopping down: it was just a question of bureaucratic time requirement.
Two years ago, instead, Brussels asked for further documents and for the change of the name: no
longer “radicchio rosso of Chioggia”, but just “radicchio of Chioggia”. All the changes required
were immediately presented, but, up till now, we know anything about it.
“It’s an exasperating situation that let us seriously think that, maybe, we’d better forget it – the
president says –. We are facing a careless bureaucracy, which does not cooperate nor protect us; on
the contrary, it causes only damages to us, because we are losing money and precious chances”. At
present, the Consortium is made up of ten producers and five traders, but there is already the pre-
enrolment of other two hundred partners, who would yield PGI radicchio of both “early” and “late”
types if only the recognition came.


HEAVY ECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS
“It is very depressing to think that a product like our radicchio, with its unique organoleptic features
and that covers the market all year round, could not have the PGI that it deserves as other radicchios
have already had and that we are asking for years – Garbin says”. Unfortunately, we are far behind
the times, and that implies a serious economic loss for our territory – Pietro Cigna, director of the
Production Market of Brondolo, Chioggia, says –. In 2005, in our Market travelled about 150
thousand quintals of radicchio, by a turnover of nearly ten million euros, which is almost the half of
the whole production that is about 300 thousand quintals amidst the provinces of Venice, Padua and
Rovigo. The vegetables Market of Brondolo is just used for transit goods; every day, the price is
fixed by a “secret ear auction” and it is destined only to wholesalers, large-scale retail trade
included, which packs it and delivers it to the different markets. Nearly the half of the product goes
to foreign Countries belonging to the European Union: you can find radicchio everywhere, also in
Brussels”.


EXCESSIVE APPORTIONMENT
“Unfortunately, the future of our radicchio is not very rosy, especially without the PGI increase in
value, because there is a cutthroat competition, also due to the seasonal adjustment that lets have a
wide range of products, all year round – Cigna says –. But, above all, there is too much
apportionment, not only among producers, but also amidst the Public Authorities and Facilities: we
all have to change our minds, join together and set up just one Body for sharing the market that,
otherwise, will sweep us away. Let’s think about the production of that vegetable, unique of its kind
for selection, for soil characteristics and for the microclimate in which it is tilled, it involves three
provincial administration: Venice, Padua and Rovigo, with three Chambers of Commerce and ten
town councils, which put together should make up a very strong group, politically, economically
and institutionally speaking, able to exploit and to promote all our potentialities”.


REDRAWING THE MARKET
Not to mention the facilities. The market of Brondolo was built in 1972; at that time, it was in the
forefront among all the other markets, but now it needs renovations. At the present time, it belongs
half to the Municipality of Chioggia and half to the Regional Corporation Veneto Agriculture, but it
is going to be assigned fully to Chioggia, by the end of the year. The Municipality has already
assigned the job for carrying out the market modernization, in order to make it more updated as
regards the new needs of first granting of goods. “But also in this context we are too much shared
out, because we have three big structures, within few kilometres: Padua, Rosolina and Chioggia –
Cigna says –. All three work in the same way; why don’t we differentiate and qualify every market
in just one specific segment? We would all gain more and, maybe, we would set up useful and
significant synergies”.
Every day, in the market of Brondolo is brought in about eight hundred quintals of radicchio, but it
is possible to reach three thousand quintals. The production price, however, especially in autumn,
are low, sometimes they are too much low so they cannot cover the costs. And, it hurts a lot to see
such a hard work wasted for a lack in union of all the subjects involved, in a territory in which the
traditional typical radicchio represents a large share of the local agricultural economy – Cigna
says”. By Daniela Del Zotto
THE WINTER “VERONA VENTO”: UNIQUE AND UNREPEATABLE
Egg-shaped, bright red colour with very vivid white ribs, fresh and bitterish taste, just a little bit
crackling. It can satisfy every gastronomic need, used both raw and cooked. An overall production
of ten thousand tons.
The red Radicchio of Verona is one of the most widespread varieties among the “nobles” radicchios
of Veneto. Therefore, it is obvious that also for this variety they have asked, in time, the PGI as
Verona Veneto, which is, however, still waiting for definite decisions from Brussels.
“Unfortunately, inside the offices of the European Union everything is going very slowly, even if
we are in a very good place of the list for the assignation: it seems that the Committee is giving
priority to the productions of other Countries – the President of the Safeguarding Consortium,
Alberto Rossini, says –. Even though, since 2005, we are under temporary safeguarding which
would entitle us to use already the label. Nevertheless, we prefer to wait for the official European
confirmation”.


THE REASONS FOR THE BUSINESS SUCCESS
The Safeguarding Consortium of this unique, unrepeatable and typically local product was born in
December 1998, by seven promoting partners: four producers and three manufacturers. At present,
there are about 90 partners, who all follow the production methods provided for the rules and
regulations presented for the PGI recognition and, therefore, they are ready to formally join it.
Moreover, the “Verona” is a well-known denomination to consumers, by now, who know what they
want when they ask for it; even though it does not have the specific features it will have after the
protection label. This selected variety of chicory is characterized by an ovoid shape, with a bright
red colour and very vivid large ribs, with fresh or bitterish taste, just a little bit crackling. It can
satisfy every different gastronomic need and it can be eaten both raw and cooked. Even though the
name recalls the Verona district, the historical area of production (identified by the future
production regulation) includes a large part of the central plain of Veneto region, especially three
provinces: Verona (61%), Vicenza (23%) and Padua (16%), for a total of 57 Municipalities.
Alberto Rossini, besides being the president of the Consortium since 2005, he is also one of the
promoting partners. His firm, in San Pietro of Morubio, certified EUREPGAP, processes about one
thousand quintals of both early and late types of radicchio, which are all exported on the
Switzerland market. The price of the product is fixed every day, by an auction sale in the area of
production. There are three auctions within few kilometres: two in Roveredo di Guà (VR) and
another one in Cologna Veneta (VR), in which is brought about the 50% of the product that is sold
to wholesalers. The 30% is directly sold by the producer to the retailer and the remaining 20% is
sold by the producer directly to the wholesale market.


LET’S SEE THE NUMBERS
“According to the data I have processed in 2005, the overall area cropped with Radicchio of Verona
Veneto was about 1,315 hectares, for an overall production that almost reached 10 thousand tons,
with a value of nearly 7 million and 105 thousand euros of processed and marketed product – the
President of the Consortium says –. Verona district proved to be the mot important producer by
5,135 tons on 800 hectares and a value of 3 million 135 thousand euros, followed by Vicenza (3,150
tons and with 2 million and 325 thousand euros) and by Padua (215 hectares; 1,170 tons and a value
of 1 million and 265 thousand euros). Paradoxically, the highest unit value is reached by the
province that yields the less”.
“The radicchio of Verona Veneto is typically a winter product”, Stefano Zanini says, who is one of
the most important growers with 50 hectares of land; these are rotation crops that he rents when
they are more suitable for this growing. “Radicchio covers a period of the year that is not productive
otherwise. My colleagues and I, we are ready for joining the PGI production regulation, which is
late in coming; while we already have the international EUREPGAP certification. Anyway, I want
to reaffirm how much the aggregation is important in this moment. In this connection, I want to tell
you the experience I’m doing with another big producer, Stefano Zuccheri: we have invested a
profit share, about the 20 per cent, on research for improving production. A team of technicians
controls and improves the seed features, while we only use soils of vegetable origin that we buy in
Austria, for offering a more and more natural production”.


IT IS NECESSARY A TECHNICAL CHANGE
“For cutting the water waste and the processing costs of land and cropping, we are testing Israeli
systems that are giving excellent results: we have saved the 35 per cent of water and the 20 per cent
of diesel – Zanini says –. For the contrasting activities against insects and other parasites, we adopt
the method of natural integrated defence, which let us yield a product with no residual of active
substances.
In 2005, taking into consideration an average of the early and late types, the crop was about 130
quintals/hectare, paid 40 cents euro/kg, by a gross income of 5,800 euro per hectare”. “Together
with Zuccheri, we have also set up a processing business corporation each, to which we both
brought 10 thousand quintals of product that was sold directly to the large-scale retail trade, in
2005”. By Daniela Del Zotto
THE “VARIEGATO” AND THE “BIANCO OF LUSIA”
The former is early and ripens from the end of August to the beginning of November. The “Bianco”
(white) is the classic type, with close heart without any variegation; it is put into the field in July.
These are two niche productions on the markets of Turin, Milan and Florence.
Lusia is a market gardens land, immersed in the Rovigo countryside, in which the wintry mists
alternate the greenhouses, under a leaden and clouded sky. It is a countryside traditionally devoted
to vegetables. Salads and radicchios, together with other vegetables, are the ancestral foods loved
and enthusiastically tilled, since ever.
The Market of Lusia comes back to the Radicchio National Meeting conscious of its own
vegetables heritage. It knows that only a policy which pays attention to product and to growers will
be able to safeguard the typicality and the expression of the territory.
We met Rossano Fossan, Director of the Market of Lusia.


THE CHIOGGIA STANDS OUT AMONG THE OTHERS
Mr. Fossan, which are the radicchio types present in your Market?
“In the market of Lusia are marketed several types of radicchio and in particular: the Radicchio of
Lusia, the typical radicchio of Castelfranco, the radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia, the long red
radicchio of Treviso, the typical red radicchio of Verona and the field radicchio.
As for the amounts, the most marketed type is the radicchio Lusia that has still an interesting and
yielding vegetable, with nearly 540 ton/year”.


A STATUS SYMBOL PRODUCT
The radicchio of Lusia is for you the product par excellence, even if the production is limited, a
niche one. Is it still your status symbol?
“Yes, it is. It represents our history; it is named just like the territory in which it grows. There are
two main types of product. The Variegato of Lusia that is early and it is sown from the end of June
to the beginning of July in seedbed or in the first half of July in field, and it ripens from the end of
August to the first half of November. Then, there is the Bianco of Lusia that is the classic type with
close heart and without variegations, which is sown inside nurseries from the half of July to the
beginning of August and from the 10th to the 25th July in field.
It’s true, the Radicchio of Lusia is yield in small quantities and it is completely marketed on the
national market; in particular, in Turin, Milan and Florence. However, I must say that whereas in
the past it was destined almost exclusively to the general markets of North Italy, recently it has
raised the share concerning the large-scale retail trade”.
STEADINESS OF PRICES AND QUANTITIES
What does the Market of Lusia represent today, economically speaking? Which are your prospects?
2004 was a difficult year as for products quotations. In 2005, there was an upturn of quotations in
general, by a turnover increase estimated in 27 million euros, +12% in comparison with the
previous year.
In 2006, we have almost had quite steady exchanged amounts, in comparison with 2005, and a quite
good rise in prices.
Nowadays, the market is trying to adapt itself to the traders’ needs, which are continuously
evolving, by bearing in mind the changes that they have to do in accordance with the involvement
and the will of cooperation of all the members.
Which kinds of actions do you adopt for improving the structure?
In the last few years, the market of Lusia has made a lot of changes (abolition of market rights,
labelling obligation on all the marketed product, abolition of separate bargaining between product
and packaging) with the purpose of standardizing it with the other agricultural and food centres in
Italy, by creating sensible advantages in terms of costs and of bargaining transparency, in
comparison with the past. The structure has to be updated on both logistics and building. In these
days, we are talking about the fact of improving the cooling chain, looking carefully at costs and,
above all, at the plant management.


NOT ONLY RADICCHIO…
Lettuce is the queen of the market of Lusia, particularly the “Cappuccina” and the “Gentile”
Lettuce.
The “Cappuccina” and the “Gentile” are two types of lettuces that have required the “Insalata di
Lusia IGP” label. Every year, about 9500 tons of these lettuces are marketed and directly processed
by growers, who put them in proper packaging, labelled according to the rules in force. Since some
years ago, the Market of Lusia also devoted a competition to the lettuces, which is joined by several
growers rightly proud of their good and healthy salad.
Furthermore, the Market of Lusia does not only market lettuces, but also carrots, which are really
successful, leeks, which is available almost all year round, the white garlic, in bunches and in
strings, small onions in bunches, endive and prickly lettuce, white and green celery and the
radicchio of Lusia.
THE MARKET OF LUSIA
The Market of Lusia founded by the C.C.I.A.A. of Rovigo, in 1995, is placed on the right side of
the Adige river, in a horticultural area characterized by loose and sandy soils and by hundreds of
farms that have a very long experience and that yield top quality vegetables. The Market of Lusia
belongs to the C.C.I.A.A. of Rovigo and it is managed by “Azienda Speciale” for the Fruit and
Vegetable Markets of Lusia and Rosolina.
The facility takes up an area of about 45,000 sq.m. and 13,000 sq.m. are covered by stands, in
which work eleven dealerships to which refers about 400 producers with a yearly exchange of
goods of about 38,000 tons.
Even though it is a wholesale market, it keeps unaltered the characteristics of the production
markets, by marketing mainly local products. The Market of Lusia is an important point of
reference for local producers and for several traders.
Around the market rotates an economy that employs more than 400 farms that is a quite
considerable figure for Rovigo district and the other neighbouring areas.
The marketed product comes from Rovigo district (80%) and from the municipality of Lusia (35%).
The horticultural production is mainly put in the North of Italy (90%), while the 10% remaining is
equally divided between Central and South Italy. The 64% of traders have their head offices in
Veneto Region, the 11% in Liguria Region and the 5% in Lombardy and Sicily.
The mainstay of the market is the availability of fresh products (vegetables above all) cropped in
fields and immediately delivered to the market, with high standard of quality and carefully
conditioned.
By Anna Orlando
TREVISO, THE MARKET BECOMES A “MARKETPLACE” FOR YOUNG
PEOPLE
Students spent a day inside the market for discovering radicchios, but also the other fruit and
vegetables. A meeting and an exchange that lets appreciate the wide range of our productions. The
radicchio of Treviso PGI is establishing its success.
Treviso means Radicchio. A name that bears proudly the specific weight of a centuries-old tradition
and, at the same time, it has always updated a product that has high cultural and economic value.
Treviso is the proper name of radicchio par excellence. Other productions have their own
importance and history, but it was in the chief town of the “Marca trevigiana” that they talked about
the PGI, since the early Nineties. In 1996, Europe gave a prize to Treviso and to its best Radicchio,
the “spadone” as they called it once, which is renowned as Radicchio rosso of Treviso PGI, since
that date. Actually, it has also changed its aspect. We’d better say that the selection, the good
agricultural practices and the rigid enforcement of the production regulation have given to the
product those “modern” features that are completely different from those applied in the past. A
century ago – but also since few years ago –, the radicchio of Treviso, or “spadone”, had long and
lanceolate leaves, its taste was clearly bitterish and the colour was bright amaranthine red, almost
purple. On the contrary, nowadays, the Radicchio rosso of Treviso PGI has close leaves that look
like a tuft; taste is predominantly sweet; the colour is red and close to the nice white rib it has a
bright red colour.


AN EDUCATIONAL FOR THE SCHOOLS OF TREVISO
During the Educational Edition, 2005/2006, in Treviso Markets Spa, they also talked about these
aspects linked to the history and the evolution of the product. The meeting was directed to primary
and secondary schools of the chief town. A great success that they are constantly carrying out, since
years. So that, last year, they had more requests than the availability they can offer and the
promoters had to create a waiting list. A day out of the ordinary for the students of Treviso, to be
spent inside the market in which they can find not only radicchio, but also all the other vegetables
and fruits, so that they can know the huge fruit and vegetable local, national and international
heritage. Since ever, the market is a crossroad and exchange place for goods, but now it becomes a
“marketplace” for young people, open and available for gathering their curiosities.
Which were the most interesting questions that they made to you? We asked that to Roberto Loschi,
president of Treviso Mercati S.p.A. Every question had an interesting aspect. What really stuck me
was the attention they paid to the places of origin of goods, the journey the products have to take for
coming to the point of sale or at customers’ homes. Geography becomes a funny game! Children
paid a lot of attention to the aspect linked to the colours of fruits and they had a lot of fun in
discovering their coupling and their health properties.
To Radicchio rosso of Treviso PGI, how does the market answer as it is the heart of the
production?
The Radicchio rosso of Treviso PGI is for us a flag. (N.B.: the new look of Treviso Mercati are the
flags of Treviso, Veneto, Italy and Europe hoisted on the entrance door). We are conscious of that.
All the radicchio range is present in the market and it is also required by customers. However, the
radicchio of Treviso is our image, it identifies us and it bears value added to anything else. The
radicchio of Treviso is synonym of quality and of beauty. At the present time, it represents also the
large part of our market by 41% of both early and late Radicchio of Treviso.


NEW DIRECTOR AND NEW WEB SITE
Among the novelties of the Market, we have to point out the new image of the web site
www.trevisomercati.it. New format and useful surveys for traders and…not only that. In the first
level there are the didactic and educational events that characterize the promotional activities of the
fruit and vegetable market of Treviso, since few years ago. Furthermore, the links offer the
opportunity of gaining access to all kinds of information concerning fruit and vegetables. It is also
very nice the proposal of the recipe of the week! The renewal of such an important tool was
committed to Guido Cauteruccio, director of Treviso Mercati SpA, since few months ago.
We found a proper and innovative choice to identify the new Director in an area of experience that
it is different from ours – the President Loschi says –. Mr. Cauteruccio comes from the clothing
sector, in which he has gradually reached a long experience with the most important trademarks.
That seemed to us a further opening, for Treviso Mercati, towards marketing, but also a new
opportunity of confrontation.
Can you tell us a peculiarity of the new web site that you like most?
The attention on the seasonal nature of goods and the opportunity of meeting not only our
customers, but also the end-consumer.
Which are the novelties for the next season?
To the municipality of Treviso, we are sending in the demand for carrying out a space destined to
porterage, in a different area from the one it is today. The aim is to optimize the spaces we have for
making the market more enjoyable by our customers.
By Anna Orlando
THE MARKET OF PADUA CONQUERS CHILE


They have signed an important agreement with Fedefruta, the Chilean Federation of fruit and
vegetables that will bring into contact the Italian wholesalers with the local producers. An
interesting place is also reserved to radicchios that will be tilled on Chilean soils after the testing
period.
We met Francesco Cera, Director of Maap (Agricultural and Food Market of Padua), coming back
from Chile and Russia, his last two journeys. The inclination the market of Padua has towards the
foreign trade is now stronger than ever.
Mr. Cera, which are the novelties concerning the market of Padua and in particular the radicchio?
A delegation of ours has just come back from Santiago, Chile, where they signed an agreement with
“Fedefruta” (the national Chilean Federation of fruit and vegetable producers), during the fourth
edition of “Rueda de negocios-workshopFruitrade”. Since one year ago, we have been working with
this association and, now, we have strengthened our relation through an important series of trade
agreements that include radicchios. It is important to underline that this is the first agreement
between an Italian agricultural and food market and Chile. A very important passage for us of the
Maap. The agreement was signed by Don Rodrigo Echeverria, president of Fedefruta, and by
Franco Grosoli, president of Maap, together with Giancarlo Daniele, managing director of Maap
and wholesalers’ president.
Can you explain us which kind of agreement is it?
Fedefruta is very important in the fruit and vegetable sector, in Chile. Maap is the first exporting
market, in Italy. We wanted to bring into contact the Chilean producers with the wholesalers of the
market of Padua that import goods from that Country, goods which are then exported in the Eastern
European Countries, in Russia and in the Baltic Republics.
Which kind of products are they?
They are mainly fruits, but also an important market share is destined to vegetables as, in Chile,
they have top quality products on large sweep of fields.


ON TRIAL: TEST ON RADICCHIO OF VENETO
In this plan, where do you put radicchio?
Radicchio has an interesting place, actually, as it is one of the protagonists of the pilot test. As a
matter of fact, Hortach, the sector of Fedefruta that gathers all the vegetable growers, is putting to
the test the late radicchio of Treviso and the radicchio Variegato of Castelfranco. Next year, we will
be able to put on the market of Padua these two products.
It sounds like a menace for the Italian producers!
No, it isn’t, because that radicchio is produced and, therefore, brought to the market only when the
local productions ends. Chile has reversed seasons in comparison with ours, as it is South of the
Equator. When we are in December, they are in “June”, climatically speaking. So, there, they sow
in December/January and they crop in April.
How did you outline this test?
We are importing radicchio for industry and fresh-cut of early Treviso type from Chile, since long
time ago, which is delivered from February to April. So, there was already an open channel of trade.
Furthermore, they also send us radicchio of Chioggia that they call “Leonardo”.


TO IMPROVE THE BLANCHING AND THE POST-CROP TECHNIQUES
How far have you got with your test?
Producers are yielding the first plants. Now, that is where the difficulty lies! We have to improve
the blanching and post-crop techniques.
After the several and reciprocal visits between Fedefruta and Maap, we are still on trial for the
Italian import of late radicchio rosso of Treviso and of radicchio Variegato of Castelfranco. In 2007,
in spring, we will try to test and see the interest and the financial results of these crops.
Moreover, we will also have to be borne in mind the incidence of the cost of transport on the
product.
BRONDOLO: A MARKET THAT LOOKS AHEAD
The municipality of Chioggia has already started a survey for renovating the market, which is an
important point of reference for that area.
Brondolo is an administrative division of the municipality of Chioggia, in Venice district. It is there,
in a piece of land amidst the lagoon and the sky, in a strategic position for the most important
communication routes, the head office of the “Consorzio Gestione Mercato Orticolo alla
Produzione”, in other words the COGEMO. A real seat of the regional distribution, but also of
radicchio, the real status symbol of these places of the Adriatic Sea, linked to their own histories
and traditions that recall the Serene Highness of the Republic of Venice.
The Radicchio of Chioggia is maybe the last one. It came in a load of hope, after the horticultural
crisis linked to the production of carrots (the most important vegetables together with potatoes and
onions), which needed an innovative boost, in the second half of last century. The radicchio was
ready to be used, well-known and processed, since years, even though it had indefinite features.


TWO PERIODS OF PRODUCTION
The radicchio rosso of Chioggia is characterized by two main periods of production. The spring-
summer radicchio, typical of the coast area, it is yield in sandy soils. Its growing is done by
transplanting the small plants, produced in heated greenhouses, from the end of January to March
and the crop starts at the end of April till the beginning of July. The most traditional variety is the
autumn-winter one, which is sowed or transplanted in summer and it is widespread all over the
territory. Generally, the sowing time is July and the transplant in August or at the beginning of
September; the production goes from September to March.
Is there something to be afraid of in this epochal passage of the radicchio rosso of Chioggia?
We have asked it to the persons in charge for the Market of Brondolo: the President, Stefano
Boscolo, and the Director, Pietro Cigna.
“As there is an increasing interest towards this crop, at all levels, it seems clear to us that our areas,
which are traditionally bound to its production, are compelled to carry out lines of actions for
assuring to entrepreneurs the local product and a satisfactory income. In order to do that, now, we
have to improve quality, by making it recognizable and guaranteed. The market needs definite
standards, proper packaging, guarantees of quality and also a certificate of typicality valid all over
Europe”.
Do you mean the long-desired Protected Geographical Indication for the rosso of Chioggia?
Yes, of course! We have to underline the great importance, for all the vegetable division and for our
producers, of the PGI certification for the “Radicchio of Chioggia”.
Do you also have a look at the other productions of the range of radicchios?
Yes, we do. There is a great interest all over the area involved. We have to say that at the beginning
of the Nineties, in the area of Chioggia rose the production of early radicchio rosso of Treviso (now,
“radicchio rosso lungo”) that then spread to the neighbouring municipalities. At present, the
production, including the municipalities of Chioggia, Rosolina and Conche di Codevigo, has
reached an excellent quality standard and an important production, and not only in the survey of the
regional vegetables.


THE STARTING POINT FOR DEVELOPMENT
It is not possible to talk about vegetable growing in Chioggia, without mentioning its market.
Running through its moving again, from one place to another in Sottomarina area, it is possible to
reconstruct all the different stages of development of the Italian vegetable growing.
The new market of Brondolo, which was an updated facility for the times it started its activity, was
the starting point for a further development of the local vegetable growing.
For years, the municipality of Chioggia directly managed it, but then it was entrusted to a
Producers’ Association, the APOS, which run it till 1994, period in which the CO.GE.M.O.
(“Consorzio gestione mercato orticolo di Brondolo soc.cooperativa) took its place and still has.
Despite several difficulties of different nature that came out after the market trust, the Consortium
has tried to start a series of initiatives. The Market retraining, through a series of activities that
could let it reacquired its leading role and its function of goods supply and demand concentration
for the common good of both the whole local vegetable division and of producers.
In this period, it is taking place a negotiation between the Municipality of Chioggia and Veneto
Agricoltura for acquisition of the whole area of Brondolo form the municipal administration
including the market of Brondolo.


A RENOVATION PLAN
In the meantime, the Municipality of Chioggia has already given to its design office the job of doing
a plan for the renovation of the Market of Brondolo.
The renovation marks a positive and necessary stage. What are the traders’ expectations?
As for the future, we have to consider the renovation just like a first step towards a plan that will
link the territory to its products, able to be the driving force behind the whole sector.
As a matter of fact, not only for our local vegetable division, but also for the agribusiness as a
whole we have turned from a static situation to a reality dominate by sudden changes that are more
and more numerous and incisive. Nowadays, they concerns are products, markets relationships
between the single Countries policies and the international economy. In other words, besides being
very important, these changes feed themselves every day. So, there is the need, and not only in our
vegetable division, of reaching and defining a regional policy that for its targets, its addresses and
its flexibility can be able of letting the vegetable division – included in the provinces of Venice,
Padua and Rovigo – meet the new exigencies. Furthermore, they do not have to consider the change
a problem, but an opportunity of development.
ROSOLINA: NATURAL OUTLET OF RADICCHIO FROM POLESINE
It rose more than four years ago, for increasing the value of the local vegetables; the Market of
Rosolina is the point of reference of a large area of production that takes in other neighbouring
districts. There is a rise in products directly packed by producers.
The Adriatic Sea is not very far from Rosolina, together with the history and the cultural
backgrounds of a piece of land amidst sandbanks and beaches, cane-brakes and orchards. It is there
that the Market of Rosilna works, and together with the Lusia one, they are the natural port of
vegetables in Polesine.
Stefano Milan is the director of the Market and with great enthusiasm he works for increasing the
value of the market.


FOUR VARIETIES
Which are the radicchios types present in the Market of Rosolina?
They are basically four: the “rosso” of Chioggia, the “rosso” of Treviso, the “bianco” of Chioggia
and the Variegato of Chioggia. We also marginally market the red of Verona.
The predominant product is the red radicchio of Chioggia that is typical of the area in which the
Market stands and that on average represents the 80% of the marketed radicchios. In 2005, we
marketed 9,741 tons against 2,204 tons of the Treviso type, 178 tons of “bianco” of Chioggia and
124 tons of Variegato of Chioggia.
Which are the areas of production?
There are four districts that bring goods to the Market in Rosolina: Rovigo, Ferrara, Padua and
Venice.
Certainly there is a local production, mainly based on the Chioggia type. By this product, we can
cover the demands of radicchio for ten months, except July and August, and that is very important
for producers.


IMPROVEMENT IN DEEP-FREEZING
What kinds of strategies does the Market adopt for carrying out its function of magnetic pole for the
producers of Polesine?
Recently, we have improved all the deep-freezing facilities inside the Market. We have increased
the amounts of products packed by producers, such as potatoes, onions, melons and also radicchio.
At present, we are studying suitable solutions for facing the changes in supply and demand.
In a short time, we are going to start the reclaiming of a marginal area, so that it shall be at traders’
disposal for their activities.
IT WAS BORN IN 1965, IN A STRATEGIC POSITION
It was built in 1965 by the Chamber of Commerce of Rovigo for increasing the value and for
marketing the vegetables of Rosolina district. Nowadays, the market is a point of reference for a
larger area of production that takes in the neighbouring Provinces of Rovigo and also the
neighbouring municipalities. As far as the products are concerned, they are directly brought in by
producers together with those goods coming from other areas of Italy, in order to be marketed and
for widening the range of products offered.
The management of the Market in Rosolina, as well as the one in Lusia, is carried out by the
“Azienda Speciale” for the Fruit and Vegetable Markets of Lusia and Rosolina, which President is
Loredano Zampini and the Director Giacomo De Stefani.
Thanks to the strategic position of the Market, next to the national road Romea, it can be easily
reached by any kind of motor vehicle.


FIVE TRADERS
Inside the Market there are five traders: F.lli Frasson Company srl; Paganin Narciso of Paganin
Fantina & C.; “Cooperativa Ortolani” of Rosolina srl; Ferrari & Vitale Comapany snc and Grossato
Albino snc of Grossato Maria Rosa. Furthermore, there is a group of porters, a bar and the office
premises.
Goods are brought in at 7.30 a.m., in the period May – August, and at 8.00 a.m. in the other months.
The selling start at 8.00 a.m. for retailers, while the auctions begin at 9.00 a.m. The auction sale is
done for just a part of the goods brought in (radicchio, potatoes, onions, tomatoes for tomato purée
and red beetroots), while others (carrots, melons, watermelons pumpkins and so on) are sold by
private negotiation. The selling is done from Monday to Friday, all year round. The kind of
packaging used changes from returnable boxes or bins, which belong to the commission merchants,
to disposable packaging made of plastic, cardboard and wood. Inside the Market there is also a
retail fruit and vegetable point of sale run by the “Cooperativa Ortolani”, open from 8.30 to 12.00
a.m., every day.
Since few years ago, there is also a web site: www.mercatorosolina.it, in which there are the day-to-
day quotations of the marketed products, the traders’ addresses and other news. The e-mail address
is: info@mercatorosolina.it.
By Anna Orlando
BUONUMORE: SPECIALISTS IN FRESH-CUT
Leader in the United States and supplier for important companies all over the world, Boscolo
Sesillo founded a firm in Taglio di Po, in 2005, which is characterized by top quality and high-
technology. Twenty thousand tons of radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia, all year round. Logistics is one
of his mainstays.
Do you want a global market? Yes, please. Because it is a question of seizing an important
opportunity for those firms that derived from their own experiences the cultural and economic
backgrounds for growing and developing their own business: it does not matter if we are talking
about household appliances or about agriculture. Basically, it is a winning idea. First of all, there is
the project, and then there is the product.
One of the firms in Veneto region that can boast a similar course is certainly Buonumore, which has
its seat in Taglio di Po, Rovigo district. Actually, it is a rather new reality, because it was set up in
2005. However, the owner, Giancarlo Boscolo Sesillo and his O.P. group Po Valley have worked in
the field for more than fifteen years, especially as suppliers of radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia to the
biggest industries of fresh-cut goods in a lot of Countries, all over the world.


NOW ALSO IN ITALY, AT LONG LAST
What did you induce to set up your own fresh-cut line?
After so many years around the world, we wished to let us be known also in our Country by our
best product and with our name that is Buonumore, which belonged to a firm we acquired and we
have kept it as it was because…because it’s nice, isn’t it?
Yes, indeed it is! Are you still the suppliers of radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia to other industries in
the sector?
Yes, of course. That was our success and I hope it will always be. We are able to satisfy our
customers’ demands, all year round, by a production and a marketing of about twenty thousand tons
of red radicchio of Chioggia.
A remarkable quantity that tells us the size and the importance of your company. One year is a long
period of time, and there are four seasons in it. How can you always have first-rate products?
Unfortunately, somehow or other, the radicchio has lost its season, at least the red of Chioggia. I say
“unfortunately” because I know for sure that the seasonal nature of a product is very important, not
only economically speaking: the nutritional needs, its peculiar features and anything else. But, the
radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia is also a vegetable able to keep high standards of quality in any area
or way of cropping, all year round. In short, it fully answers to our needs. Nowadays, we must keep
high standards and constant supply for establishing long lasting relationships with industry and the
large-scale retail trade.


A WELL-ORDERED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
Aren’t you running the risk of losing the real meaning of a production that is above all agricultural,
rather than industrial?
No, I don’t think so. It is just the opposite. The mainstay of a fresh-cut product has been actually the
fact that we have found the right compromise for satisfying everybody. And also the consumer, who
need to trust in the product he/she is buying. Moreover, our radicchios come from crops in open
fields or in tunnels, but they are carefully tilled, anyway: in Veneto, as well as in any other Italian
region. The production we now offer is still agricultural, but a well-ordered one.
In your opinion, which is the reason for the fresh-cut products success?
The reason is practicality, but also the emotion as regards colours. That’s why, the importance
of…a touch of red! For sure, it is not a question of taste. Actually, as far as our experience abroad is
concerned, we can say that the greatest part of consumers do not like the bitter taste, anyhow, they
are rather looking for a sweet or a neutral taste. This is worth for the Danes as well as for the
English people and for the North European consumers in general. While the Italian people, for
instance, we also love to taste salads, and vegetables in general, with a quite heavy taste, therefore,
slightly bitter.


THAT WONDERFUL TOUCH OF COLOUR…AND OF TASTE
How much does the presence of the red radicchio of Chioggia weigh upon the packaging?
Radicchio is put in the mixtures of “grown up” salads (in tuft and cut); its percentage is very low,
usually from 5% to 20%. The colour changes the aspect of the bag, but it does not alter the taste.
The radicchio “rosso” of Chioggia took the place of the red/purple savoy that was once used in the
North European markets, as well as in those of the United States. At first, this changing began in the
USA, in the Nineties, and then it involved all the North of Europe.
Besides the constant supply of homogeneous products, as for quality, what is your mainstay?
It’s logistics. Since the very first moment, we organized ourselves for being present in all the
markets with fresh products, only just cropped, so that our customers which produce fresh-cut
goods could process a really pure and healthy radicchio, with all the features it needs for being well-
kept in bags. Our radicchio travels by container lorry, by plane and also by ship, in which it is put
inside containers with controlled atmosphere.
THE NEW MIXTURES
Does Buonumore also make other products with different vegetables, instead of radicchio?
Yes, of course. In the United States we have recovered a typical Italian tradition that is the
“misticanza” and they call it spring mix: small green salads mixed with rocket, valerian, corn salad
and so on. It is much appreciated. The same vegetables can be found in bags separately.
From your special observatory, that we may say international, what kind of prospects do you see
for radicchio in fresh-cut?
As for future prospects, I don’t think radicchio will have the same growth pace it has had till now.
At present, both in Italy and abroad, the mix of “young salads” (spring mix) are really increasing.
For the time being, radicchio is settled on the same results it has reached, up to now. Nevertheless,
if we continually update our industries, we will get something new by radicchio in fresh-cut.
This is a page that has not been written, yet, but which is very winning for farms and for the
producers’ organizations and it opens new spurs for creativity and for innovation.
By Anna Orlando
Ortoromi: product innovations and updated technologies
The firm was set up ten years ago; it tills 200 hectares and produces in two factories that have
updated equipments. A great flexibility in processing and quickness in acknowledging the
consumers’ needs, which are rapidly changing.
They are all crazy about fresh-cut! It doesn’t matter if the housewives (which is not the proper name
for today’s women) interviewed did not know which kind of products we were referring to.
Nevertheless, the bags of ready-to-use salad, already cut and cleaned, are well-known by all of
them, not only because they are very handy, but also because they are very good. Somehow, it is
also a reason of cheapness: maybe because the price is more or less the same, all year round; maybe
because…time is money, so for a woman that is at same time mother and wife, and she usually
works outside her home, well then, the saving is guaranteed! Salads inside bags are a real
deliciousness also for the so-called “singles”: a diverse universe in which there are a lot of
“mononuclear” families. Moreover, for singles is very convenient the 300 grams portion of salad
that they can split in two meals or just in one as a “big salad”: a lift of mineral salts and a surplus of
phytochemicals (vegetable organic compounds that are basic for protecting the several systems and
apparatuses of the human beings).


THE ORTOROMI’S MAINSTAYS
So, in the last few years, the real business in the fruit and vegetable sector is the fresh-cut
processing of fresh vegetables. Bonduelle has calculated that this division is rising by 30% every
year, in Italy. What is the secret of such a great success? It cannot be only the product; or the idea of
offering a service besides the product. At least, there are two important factors that can help in
realizing the fresh-cut phenomenon: product innovation and processing planning. Therefore, the
search of a “total quality” able to meet the firms' and the consumers’ needs. From this point of
view, the experience of the Ortoromi firm, from Veneto, is well-established. As many other firms in
this sector, it is young and dynamic.
Ortoromi was set up in 1996, with the purpose of yielding and marketing fresh-cut products. It
prides itself on 10 ten years of experience in this field. Somehow, it is a good goal it has reached by
taking salads and radicchios as its mainstays. In short, it had definite aims to reach.
The firm has five producing units distributed amidst Loreggia, Camposampiero (PD), Marcon and
Mirano (VE) and Resana (TV); two processing factories and they are building a third one. Actually,
it is through the direct managing of the production (200 hectares of its own, of which 50 ha are
modern greenhouses) that Ortoromi can satisfy the high standards of quality, which are an essential
requirement from consumers and from the large-scale retail trade.
THE RECOGNITION OF LEGAMBIENTE
Which is your greatest satisfaction? We asked that to Marco Pacifico, general manager of Ortoromi.
“We have lots of satisfactions every day, inside the points of sales and through the direct contact
with our customers. However, I have to say that our pride is the certificate of confidence that
Legambiente has recently given us, which is the most widespread League for the protection of the
environment in Italy. It has acknowledged Ortoromi as “one of the model firms, in Italy, because it
guarantees an agricultural and food process able to increase the value of the quality of the Italian
farming, as well as Legambiente is doing with its campaign”.
Ortoromi produces and markets mainly salads like corn salad, rocket, small radicchio and valerian,
but also other salads and radicchios: prickly lettuce, radicchio of Chioggia, radicchio “pan di
zucchero”, Radicchio of Verona, radicchio “rosso” of Treviso and radicchio Variegato. Flexibility
in processing and quickness in understanding the market needs have brought the firm to develop a
range of products, as for sizes, weight and product composition that goes from the simple salads,
mixed inside bags or in bowls ready-to-cook, to ready-to-use fruit salads and packaging with cut
and peeled fruits. In the bags of salads, among the green colour of lettuces, stands out the red colour
of radicchio from Veneto, too.


NEW AND GUARANTEED PRODUCTS
Today, Ortoromi also presents a novelty. “Ortoromi has joined the Safeguarding Consortium of the
Radicchio rosso of Treviso and Variegato of Castelfranco Veneto. By this purpose, it is launching
on the market a line of really innovative products that combines the practicality of use and the
service that is at the base of fresh-cut products with the good quality of vegetables such as the
Radicchio “rosso” of Treviso PGI and the Radicchio Variegato of Castelfranco Veneto PGI”, Mr.
Pacifico says . “An absolute novelty! Furthermore, the products have a packaging that is not only a
protecting wrapping, but also an information tool that let the consumer know for sure the place of
origin and the features of the foodstuff he/she is buying, which are strictly produced in compliance
with the production regulations in force. Moreover, there is also practical information about the best
use of the products”. “Grill of Radicchio “rosso” of Treviso is the new reference of the line: the
Ortoromi’s Radicchio PGI”.
A curiosity: Marco Pacifico recently took part to the TV programme “Occhio alla Spesa” (Take
care of your shopping) presented by Alessandro Di Pietro on RAI 1, during which they emphasized
the importance of putting the prestigious vegetables, like the PGI radicchios, inside the fresh-cut
vegetables varieties.
So, practicalities of use and service, but also quality and typicality improvement are the elements
that mark this new line of “Ortoromi’s Radicchio PGI”.
THE RED OF RADICCHIO BRIGHTENS UP THE READY-TO-USE
SALADS
Radicchio supplements the bouquet of colour and taste of the vegetables mix that are more and
more conquering the consumers. New flavours and changes also in dressing.
It is very difficult that the radicchios of Veneto are put alone inside the fresh-cut salads ready-to-
use. The packaging of single products is not in great demand inside the large-scale retail trade, but it
is proposed and sold only for the HORECA channel. The question is completely different for the
salads mix: in this case, the red colour of radicchio is always present and it brightens up the range of
different colours and tastes. On packaging, everybody can do what he/she feels like: in bags, bowls
or trays, the radicchios are put in thinly cut or in small leaves slightly crackling according to
different arrangements. Maybe, together with new flavours or with increased service content, such
as the one that adds dressing, cutlery and napkin.


BONDUELLE: THE MIX OF RADICCHIO IS SUCCESSFUL
As for Bonduelle, the leader of fresh-cut products on the Italian market that holds the 38% market
share and that has an yearly turnover of about 200 million euro (against 1.2 thousand millions euros
as a whole), the red radicchio is a very important element in all the salads mix. “It is not just used as
an ingredient and we have recently carried out an innovative plan by launching a new reference of 4
red radicchios that is having a great success – Laura Bettazzoli, marketing manager of Bonduelle,
says –. In the line of products “Croccanti miste”, the “Mix Radicchios” is a bag of 200 grams that
proposes a new mix of different varieties of radicchios with their peculiar contrast of flavours, from
the sweet and delicate of the radicchio of Verona and of Treviso, to the bitterish taste of the
radicchio of Chioggia and of the Variegato”.


TO SUGGEST ORIGINAL RECIPES
The French firm is aiming at innovation that, as for fresh-cut, means to suggest new and original
recipes or to improve the service content. To the same line of products also belongs “Armonia” that
is a mix of three vegetables (prickly lettuce, “songino” and radicchio of Chioggia), and “Crackling
Mix” that gives prominence to red radicchio together with the white radicchio Variegato,
“songino”, prickly lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach and rocket. On the other hand, inside the
“Variegato Mix” the prominence is given, above all, to the white Radicchio Variegato together with
the red radicchio, “songino” and prickly lettuce. The range of “Crackling Mix” also includes the
“Primavera” (spring) salad with “pan di zucchero”, carrots, red radicchio, prickly lettuce and rocket,
as well as “Quattro Stagioni” (four seasons) with “pan di zucchero”, carrots, rocket and red
radicchio.


SAB ORTOFRUTTA: LEADING FIRM
Inside the S.a.b. Ortofrutta, which is a leading firm for fresh-cut products in Bergamo district (it
manages a production area of about 75 hectares, of which 24 ha in greenhouse, and it has a yearly
turnover of about 35 million euros), they work exclusively radicchio of Chioggia that is cropped in
Veneto during winter and in some other Italian regions out of season. “As they come from different
places of origin, we prefer to call it red radicchio and on average we process 50 quintals for 310
days each year”, Carlo Fantoni, purchase manager of Sab Ortofrutta, says.


TOGETHER WITH PRICKLY LETTUCE AND CHICORY
Radicchio is put in mix salads together with prickly lettuce, chicory and “pan di zucchero” or with
valerian or with other salads. It is not in demand as single product, instead, and that solution is
proposed only to catering services. The 90% of the fresh-cut production is supplied as private label
and only a small share is labelled with the S.a.b.’s trademark.
The firm of Bergamo supplies to some of the most important big food retailers like Carrefour, GS,
Auchan and Villa. “The processing cycle starts when the raw material arrives in the plant –
Massimiliano Colleoni, production manager of the factory in Telgate, says –. The raw material has
to respect the terms of contract arranged with the farm as regards the chemical and physical features
and the cropping techniques.
The product is subjected to controls of weight, yield and quality and then processed starting from
the manual weeding of the core and of the first leaves. Through a conveyer belt, it passes on the
weeding table and then it is weighed, transferred in a store bunker and washed. After that, the
radicchio is cut in different ways: from fine thread to rougher pieces of 3-4 centimetres and a half”.
In fresh-cut, the raw material as a yield by 60% when it is in its top quality period, but that can
decrease to 30%, as well. Furthermore, they got ready a processing and packaging system that
respect the weight and the type of ingredients chosen for arranging the several mix of salads.
By Francesca Baccino

								
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