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The man behind the machine: interview with Angelo Benedetti (UNITEC)

UNITEC SpA, based in Lugo (Ravenna - Italy) is a leading company specializing in the design and manufacture of machines and plants for the manufacture, calibration and quality selection of over 35 types of fruit and vegetables.

Founded with its current name in 1993, now Unitec is a company that employs 200 people. It has a network of subsidiaries operating in the most important producing countries of fruit and vegetables (France, Spain, Chile, Argentina and the United States) and a business structure that is used to detect the needs of customers in more than 20 countries in which it operates.

Within twenty years, UNITEC has grown from a turnover of € 1.5 million to more than 40, of which about 90% derives from the foreign markets.

FreshPlaza interviewed the President Angelo Benedetti to trace the main stages of the history of the company and identify its success factors. "I started working in 1973 as a service technician at the fruit and vegetable central COR Mezzano (Ravenna) - remember Benedetti - and closed that experience in 1986, when I became technical manager for three different plants."


Angelo Benedetti.

Strongly experienced in the processing of fruit and vegetables and well aware of the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of each product, Angelo Benedetti decided to start importing from the United States, the technology of optical calibration of the fruit used at that time, with the intent of improving the efficiency of vegetables plants in Italy.

"I founded, together with three other partners, the company TNT-Tomorrow New Technology and we made the first plant in the world for the optical calibration of Abate Fetel pears in 1986/1987. The objective we proposed was the same that I carried wrote in my "DNA" as a technician: to make work efficient selection of fruit, then made completely by hand, reducing costs and improving performance outcomes."

For the production of machinery, TNT had sought the cooperation of the historic engineering company Dalle Vacche of Massa Lombarda (existing since 1924) and in 1993, the two companies merge into a new reality that, by the words "Unione di Tecnologie" ("Union of Technologies") took the UNITEC current name, which for some years also incorporates the two earlier marks, to replace them permanently in 1995.

At the time, UNITEC was still divided into two branches: the administrative and commercial ones in Ravenna, the productive in Massa Lombarda, the original site of the Dalle Vacche company. "In 1999-2000 we start the construction of the new one in Lugo (Ravenna), where we have been operating since 2000 - Benedetti explains, adding - some partners were paid off in 2001-2002 and Vice President Luca Montanari and I remained as only partners."

The company meanwhile gathered successes in the development of innovative systems for pears, peaches, cherries and many other fruits, growing on both the national and international levels. Achievements obtained thanks to some factors, as Angelo Benedetti explains: "The first impulse has always been the strong will to create technologically advanced machines not so much to sell them, but to HELP horticultural plants and their organizations to improve production processes and offer to the vegetable markets the best produce of their farmers. Any gain realized we always reinvested in our business activities "

"Also, there has always been guided consistency and accountability in the work-time delivery, ability to respond in full to commitments, attention and involvement in what we do. Briefly, we work to deliver results to our customers ("We work for your results" is our motto), because we aspire to be a company you can rely on with confidence, with a view to continuous improvement and evolution. "

"Improving all the time is the process that mark our own lives, for this is also reflected in the history of UNITEC."

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