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Italy: Innovations and new market approach for Sipo

Established as a fresh produce company in the 1950s, Sipo Srl evolved to specialise in the processing of vegetables.
In 1985, it was amongst the first in Italy to launch its fresh-cut range and, at the beginning of 2012, it became more international as it started shipping its products to Russia and North-East Europe.

Sipo directly produces on its land located in the Rimini and Forlì-Cesena provinces and also processes the products collected form its suppliers located on 300 hectares of land scattered around Puglia, Abruzzo, Lazio, Tuscany, Veneto, Campania and Marche.

The technical office identifies the productive areas ideal for certain species and checks the crops directly through specifications, assistance and product analysis. 

"We usually cultivate broad leaf vegetables on open fields, though we are currently working on baby leaf in greenhouses," explains Massimiliano Ceccarini (in the photo above), partner and development manager.

As regards sales channels, loose unwashed vegetables are shipped to wholesale markets, whereas packed unwashed and fresh-cut vegetables, organic produce, fresh fruit juices, fresh mushrooms and herbs are sent to the main retailers.

The different brands under which Sipo sells its products.

"Fresh fruit juices are a different story altogether. Whereas foreign consumers from Arab countries and Northern Europe appreciate the value of squeezed fruit with no added ingredients, Italians do not like pulp deposits and fail to see the difference. Price is also a problem, because it is very high, and that is why we tend to only sell juice abroad."

"The international process at Sipo meant human resources, marketing and sales offices and production had to be re-organised and that new products had to be studied so as to widen the range," continues the development manager.

"Sipo aims at becoming an international company thanks to its relation with bodies and universities for what concerns R&D, but also thanks to agreements and cooperations along the whole chain."

The produce before being processed.

"In some areas, suitable for the cultivation of niche produce, we started processing it in loco. For examples, artichokes are processed directly in Sardinia and Puglia, and the same goes for radishes in Lazio. This in turn means less produce is wasted."

(FreshPlaza photo).

The current market
"The weather in the last two years did not help, as summers were wet and winters were warm with sudden drops in temperatures and floods. In the Val DI Corni, Tuscany, but also in Lazio, spinach is of poor quality as it absorbed too much water. Cauliflowers are also presenting problems as up to 15 days ago there was high demand but they just did not grow, whereas now they are available but very expensive. Just think that last year around this time we shipped 2 articulated lorries of cauliflower a week, and we haven't sent one yet this year."

"The 2013 turnover is more or less like last year both in terms of volume and value. This year though we have invested a lot in R&D, so we should be able to benefit from it in 2014," concludes Massimiliano Ceccarini.

Sipo srl

Via Fermignano 20
47814 Bellaria Igea Marina (RN)
Tel.: (+39) 0541 339711
Fax: (+39) 0541 339734

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