Domenico, Giuseppe and Andrea Battagliola.
The family business
"I have always been close to the family business - I started out when I was younger by working on salad washing lines. The experience I gained in Spain enabled me to experiment the business model created by Giuseppe and Domenico in Italy on a smaller scale. The company reflects the values we hold dear in our family - loyalty and openness with our collaborators and partners are essential."
In Spain, the fresh-cut range is still being developed and it is therefore quite an interesting market for La Linea Verde, also because it is similar to the Italian one.
A strong business
In the meantime, 2015 was a good year for La Linea Verde group, which reached a turnover of €210 million. "This was made possible by the continuous investments in process development and by the introduction of new products. In addition, marketing and communication strategies and the media investments made to promote our DimmidiSì brand also played their part. Just think that, when the commercials for the autumn campaign were being shown on TV, we registered a 50% growth in sales with respect to 2014."
"The market has been appreciating our products for ten years, and to us this is the proof we needed - we are recognised as the category's innovators and we owe our success to our approach. We are also thrilled by this acknowledgement, because DimmidiSì is a relatively young brand and we have been rewarded together with huge multinational brands."
Climate change and the fresh-cut sector
For what concerns the new challenges to be faced by agriculture and the impact of the weather on production and consumption, Andrea Battagliola stated that "it is clear that climatic macro-phenomena are under way. Just think about the high temperatures recorded during the autumn-winter months and the torrential downpours we had to deal with. All this affects cultivation and harvesting schedules."
"Of course the weather affects consumption too, though luckily our sector is not one of the worst hit. Our soup range includes recipes that are perfect for the winter periods and others which are more summery (like fore example cream soups and summer dishes like Spelt & Fantasy of Fresh flavours or Black Rice and Fresh Mediterranean flavours). Packed salad remains the same throughout the year."
Objectives and challenges for 2016
The Sales Director confirms the objective of the company to strengthen their business in Italy. "We want to continue being a leader in the fresh-cut sector, both as co-packers for private distributors and with our DimmidiSì brand. At the same time, we are looking to widen our product range. Another big objective is to increase our exports."
This year, La Linea Verde will also take part in Cibus - Parma's International Food Exhibition - for the first time. "We are ready to promote our product to retailers and would like to cooperate in other sectors as well. Ready-to-eat products are popular in Italy and the time has come to get better promoted in supermarkets. Cibus attracts a wider visitor target with respect to horticultural fairs and La Linea Verde will attend to promote its brand. Other fresh-cut operators have made the same choice. Cibus will be the perfect chance to increase our visibility and stress the importance of our sector."