Interview with Aldo Salatino

"Italy: The "adottaunclementino" project gains international relevance"

Entrepreneur Aldo Slatino (in the photo), owner and manager of Perseverantia, started the "adottaunclementino" (adopt a clementine tree) project two years ago.

He is now looking abroad, and FreshPlaza interviewed him to find out more about it.

FreshPlaza (FP): Where did you get the idea to "export" your project?
Aldo Salatino (AS): "I was doing an interview concerning my project and, during a break, the journalist talked about his British wife and how clemenites are very much appreciated in the UK. I checked the costs with my courier and then decided to sell my clementines in England. I must say that demand is pretty high."

FP: Which countries are you working with at the moment and which are the ones you would like to try?
AS: "We started with England in October and there has been a demand from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and even Switzerland, though shipping costs for the latter are too high. At the moment we are only promoting England, but in the future we will deal with Germany and all the other countries who are part of the Schengen agreement." 

FP: What has been the feedback so far and what are your wishes for the future?
AS: "To be honest I was not expecting it to be so successful - our trademark (in the photo) is now well-know both in Italy and abroad. If you talk about adopting a tree, you cannot avoid including "adottaunclementino". All the attempts people made to copy the initiative have only strengthened my brand.

The best publicity came from my clients, who promote the adoptions among family, friends and even colleagues. Many people took part this year, and thanks to the those who joined this year who spread the word. Those who taste our fresh clementines only 48 hours after they have been harvested can't live without them. You can eat one after the other, just like you would with cherries."

FP: What are the price and transport differences between Italy and abroad?
AS: "Prices to send the produce abroad are definitely higher, but if you consider the distance, the difference is not that great. Prices in Switzerland are too high, France is more expensive than Germany, but all in all the situation is manageable. Clearly transport costs affect prices abroad, but it is not a problem for clementine lovers."

FP: Have you thought about packaging designed especially for going abroad?
AS: "We had to find a way to make clemetines arrive in good condition even after thousands of kilometres. The packaging material needed to be stronger but the logo and the type of packaging had to remain the same. After various attempts in different European countries we managed to come up with the perfect solution."

FP: Between the "Cleopatra" hurricane and "Attila" with its low temperatures, Italy is being affected by bad weather. How are things in your area and what are the problems? 
AS: "Currently rain is preventing us from carrying on with normal harvesting, especially as we harvest produce a few hours prior to shipping. Our clients know how we work but we keep in touch via email: we update requests and shipments every day and let them know straight away if there are any delays. Once the goods are on their way, we provide customers with a tracking number so they know when it will arrive. 

Of course rain is not doing us any favours, but we deal with it nonetheless. Our clients become our friends, as adopting a tree is more or less like cultivating it from a distance. We talk to our clients almost every day - they know which tree is their own and we get to know them and their needs."

For further information:
Az. Agr. Perseverantia di Aldo Salatino
contrada insiti-SS106Bis sn
87064 Corigliano Calabro (CS)
Cell.: (+39) 346 6191284

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