Domenico Battagliola (La Linea Verde)

Italy: We must not fear change in the fresh-cut sector

The family business that was to become "La Linea Verde" introduced the fresh-cut range as its main line of business towards the end of the 1980s. The constant demand throughout the entire year made a suitable processing structure essential.

We talked about the history of the company with Domenico Battagliola, co-owner of "La Linea Verde" together with his brother Giuseppe.

"At the end of the 1980s I was twenty and I was happy to be part of the family business. At the time, a series of events affected me as a person and as an entrepreneur - the first was my first trip to the US, which sparked my desire to see the world, to understand what happens and to learn how different mindsets cope with similar problems. I believe my curiosity and my agricultural background played an essential role in shaping my professional life."

The company headquarters.

The processing facility was inaugurated in 1991 covering around a thousand square metres. "Our father guaranteed for us and the bank loaned us the money. We took a real gamble." 

A true entrepreneurial act arisen from the desire to build something on their own with no limitations, just goals. "Of course we also needed to be able to make a few sacrifices and seize the opportunities provided by the market," adds Domenico. The two brothers try to work alongside each other in order to provide a strong leadership - "we could say we complement each other because we take on different roles depending on our skills."

Domenico Battagliola shows one of the latest products introduced on the market. 

Among the elements that made the business so successful, there is the fact that the Battagliola family already had experience in the field, the inclination towards innovation, the capability to involve collaborators and the curiosity for what happens outside of the company.

"We have always paid attention to the evolution of consumer needs without fearing change but rather welcoming innovation."

Just think about how, in the early 2000s, they invested to update the entire facility to make it more flexible to meet new customer demands while at the same time increasing R&D and reinforcing the marketing and sales department also by providing a customer service in line with client expectations. In addition to this, despite the difficult economic context, in 2011 La Linea Verde inaugurated a new facility.

And Domenico played a fundamental role thanks to his numerous trips abroad - "the decision to introduce eastern baby leaves (mizuna, tatsoi, red chard) was definitely made based on my experience abroad. For what concerns the packaging, I am particularly fond of a double pack with a handle which I had obtained from a Dutch company in the mid-1990s."

For what concerns the current international scenario, Battagliola confirms a growth in Eastern Europe. "Poland is looking very promising because its economy is dynamic."

For some other countries though, the fresh-cut range is relatively new. Among the factors that affected its popularity there are the level of development of the labour market and its consequence on the time people have to prepare food, urbanisation and, "last but not least, the purchasing power to buy goods like the ones we produce."
"We feel responsible for the position we hold towards the over 1,000 employees as well as towards our clients. People recognise our leading position on the market, so they expect increasingly more form us. It is a responsibility we looked forward to, and we are happy to do the best we can every day."

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Author: Rossella Gigli

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