Italian company Ludan Fresh Supplies, operating in the Sele Plain and specializing in the production and commercialization of fresh herbs, has developed a new line of dried aromatic herbs destined to the foreign markets.
"This year, we have introduced a new line of dried herbs that completes our aromatic herb range. The products are dried in specific facilities with a controlled humidity and ventilation, then they are ground and placed in various types of packaging like jars or vacuum-packed bags. Other solutions can be developed depending on client needs," explains Luigi D'Aniello, manager of Ludan Fresh Supplies.
"In addition, we are thinking of studying new aromatic solutions for the preparation of various dishes, which means we are thinking of creating new mixes. Dried herbs are available in two different lines: traditional and organic. Of course we process only high-quality produce (which is checked from a biological and microbiological point of view) from southern Italy and holding the GlobalGAP certification."
The manager then commented on the current commercial situation by saying that "fresh smooth parsley is the most popular at the moment, followed by rosemary, sage, thyme, basil and all the other fresh herbs. Compared to last year, we are registering a 30% drop in sales, it is not a good moment and future perspectives are not good."
Ludan Fresh Supplies also sells fresh herbs in 30 and 100 gram cardboard trays closed with biodegradable film, so they are fully recyclable. In addition, clients can add their own branding.
"Our approach towards the winter season is to work trying to plan as much as possible to standardize supplies and guarantee a fair price in order to contain costs, which are rather high especially when it comes to energy, transport and packaging. We have trained to contain the increases compared with the previous season. So far, our clients (95% of whom are foreign operators) have been understanding, but they are worried. Aromatic herbs constitute 85% of our business volume but they are something consumers can purchase less if the price increases too much. Price is therefore a determining factor, meaning our clients require products at quotations that are more accessible."
Ludan Fresh Supplies provides assistance to partners and suppliers, actively communicating with its clients. "For this reason, we work to optimize costs and have a price list that can have fixed quotations at least throughout the season."
"The leading players in the fresh herb segment in Europe are Italy, Israel, Morocco and Kenya. However, at the moment, importing product from Israel and Kenya would mean having to pay air transport costs that are currently equal or exceeding the sale quotations. As for the product from Morocco, it reaches Europe at more accessible transport costs, so it has more competitive prices. The only issues are residues and the shelf-life, as the produce reaches the market more slowly that what we can guarantee with our vectors. When it comes to commercial attractiveness, Italy is between Morocco on the one hand and Israel and Kenya on the other."