Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Italy: Alessandro Annibali challenges Californian nuts and thinks about China

    May 19th, 2015

    New Factor, is a company located in Emilia-Romagna specialising in the processing and marketing of dried fruit snacks for the global market. All its brands - New Factor, Mister Nut Snack Time, Family Time and Wellness - have been in fact created with the international market in mind

    "In order to be competitive, you must operate on the global market both as an importer and exporter. But, most of all, you need to know all the critical issues beforehand, choose the markets offering the best chances and focus a maximum of one or two countries at a time. Then you need to gather all the information possible and assess the competition, the distribution system, cultural barriers etc. You also need the right internal resources and functions, because exporting means more problems in terms of logistics and production, language barriers and different regulation systems."In Italy, the problems are always the same - the low competitiveness of the country, export costs, human resources, the risks involved and the capability to market the products. The majority of Italian businesses are medium-small and it is difficult for them to compete with the big global players. It is better for them to work with niches that can appreciate Italian products.

    Romagna walnuts

    The produce comes from the main producer countries - Chile, Argentina, California, Vietnam, India, Australia and China, but Romagna walnuts need to be talked about in depth. The project started 17 years ago in San Martino di Forlì.We have already planted 150 hectares of the Lara, Howard and Chandler varieties in those territories that signed a contract with New Factor. The project is considered central for the development of the company, which will invest more money in it in the future."The objective is to reach 300 hectares by 2018 and 500 hectares by 2020 with a total production of around 2,500 tons. In addition, we will invest 10 million Euro and another 2 for the development of new processing plants such as shelling lines and optical sorters."In the meantime, the "Noci di Romagna" brand is already popular on the domestic market. 500 gram packets have also been available in Eataly stores.

    Dried fruit production

    "Cultivating walnuts grants great opportunities for development, especially at times like these. The EU and Italy both import walnuts, mainly from California (60%). The remaining 40% comes from Eastern Europe (though quality is lower) and Chile, Australia and Argentina. Italy only covers 3% of consumption in Europe."To grow walnuts you need good quality plain draining land. And of course money - it costs €60,000 to plant one hectare with an irrigation system. You must also consider what kind of variety the market is demanding." "But there is room for a high-quality Italian production before the Californian one arrives. This is true not only for walnuts but also for almonds in Sicily and Apulia. The Metaponto area is also extremely suitable for producing pistachio nuts."

    A confirmation that Made in Italy plans (and dreams) have no boundaries.