Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation
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'Pasta' and its varieties, the kingdom of Delverde
Roma - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - The identity of Italian pasta is often linked to the coast and the seas which surround the country.
Nevertheless, the true origins of the national tradition of pasta, whether it be fresh or dry, made of hard grain or tender grain, are to be found in the inland areas of the country. The reason is simple and of a technical nature: the production of a high-quality pasta necessitates the use of clear water and the drying process must take place where the level of humidity is low.
Where better to produce dry pasta, therefore, than the mountain area of Abruzzo? So, at Fara San Martino, on the slopes of the Majella, two of the most well-known brand names of Italian pasta were established. One of these has many particular characteristics: it is a young dynamic firm which immediately set its sights on the international market, winning an important position in a specific area, that of high quality pasta. This is Delverde (www.delverde.it): it has a turnover of 45 million euro, 220 employees and 58 per cent of sales achieved in the export market, mainly in the United States of America and Canada. We asked Giorgio de Gennaro, the managing director, what strategies were used to break into the international market.
"Delverde was established in 1970. It is, therefore, a young business which found its place by diffusing and making the aims of the business well known: pasta of high quality, produced within the area of the Majella National Park, utilizing the best national hard grain and clear spring water, with a slow drying process."
Do you have a high export quote? How did you approach the foreign markets?
"I believe that our strong points were quality and consistency. This helped us not to become involved in price wars which often lead to a reduction in quality of a product."
What are the strong points of your products as opposed to those of your competitors?
"We chose to turn to those markets which, because of their nature and economic standing, were able to take on a product which falls within the upper level of the market. This is the case of the United States of America and Canada, where today we firmly hold a 8 per cent share of the market. On the other hand, we have in this way also avoided confrontation with locally made products of a medium and low quality. We guarantee an authentic Italian product and consider ourselves in competition with the foreign producers of pasta."
Do you think that the "Made in Italy" brand in this sector should be defended by a quality trademark?
"Yes, we believe that a quality trademark or, in our case, a DOP, could give added value to our product. Moreover, we are in an area, Fara San Martino, that is synonymous with high quality pasta and where a DOP would certainly have a meaning."
What importance do you give to the image of your products in terms of the relationship with nature and the environment?
"Our place on the market is due also to our geographic positioning and the authenticity of our processing methods. These are aspects that make up the image of our product and are therefore essential. Delverde has, from the very beginning, respected the principals of nature, making it the firm's mission: to transfer from nature to the consumers' table products of absolute genuineness, prepared giving due respect to the tradition of the Mediterranean diet and of the demands of the environment. To this end we use the best raw materials and a 'sensitive' industrial processing cycle."
What do you think the future holds for Delverde?
"Our planned strategies allow us to look to the future with optimism. Moreover, the sectors in the high range show a trend of constant growth in all markets where the company has a significant presence."