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AN INTERNATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL APPROACH: THE KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR THE ROVIGO FISHERIES DISTRICT
The Rovigo Fisheries District boasts an annual turnover of over 500 million Euros and a total of 230 businesses employing some 3500 workers.
It also has two key advantages in confronting the economic crisis: a policy of internationalisation and an increasingly high level of professional training for the personnel working in its companies.
The District’s representative, Massimo Barbin, outlined the current situation, stressing that exports count for a much larger share of turnover than ten years ago, and now amount to at least 10%.
Mr Barbin explained: “The Fisheries District was established by a regional law of 2003 and has therefore been in operation for ten years. It has evolved significantly over this period.
At first, exports contributed almost nothing to our turnover, but now they account for 10% of earnings, bringing in between 50 and 60 million Euros.”
On the other hand, the District seems to have all the necessary characteristics for success; located in the lower part of Polesine province, on the Po delta, and in a protected area which extends into six different municipalities.
It offers guarantees of high quality within the fisheries sector, and covers a variety of activities: from fishing and shellfish farming, to the processing of fish products, and to their marketing in various parts of the world. Mr Barbin provided more details: “Our fresh products, which need to be consumed quickly, are sold in European countries such as France, Germany and Spain, which can easily be reached by lorry.
Meanwhile, in the USA, for example, we concentrate on canned products; and in other markets, such as Russia, we have to manoeuvre our way around various laws which impose limitations on entry”. Imports, on the other hand, mainly come from South America. The quality of the Italian products is uncontested, partly because the District lies within a protected environmental zone, where numerous restrictions and regulations have to be respected.
Rovigo also seems to have an advantage over other districts operating in the sector, due to its focus on diversifying production.
This is something that Mr Barbin makes a point of: “Compared to the other major fisheries district in Italy, the one in Mazara del Vallo in Sicilia, Rovigo definitely has the edge as a result of diversification. In Mazara they are much more specialised, and equipped almost exclusively for fishing.
They are certainly leaders in this sector, but our offering is more comprehensive and varied”. “In fact,” he concludes, “our district is not just surviving the crisis, but still has extra margins for growth.
Above all, we are trying to give exposure to our businesses on the internet, because we are convinced it will be an essential way to promote ourselves”.