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DIVELLA: QUALITY PASTA BEATS THE RECESSION
With over 120 years of tradition, Divella is a symbol of Made in Italy’s most quintessential product: pasta. Today the fourth generation of the Divella family is working and producing excellent results in the firm originally founded by Vincenzo Divella in Rutigliana. Divella is now a large agro-food business, with an annual turnover of approximately 300 million Euros, and is present in 80 countries worldwide. In this interview the current CEO, Vincenzo Divella, gives us a brief overview of the firm’s history and its plans for the future.
Divella has been producing pasta since 1890. How have you managed to hold the brand’s position for over 120 years?
The family nature of the firm is the key to our success in Italy and abroad - we've now got to the fourth generation. Our firm is organised like a joint stock company, but run like a family business. This has given Divella a passion and feeling that other firms don't have.
What are Divella’s strong points today?
Apart from our family management, we have invested heavily in technology from the 1990s onwards, which has resulted in pasta makers with cutting edge technology. Thanks to this, Divella today is capable of making very high quality products at competitive prices. We still follow the same policy, and we invest at least 5 million Euros a year in technology.
What are Divella's international strategies?
We are now present in 80 countries worldwide, and we receive requests from as far as Africa, Benin for example. We have a very broad based sales network on an international level. We have made considerable investments in expansion abroad and today 25% of our production is destined for foreign markets. At the moment there is a high demand for pasta abroad. On our part, we have also chosen to associate pasta with a “Red Line” (consisting of tomato passata, tinned tomatoes, etc. Ed.), which has brought us to the level of a big firm in terms of turnover, which is around 300 million Euros a year.
In which markets do you plan to invest in the following years?
This year we are planning a new fresh pasta factory and a new biscuit factory. With regard to investment in technology, we are developing a new machine which will allow us to produce 7,5 tonnes of dry pasta per day, rather than the current 6 tonnes. This increase in production will entail big investments in warehouses and stocking. With respect to foreign markets, on the other hand, we are planning to diversify our "Red Line".
How did you prepare to face the international recession?
We were not hit by the financial crisis. Over the last two years we have increased our production and sales have improved. We went in the opposite direction to the market. In terms of turnover, given that the price of pasta has fallen but the volume has risen, we expect to close 2009 with a turnover of the same 300 million Euros.
Are you considering the hypothesis of entering the Italian Stock Exchange?
At the moment we are not interested in being quoted on the Stock Exchange. The firm finances itself and we have no need for additional liquidity.