Home > Spotlight
PASTIFICIO GHIGI GOES GLOBAL WITH ITS ALL ITALIAN PASTA
A successful company in Emilia Romagna fallen on hard times is reborn thanks to a process of localisation and an eye for local businesses, and a product symbolic of true Italian production: pasta. We are talking about Pastificio Ghigi, one of the most modern and technologically advanced pasta producers in the world brought back to life with a winning recipe. We asked Filippo Tramonti, the President of Ghigi Industrie Agroalimentari in San Clemente, to tell us about the rebirth and success of the company.
- The story of Ghigi is one of rebirth during a time of crisis. Can you tell us about it?
Pastificio Ghigi has always been a legendary name in the pasta sector in Emilia Romagna. Sadly, the company went bankrupt and was shut down, resulting in the withdrawal of its brand from the market for many years and the loss of employment for many people in the area. But then the destiny of the pasta producer crossed that of the Agricultural Cooperative of Forlì-Cesena-Rimini, which I chair. The Agricultural Cooperative promotes the production of cereals in Romagna as a way to ensure a stream of revenue for the agricultural sector. From the start, it focused on the cereal crop which has always been produced by the farm businesses, and developed a good reputation for stocking cereals at its many collection centres. We therefore specialised in monitoring the quality of our grain and improving the best varieties through a process of selection and as part of one project for marketing a type of flour made exclusively with grain produced in Romagna, and another project focusing on regional bread. These projects yielded little in quantitative terms, however, even though we worked hard to spread the word. We then embarked on an industrial project that would involve much larger quantities of the raw material and generate much more revenue in the process. This was when we “remembered” Pastificio Ghigi. We met with the former owners and the representatives of local authorities who were interested, and proposed a plan for relaunching the brand and the pasta producer. Our plan was met with great enthusiasm and it all went on from there.
- And how are things now?
Very good! That’s not to say we haven’t had our share of problems, but we are very satisfied with what we have done and confident that we are heading in the right direction. The pasta factory has been completely modernised and is now one of the most state-of-the-art and technologically advanced in the world. We produce pasta on a continuous basis using only Italian grain provided by the Agricultural Cooperatives involved.
- What is your annual turnover?
The turnover by the end of this year will be in the region of 13 million Euros, and our target for 2014 is 35 million Euros.
- What selling points does the relaunch promote?
Our “plus” is “100% Italian”: a very short chain from the corn in the field to the pasta as the finished product, without any intermediaries other than the mill which we do not currently own but are already planning to acquire.
- Are you present abroad? And if you are, in what way?
We certainly are! Exports, especially for “private labels”, account for 98% of our profits. The quality of 100% Italian pasta is highly appreciated overseas and, most importantly, we have the quantities needed to justify such an efficient and productive pasta business.
- When, where and how do you plan on expanding abroad?
We have a good presence in the US, Canada, Central America, Germany, France and the UK, and we are just starting to do very well in China and Japan in East Asia. We believe China to be a market offering naturally high potential for growth, although the “traditional” market in the US is proving, and will continue to prove greatly satisfactory because the consumption of pasta per capita in America is steadily on the increase, as is demand.
- Do you have any plans in the short and the long term?
Let us say that at the moment we need to “consolidate” what we have already done, which is by no means little – and that would be our plan in the short term. In the long term, we plan to acquire the mill to complete our production chain.