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Investing in tradition


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“The heart of our product range is the Nocellara del Belice, known as Castelvetrano,” says Manuelita Cialdini, Key Account Manager at Granata Antonio & c.Srl. ‘Castelvetrano’ describes the method with which the olives are treated, named after the village where it was developed. “These olives are very special. They develop a lovely sweet and buttery flavour.”

In addition, Granata boasts a broad selection of Italian olives, such as Gaeta, Leccino and Bella di Cerignola, as well as different Greek and Spanish varieties. “Besides olives, we also process other products such as artichokes, dried tomatoes and courgettes as well as capers, eggplant and lupini beans.”

While the range sounds quite traditional, Granata always finds new ways to create a tasty new product. “We are constantly developing new recipes and packaging options to meet emerging market demands,” Ms. Cialdini states.

It is typical that Granata should have its main focus on olives given that the company is situated in Campania, and has a second production site in Castelvetrano, Sicily, where Nocellara is harvested and processed and is world famous for its olive production. “Granata was founded in 1936 and is now run by the third and fourth family generations,” says Ms. Cialdini, who joined the company about three and a half years ago and, together with a colleague, Manuela Mecchi, is in charge of increasing Granata’s export activities.

“Until a few years ago, the focus was mostly on the local Italian market. This is changing,” she continues. “We are financially healthy and have invested heavily in new machinery and certifications. This is necessary nowadays to adapt to market requirements, and we want to expand our markets.”

Manuelita Cialdini
The heart of our product range is the Castelvetrano with its sweet, buttery flavour. Manuelita CialdiniKey Account Manager

Currently, exports account for about 40% of Granata’s activities. Its main export markets are Australia – Australians consume a large amount of olives – and the US. Also important are Canada and Japan. Within Europe, Great Britain, Germany and eastern countries are fairly strong markets, where Nocellara del Belice are very well known and highly appreciated.

Granata’s target groups within the respective markets are both wholesalers as well as retailers and industry. Especially abroad, however, the company also focuses on private label production. On the new company website, interested clients can find information on the company, its history and its products in four different languages: Italian, French, German and English. It also offers updates on Granata’s latest activities.

Granata also take part in various trade fairs, which include the CIBUS in Parma, the TUTTOFOOD in Milan, the PLMA in Amsterdam, and the Fancy Food Show in New York, as well as the German Anuga in Cologne – the most important trade show for the food industry.

This year, Granata also took part in the SIAL in Shanghai, with the aim of assessing potential for the company’s products in the Chinese market, where olives are not currently well-known. Despite the fact that Chinese gastronomic culture is generally very different, there is already a market of about 200 million Chinese people who enjoy Italian food products.

An important factor for a successful trade show – as well as a successful business in general – is good staff. “It is not difficult for us to find staff,” Ms. Cialdini says. “Nevertheless, we do train them well, and even use an external training advisor, so that employees are always at the top of their game. Quality is important; we work with foodstuff, and certain rules have to be adhered to.” It is this commitment to its products and traditions, combined with a dedication to renewal, that will lead Granata on its way to international success.