The change in the Italian canning industry and the new challenges of the emerging markets
The industrial sector of canned tomato and beans processing, for many years one of the symbols of the Italian Economy, had in recent years significant changes, and is nowadays facing new challenges. What does allow an enthusiastic evaluation of positive outlook as this, when the recession in Europe seems far away from the resolution? According to Salvatore Michele Franzese, owner of Franzese SPA based in Palma Campania (Na), the framework is quite clear and bodes well, and perhaps especially for Southern Italian Factories, which should be the engine of the sector.
«I was born during the Second World War and I remember the poverty widespread in the years immediately later; at that time we could afford a consumption of just tomato paste, the others were considered as luxury products . As soon as the life standards in Italy have improved, the higher quality food, with better organoleptic properties, started to be consumed much more. When wealth, in countries and emerging economies now, will increase, up to spread also among the most disadvantaged social classes, then it will be a real "boom" with regard to the consumption of food in general, which includes the canned food we produce. I observe this increase, moreover in the Asian market, especially in China and India. In these countries, and in general in all growing economies, domestic production of quality products will not be enough to cover this new requirement, as often happens when the welfare of the population increases and the industrialization grows; peasants, abandoning the countryside, of course contribute to the reduction of agricultural production, which is no longer able to meet the population needs, opening pathways to importation. The desertion of rural areas of countryside, which takes place and is taking place in developing countries, is the same phenomenon that happened in Italy in the last fifty years. The demand for quality consumer goods grows, and with it, the incapacity to satisfy it with the only domestic production. This means new markets for our products»
But which are the necessary strategies for the penetration of new markets? According to Franzese, flexibility is fundamental , both for the industry and for his exporting partners. «Today - says Franzese – the time to fulfill an order has been reduced a lot, because nobody likes to increase the risk of too many unsold stocks in the warehouse ; this risk is taken by the industrial part, together with its partners. Even large retail chains behave like this: if you ask them to increase the numbers of purchase, they threaten to switch to another more flexible provider. And in case they are not able to find, they prefer to delete the item, rather than yield to this request »
It seems that once again, as in the postwar period, the Italian Industry is ready to face new challenges, and to get out of it, together with his reliable partners of trust, fortified.