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Orsero resists Covid and aims for bio

Exclusive interview with Raffaella Orsero (ceo) and Matteo Colombini, co-ceo and cfo

Over 300 references, 5,000 products, 750,000 tons traded every year among fruit and vegetables, thanks to a network of more than 1,500 suppliers in 70 countries. These are the main numbers of Orsero, the holding of the Italian and international group of the same name, leader in Europe for the import and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables. Having won the lockdown challenge, Orsero closes 2020 with an upward balance sheet with a turnover of 1.04 billion, to be precise, an increase of 3.6% compared to 1.005 billion in 2019 (see EFA News article dated 16 / 3/2021), as confirmed by Matteo Colombini, cfo and co ceo of Orsero, in this exclusive interview with EFA News, together with the ceo and vice president Raffaella Orsero. The increase in revenues concerned all the main companies of the group, both in the import & distribution sector (982.827 euros in 2020 compared to 950.855 in 2019) and in the shipping business (95.296 euros in 2020 against 85.225 in 2019), taking into account that, from 1 January 2020, the distribution sector changed its name to import & distribution, including the importation of bananas and pineapples, while the import & shipping sector changed its name to shipping, as it only includes maritime transport activities and periodic reporting starting from the 1st quarter of 2020.

The crisis triggered by the pandemic was overcome with a compensation between large-scale distribution (which in Italy accounts for 60% of turnover), from the demand of small retailers, while the horeca channel showed the rope. The turnover continues to be composed of 50% from Italy. A family business, even if it is now a public company, given that it has been listed on the stock exchange since 2016 (today it is in the Star segment, with the family holding 30% of the shares) now in its third generation. Raffaella Orsero, current vice president and CEO of Orsero, was the architect of the company's listing and turning point in the new millennium, even if it confirms its roots in solid commercial traditions, with e-commerce which, for example, does not it is among the next development plans.

Investments made in recent years amounted to one hundred million in the 2017-2020 three-year period, of which 50% in acquisitions in Italy, Spain and France. The same share was used to strengthen the European logistics and distribution platform. After the latest acquisition of the Sicilian group Moncada, in July sorso, the Albenga-based company placed first among the 2021 objectives to consolidate the 2020 performance with a slight organic growth plus some acquisitions in value-added segments such as bio / organic and berries in one or more of the three main markets, namely Italy, Spain and France. Attention also to the IV range, the segment of packaged and ready-to-eat fruit. "In 2021 we plan to return to pre-covid levels in Italy and we will think abroad from 2022", Colombini underlines. Finally, there is the issue of the consolidation of Acapulco, the company branch created in 2008 in Mexico by purchasing land crops, which produces about 16 thousand tons of avocado a year, mainly destined for the US market. On the other hand, in the longer-term plans there is the conquest of companies that deal with products that Orsero does not handle (for example berries) and the landing in the organic sector.

The Orsero group, on the market for over 50 years, is a leader in Mediterranean Europe for the import and distribution of fruit and vegetables: present in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico, it has three divisions integrated and coordinated by the parent holding company which includes 16 main subsidiaries operating in the import & distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, shipping (maritime transport) of bananas and pineapples.

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EFA News - European Food Agency