Agritalia offers more than product
Store Brands – November 2021 – An effective and simple solution for conventional and organic private label projects from Italy and Europe, Agritalia gets products to retail stores through an efficient operations program and technology. The company discusses cloud sourcing intelligence, logistics and more.
Store Brands: Tell us about Agritalia. What makes the company unique? Agritalia is a family business, founded in 1987 by two brothers, Sergio and Stefano Massa, when the idea of private label was very niche, especially related to imported items and in particular organic products. Today, Agritalia is an effective and simple solution for retailers to start a private label project from concept to re-orders. How? Thanks to a comprehensive portfolio of almost a thousand products sourced from certified suppliers located across Italy and the European Union. In addition, the company completes its offering by providing extensive services such as: market analysis — run by an in-house marketing department — to highlight any “white space” on the customer’s (retailer) shelf, meaning any interesting/innovative/trendy products that branded producers or competitors have and a specific private label brand doesn’t; suppliers and raw materials’ procurement, being sure to identify the best partner for each project and secure the required raw materials at the most competitive price; research and development teams that can tailor-make any product according to the customer’s needs or requirements; quality assurance in order to be compliant with quality standards requested by the customer. The company also offers logistics support to ship the goods from Italy and Europe to the U.S. with an innovative system called Automated Replenishment Program (ARP), that is one of the biggest innovations in the supply chain management. The ARP is an advanced logistics solution which allows us to optimize freight consolidation and deliver even a single pallet directly to the regional distribution centers (DCs), granting maximum flexibility also for small private label projects.
SB: Cloud Sourcing Intelligence and Data Sharing are vital to building sales and profits. Can you discuss the role they play with retailers?
The Cloud Sourcing Intelligence (CSI) is an advanced proprietary software able to analyze sales data from shelf toestimate the exact assortment needed from the retailer week by week to meet the demand, helping managing production timelines, freight consolidation from different plants and deliveries to DCs accordingly, while cutting down third-party warehouse and unnecessary inland costs. The combo of ARP and CSI allows the products to always be on time and on shelf, eliminating any risk of out of stock and/or over stock which negatively affect sales’ performance and profits. Of course, a customized program can only be built if the information about the specific retailer, distributor, importer/vendor, and supplier are known and shared with Agritalia and among each other. Therefore, we say information and data sharing is crucial.
SB: All retailers are seeking to reduce the cost of goods. How does smart logistics play out here?
Freight consolidation is key to optimize logistics costs. In fact, being able to ship mixed containers rather than full containers of the same item/category directly from our Italian hub to the retailer’s DCs is a major advantage for our customers. First, this means better inventory management cutting down extra costs for overstock. Secondly, as mentioned before, direct shipment allows the retailer to avoid stocking the incoming goods at a third-party warehouse and the unnecessary inland transportation to get them to its DCs — a huge benefit in terms of costs reduction. Finally, freight consolidation does not apply only to the private label products but can be extended to other Italian branded products headed to the same customer: the more products to send per container the more opportunities to reduce logistics costs.
SB: Tell us about sustainable delivery? How does that benefit retailers?
Over time, the secret to success has been to always pay close attention to trends and evolutions in the food industry to shape the company’s business model to changes. As evidence of this engagement, in recent years Agritalia has been strongly committed to one of the most important topics of the modern society: sustainability. Nowadays, more and more retailers have started to show great interest for the environmental issue and begun working to reduce their impact on the environment, also to improve the perception that consumers have of their banner. Therefore, retailers are seeking companies that are committed to sustainability, too, to cooperate in the achievement of important sustainability goals. Agritalia, following its mission to develop a smarter supply chain, has started a significant collaboration with U.K.-based Sheffield University to study the eco-sustainable implications of the Agritalia, and sister companies Agrilogistica and Agrusa, distribution model, and the consequent reduction of the environmental impact, food waste and carbon dioxide emissions in the retail industry.
SB: And, you have been recognized for your achievements.
Yes, in February Agritalia was awarded “Supplier of the Year with Special Recognition” by Whole Foods Market among the non-perishable goods category. The company was chosen for its dedication to operational excellence, extraordinary service, and premium quality. As the leader in exporting Italian food products and a Whole Foods Market Exclusive Brands supplier since 1997, Agritalia continues to provide best-in-class service and quality through Whole Foods Market’s expansive portfolio of Italian goods under its private label brands.
SB: So, what does the future look like? How is Agritalia prepared to help?
The theme of sustainability will still be dominant for the next few years. Therefore, the company will make further efforts to improve our logistics model so that it brings real benefits for the environment besides customers. In addition, regarding the private label projects, the goal is to work on the adoption of eco-sustainable packaging, the use of raw materials resulting from circular economies and the launch of products from green production processes to broaden the scope of the environmental/sustainable commitment. “Agritalia will continue to partner with Sheffield University, as part of the ProCEedS (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018) project consortium, to get to a new certified standard of sustainability for the whole group. Please visit our websites for more info: agritalia.com; agrilogistica.com; agrusainc.com. SB