‘The organic philosophy will prevail in the long run’

Interview Golfera

Golfera is a household name in the Italian meat sector. Their sausages, hams and packaged meat products are sold in supermarkets throughout Italy. In addition to Italy, they also serve export markets, focusing on Germany, Spain, France, Sweden and, more recently, America and Canada. Marco Rocca has been responsible for purchasing at Golfera for over 25 years.

‘The organic philosophy is important to Golfera,’ says Rocca. ‘You can see that from the fact that organic products now account for more than 15% of our turnover. We’ve been selling organic meat for more than 15 years. We started in Italy and then expanded into Europe. We had just a few products initially, but we’ve since developed this, quite deliberately, into the widest possible range. We have earned a reputation in the market for our extensive range of organic products and for their high quality. Just as important to us as turnover and territories is the fact that we can distinguish ourselves with organic products far more than with conventional meat products.

Rocca looks for transparency, respect, quality and reliability in his suppliers. He could not call himself a buyer if he did not also emphasise that the price must be right, but price is not the most important factor. ‘True partners prove their worth when you need each other,’ says Rocca. ‘When one of the two is struggling, the other should step in to help, and we’ve experienced that several times in our relationship with De Groene Weg. That’s why De Groene Weg is perhaps my best supplier. No, they’re more than that – they’re a true partner. At Golfera, we’re proud of our relationship with De Groene Weg.’ Rocca also praises De Groene Weg‘s quick response times and the high level of service they provide.

Golfera recognises that sustainability and health are important to consumers of organic products. ‘That’s why, for example, we don’t add nitrite or nitrate to our organic hams. It’s an example of our ongoing search to improve and differentiate our organic products.

We have a positive outlook on the future of organic products, even though, in the short term, there are concerns about rising costs and the increasing local supply of organic products in Italy. But we’re not interested in the cheapest suppliers because we wouldn’t have enough clarity about the supply chain behind those products. Continuing to work with De Groene Weg is a very conscious choice. We believe that the organic philosophy will prevail in the long run. Following a period of stabilisation, we expect to see new growth. That’s partly because we’re tapping into new channels. We need to work together to find a balance between fair returns for farmers and affordable prices for consumers. We experience more price volatility in the Italian market than in export markets, so it’s better for us to focus on export to ensure long-term stability.’