Fattorie Garofalo: Short supply chain, high quality, and branding at the service of Italian and international retailers
Fattorie Garofalo is a company active in the dairy sector, with particular specialization in the buffalo sector for the past sixty years. The activities of this company from Campania are one of a kind and not limited to the production: they involve several steps such as the breeding of buffalo heads on farms, the transformation of raw materials into Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO, and other specialties of buffalo milk and meat; finally, the management of points of sale and catering activities. Seven agro-zootechnical farms, 15,000 buffalos reared, more than 3,000 hectares of land cultivated with fodder, and a production capacity of 15 million liters of buffalo milk each year, numbers that make Fattorie Garofalo one of the largest buffalo breeders and buffalo milk producers in the world. The company’s CEO, the lawyer Raffaele Garofalo, offered us an interesting overview of its reality.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW TO RAFFAELE GAROFALO
(CEO & President – Fattorie Garofalo)
How did sales go in 2020? Has your consumer changed?
In 2020, dairy products were the first item of food expenditure in Italy (13.9% of the total source ANSA 7.1.2021). Specifically for cheeses, the increase in expenditure compared to 2019 was 12.5% (source ANSA 7.1.2021). Domestic consumption has strongly increased due to the 18% increase in spending on foodstuffs (source KPMG 2020). The production of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO grew by 1% compared to 2019.
Specifically, there is an approximately + 8% in sales of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO (world leader for the production of this specialty with almost 6,500 tons per year produced in our two dairies). The consumer had inevitably changed in 2020: attention to well-being and health research are the trends that emerge from market analyzes. To meet the new needs on the market, we have launched a new project: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO produced with fresh daily milk from our farms. This premium product comes in 425g clip format and is a fully certified supply chain product. The milk from our farms is milked and transformed in less than 24 hours, transferring the fresh notes of freshly milked buffalo milk to the finished product. In line with market trends, we also strengthened sales in the segments of lactose-free buffalo mozzarella and organic Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO.
What is the real added value of Fattorie Garofalo in its reference market?
The added value of Fattorie Garofalo certainly lies in the supply chain. We have seven farms and 15,000 buffalo heads, which confirm us as the world leader in the breeding of Mediterranean buffaloes. Having an integrated supply chain means being able to totally control the milk chain and therefore guarantee a raw material of absolute quality. The expertise of breeders allows Fattorie Garofalo to constantly monitor the health of the buffaloes and pay attention to every stage of their life: we guarantee animal welfare by safeguarding the “five freedoms” dictated by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, and we control their diet with internally produced fodder. We ensure ample space and large quantities of water for the buffaloes to drink and cool off. Aspects that directly impact the quality of milk production: the nutraceutical properties of the feeds are transferred to buffalo milk and, consequently, to the products of Fattorie Garofalo.
Therefore, the Fattorie Garofalo brand proposes itself as a buffalo specialist, thanks to a completely integrated supply chain and the possibility of minimizing the time taken by the milk from the farms to the two dairies with which it operates. Minimizing milk processing times means having a completely fresh raw material and a high-quality dairy product. We also offer buffalo milk in dairy specialties such as burrata, a buffalo mozzarella stuffed with strips of stretched curd and cream. With this product, we have been awarded the Sabor 2020 award in Portugal.
Is the issue of sustainability present in your strategies?
The theme of sustainability has always been present in Fattorie Garofalo.
Within our farms, all activities aim to minimize the environmental impact and contribute to the eco-sustainability of the area. Our commitment to the circular economy merges with the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda regarding SGDs.
We feed the buffaloes with fodder that we grow in our fields, and we dry on the same farms.
Animal manure is broken down: the wet part is purified and used to irrigate the fields (so-called fertigation), and the reuse of wastewater increases the water efficiency of companies; the dry part is inserted in anaerobic biodigesters for the production of biogas. In fact, we are net producers of green energy using biogas and photovoltaics: our production (10,000,000 kwH per year) is almost double our energy needs.
Respect for the environment is essential: some of our farms are located near natural parks and forest reserves. We are committed to preserving the ecosystem by protecting the local fauna and flora.
Our Arianuova breeding has obtained the Agricert organic certification; from this breeding, Fattorie Garofalo obtains part of the milk from the Organic line
Which are the foreign markets where you make the highest turnover?
The foreign markets within which we generate the highest turnover are Germany, France, and Belgium with an aggregate figure close to 70% of our exports. The geographical data are in line with the trends that emerged from the report of the Consortium of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDO.
Abroad we work both in PL and with our brand, focusing mainly on the Retail sector – we have solid partnerships with the best performing brands in Europe – and Food Service.
Can Fattorie Garofalo be a partner for private label projects?
You see, one of the mistakes that the industry makes is to dissect the markets, where to act when it turns to mass market retail: this is not the approach that a supplier must be able to put in place. Fattorie Garofalo has experience and production capacity capable of building important partnerships and, as such, must be able to provide the mass market retail with tools that allow more options to build serious category projects aimed at consumer loyalty. For this reason, it is our obligation to invest in our brand so that it knows how to build a direct and privileged relationship with the final consumer, but at the same time, we must be flexible to the point of supporting the retailer customer also in the loyalty strategies applied by his store brand. The strength of Fattorie Garofalo lies in the ability to generate large volumes thanks to the internal availability of milk and the certified traceability of our supply chain.
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