Successful passing of the baton at Alpenfrucht
Why was this expression from the field of athletics borrowed for the title of this article?
It’s because the president of one of the largest manufacturers of fruit pulp and fruit juices in Italy, the Alpenfrucht company, has entrusted the management of the company to his daughter, Nicole Bertolini, the new CEO. After all, even successful companies with outstanding products have to constantly renew themselves if they want to continue being successful in a difficult market like the fruit pulp and fruit juices sector.
After completing his studies in the field of Beverage Technology in Geisenheim/Rheingau and then working for several large Italian fruit-processing plants – the last of which as General Director of the SATO company in Trento – Engineer Rudolf Bertolini took the bold step in 1995 and founded his own business.
He traded in fruit juices and fruit pulp and soon supplemented these business activities by himself processing fruits. This was first done at a leased plant in the south of Italy – a strategically important site in a cultivation region for peaches and apricots with Europe-wide renown.
In 2003, Rudolf Bertolini seized the opportunity to purchase the Ex-Allione plant in Policoro/ Basilicata and, in 2004, also the main factory in Tarantasca/Piedmont of the Allione Industria Alimentare s.p.a. The acquisition of these two facilities enabled him to greatly boost his processing capacity and thus also increase revenues.
In 2009, the plant in Giugliano, Naples – which until then had been only leased – was purchased.
The region of Naples is very sunny and the fertile volcanic soils yield excellent apricots and peaches. It is from these raw materials that highly aromatic apricot and peach pulps are produced.
Alpenfrucht gradually expanded its production capacity to 60,000 kg of fruit pulp per hour and thus became one of the large producers of fruit pulps and fruit juices in Italy. Its storage capacity was increased to 30 million liters in aseptic tanks and 6 million kg of concentrate. Because of this strategic expansion of capacity under the leadership of Rudolf Bertolini, Alpenfrucht became one of the large fruit processors in Italy, from which the raw materials themselves came.
After all these years of expanding production capacity, the company was restructured, and especially more was invested in the new fruit pulp lines and juicing and concentration facilities at the plant in Tarantasca/Cuneo.
All of this was accomplished while simultaneously expanding market share by gaining new customers and tapping new markets. Besides the growing success of direct juice, ready compounds (which need only be diluted with water and filled) for nectars and beverages are also produced and marketed.
Another one of the corporate group’s major milestones was the successful certification of the production facility in Tarantasca according to FSSE 22.000 and ISO 14.001. By virtue of innovation and customer-orientation, the Alpenfrucht company is now a highly-esteemed partner of the European juice and beverage industry.
The new CEO of Alpenfrucht, Ms. Nicole Bertolini, studied business and has already been in charge of company administration and supported her father in sales since the year 2000.
Her brother, René Bertolini, is in charge of logistics and fruit purchasing. The technical area – i.e., the entire production – will be entrusted to the General Manager of the Tarantasca plant, Mr. Stefano Maggi, who possesses the necessary professional experience as a fruit juice specialist on the basis of his many years of work for large fruit processors in northern Italy. Mr. Maggi has been with Alpenfrucht since 2011 and is now in charge (Chief Manager) of the Tarantasca plant. Mr. Gerardo Basile is in charge of the plant in Giugliano and is responsible for raw materials procurement in southern Italy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors.
The young crew has already begun their good work: The new Internet platform, the new, modern Alpenfrucht logo, and the continuous further training of all employees in the areas of hygiene, work safety, technology, microbiology, and sensor technology. For the coming years, considerable investments are planned – especially in the area of technology – for the development of new products.
The Alpenfrucht company has its headquarters and all of its administration in Neumarkt, South Tyrol. South Tyrol is not only the biggest apple-growing region in Europe; it has the added advantage of being located at the cultural boundary between the north and the south of Europe. This is where the product and supplier demands of the chiefly Central and Northeast European consumers are communicated to the Italian producers; especially here, Alpenfrucht is an important and esteemed contact partner.
The factory in Tarantasca/Cuneo in the region of Piedmont is located in one of the big fruit cultivation areas of northern Italy. Above all else, Piedmont is an important cultivation area for peaches, apricots, kiwi fruits, apples, and pears as well as strawberries for the fresh fruit market. Approx. 10 to 20% of the entire harvest is processed industrially – a large portion of that by the Alpenfrucht company.
Piedmont is not only a well-known cultivation area for the aforementioned fruits. It also enjoys worldwide renown for some specialties – e.g., truffles, hazelnuts, and chestnuts. Consumers are aware of it particularly for its culinary accomplishments. Thus, among other things, Piedmont was the home of the slow food trend starting in 1986, which seeks to counter the excesses of fast food. Especially with regards to such gastronomical specialties as panettone and chocolate products, Piedmont has assumed a unique position in Europe.
Many famous brandnames like “Cinzano” and “Motta” or famous wines like “Barolo” are place-names referring to localities in Piedmont. Other established food companies like “Ferrero” are headquartered there and, in part, still operate factories there.
Piedmont is a center for high-quality food production; the populace of this region has an intimate relationship with fine foods deeply rooted in centuries-old cultural traditions.
Food companies in Piedmont adhere to very stringent quality standards, and Alpenfrucht GmbH – the manufacturer of fruit pulp, fruit pulp concentrates, naturally turbid and filtered fruit juices – is one of them. We would like to take this opportunity to wish the new CEO, Ms. Nicole Bertolini, all the best in her endeavors.