Domenico Battagliola, CEO, La Linea Verde

Top Player In Fresh-cut Salads

La Linea Verde Group generated an estimated turnover of 322 million euros in 2020. As a company that boasts 50 years of experience in agriculture and 30 years in the washed salads sector, it manufactures under its own umbrella-brand DimmidiSì and is an important co-packer for major European retailers

Domenico Battagliola is the CEO of La Linea Verde, a group of companies headquartered in Northern Italy and specialised in the production of fresh-cut salads and chilled fresh ready meals. Founded in 1991 by two Italian brothers, Giuseppe and Domenico Battagliola, the group relies on solid family values and represents the commercial evolution of a family agriculture business. With eight production sites (located in Italy, Spain, Serbia and France), and a commercial office in Macedonia, La Linea Verde generated an estimated turnover of 322 million euros in 2020. As a company that boasts 50 years of experience in agriculture and 30 years in the washed salads sector, it manufactures the DimmidiSì (TellmeYes in Italian) brand under its own umbrella and is an important co-packer for major European retailers.

The Group opened its Serbian branch, La Linea Verde d.o.o. Dobrinci, in 2017, in the village of Dobrinci in the municipality of Ruma. The Serbian company is the result of a ten-million- euro investment in a modern and efficient production site, as well as state-of-the-art fields and greenhouses.

Encompassing a surface area of 5,900 square metres and with a team of 100 employees, La Linea Verde d.o.o. Dobrinci is now the top player in fresh-cut salads in Serbia, while it now aims to become a key partner for Balkan retailers in the offer and enhancement of fresh convenience products.

Here we get the lowdown on how the company implemented its Italian model in Serbia, as well as the key factors behind its success, in conversation with Mr Domenico Battagliola.

On the basis of its experience in Europe, La Linea Verde is committed to creating an integrated agricultural supply chain, through loyal partnerships with Serbian farmers. What is the mission of this project?

– La Linea Verde is implementing a short and integrated supply chain in Serbia, which is supposed to ensure the availability of constant, high-quality raw materials year-round. This is a model that La Linea Verde has already tested successfully elsewhere in Europe.

The relationship between La Linea Verde and its agricultural partners in Italy has become so close that it developed into the the foundation of “Sole e Rugiada”, Organisation of Agricultural Producers, which today gathers together the farms and companies owned by La Linea Verde, as well as another 70 reliable partners, with a total of 2,000 hectares of farmland. Thanks to the constant support of our agronomists, the members of our supply chain have the opportunity to learn the most modern cultivation and fertilisation techniques, increasingly based on the principle of sustainability, in order to produce healthy, high-quality, fresh produce. Farmers are also supported during the certification process, whereby they get a guarantee for the sale of their produce.

La Linea Verde is a specialist of the socalled “IV gamma (fresh-cut)”. What does this mean exactly?

– In the categorisation of the treatment of fresh fruit and vegetables, the term “IV gamma (fresh-cut)” pertains to fresh, cleaned and washed vegetables that are ready for consumption. It is an agricultural product that is not processed, but only improved, keeping its organoleptic properties. La Linea Verde always seeks to procure good and very fresh raw materials, in order to provide the consumers with a high-quality finished product, because we stand behind the idea that quality comes primarily from the field.

In your opinion, what are the key factors behind the success of the products offered by La Linea Verde?

– La Linea Verde has never stopped investing and innovating to meet the latest consumer demands. Beyond the freshness of raw materials, the key to our success is the offer of really innovative products of exceptional added-value. In Italy, for example, we were the first company to launch fresh soups in 2006: we created a new market that is today worth 120 million euros, preserving our leadership position throughout the years.

And, more recently, we have officially launched a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme to meet the Sustainable Development Goals set out in UN Agenda 2030. Our commitment is focused in particular on the creation of a virtuous agricultural supply chain, the application of good agricultural practices in energy efficiency and water savings, social initiatives and sustainable packaging.

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