Friday 28 October saw the opening ceremony for the new Villafrut warehouse, at Villafontana di Oppeano (Verona). The renewal and extension of the headquarters, taking place in 2011, is already the third in the history of Villafrut, established in 1984. The company was established in the 1960s by Giacomo Falzi who worked as a fruit and vegetable trader and then in 1984 it became Villafrut, a company specialising in exporting fruit and vegetables to European retail chains. The company, today, with a turnover of around 70 million Euros, is one of Italy’s major companies in the field of fruit and vegetable marketing. “The previous warehouse expansion dated back exactly 10 years, when the company doubled in size. Today, this surface area is being further expanded to allow for increased business efficiency”, states Matteo Falzi, director of Villafrut Srl. Villafrut, in fact, handles the entire chain from production to delivery, which takes place entirely within the Villafontana (Verona) warehouse, at the intersection of two strategic European corridors.
The current surface area of the warehouse is 22,000 m2 (9,000 m2 of which are indoors). The storage capacity has increased from 1,200 pallets to 2,000 pallets. The total of goods handled per year is 60,000 tons. Villafrut actually delivers its products directly to its own customers in Europe. The warehouse consists of a loading and unloading area, where the goods are deposited and checked. Villafrut, in fact, aggregates and manages its agricultural production in accordance with the requirements of the retail chains. The product, when arriving at the Villafontana warehouse, is almost entirely packaged. The loading and unloading area has 12 ramps with the possibility of adapting them to various types of lorry. Opposite every ramp, there is space to allow the whole lorry to be unloaded. The capacity of the loading and unloading area alone amounts to 500 pallets. There is a wireless system throughout the entire warehouse, which allows for warehouse movements to be managed by computer with the SSCC system, a key aspect for the efficient and effective handling of product traceability. The central refrigeration plant deals with sorting the product and its capacity corresponds to approximately 650 pallets. In addition, there are 11 refrigerators at different temperatures, dedicated to preserving the individual product categories in the most optimal way.
“We are an extremely enthusiastic team. We do not live in hope but instead with perseverance so that life will grow. This responsibility is rooted in the past, but is open towards the future. We have confidence in youth and in the years ahead.” It was with these words that the evening was opened by Renato Iseppi, who represents the owners. “Our collaborators are our crowning glory,” stated Renato Iseppi. Villafrut’s secret to success is, in fact, in its ability to combine skills and professionalism, from experience and tradition, through the courage of its young collaborators, who look to the future with enthusiasm and commitment. Villafrut has 70 collaborators, 20 of whom are clerical workers, 10 are based in the logistics department and 40 work in the warehouse.