MILAN — The history of Ultramar Caffè is a young history but tells us about constant growth, in terms of both investments and turnover. Founded in April 2015, the company has already managed to break through the barrier of EUR11 million in turnover since 2019 and for 2021, despite the pandemic, aims at increasing it by 40%. Thanks to a careful management, focused on quality and correct choices made by the Commercial Manager Mattia Tarsi, as explained by the CEO of Ultramar Caffè Marco Nava.
‘’Quality – exclaims Nava – is fundamental because without certifications as those already obtained (FSSC 22000, BRC, IFS, HALAL, BIO, UTZ, RAF, FAIRTRADE, etc.) customers of important dimensions are not intercepted. Actually, price comes later. The essential thing is to possess all the requisites required by the market. We have made it our way of working and we try to keep high quality standards on every entrepreneurial step we want to make’’.
And speaking of entrepreneurship, it looks like in 2020 you weren’t stopped waiting for the pandemic to develop?
“We have continued to invest in machinery in order to improve technology in production. We have implemented efficiency and speed to reach an installed capacity of over 1 billion capsules per year”.
What investment do you need to make to achieve this goal?
“We are talking about 8,10 million euros between 2020 and 2021. Years in which we plan to hire new employees (today there are around 70, ed) especially in the quality office. As I said earlier, every step forward must be characterised by quality”.
Will the type of production also be recalibrated on the basis of investments?
‘’Of course. We produce coffee in self-protected capsules compatible with the main devices. 80% of our production is on behalf of third parties (Nespresso and DolceGusto, the rest is the Must Espresso Italiano house line, ed.) and to date 40% consists of aluminum capsules, 40% compatible, and 20% plastic. By the end of 2021 we plan to reach 60% aluminum, 30% compatible and 10% plastic”.
So will you focus strongly on aluminum?
“In 2020 we were the first Italian company to produce this kind of capsule. We work at a rate of 960 capsules per minute thanks to high-performance systems, that will allow us, by 2022, to characterise a large part of our turnover on aluminum. We are a reality that produces H24 with three different work shifts.”
Is one of your strengths also represented by packaging?
“The imperative is to meet every request that may come to us and thanks to the use of various machines we can differentiate our packaging by pieces of 10, 20, 40, 50, and 100 capsules. We are very few to guarantee such flexibility in differentiating the container”.
Did 2021 also begin with the expansion in the production of other products?
“We have included grains and ground in fully biodegradable packages, a request that comes to us especially from Northern Europe”.
Northern Europe which still represents your reference market?
“We are around 50% of the total production, but Ultramar Caffè Srl is also present in North and South America, in Australia, in the Middle East, in Russia, etc. for a total of about 45 different countries”.
You don’t just win tenders with international retail, if I’m not mistaken, are you also aiming for direct developments in other countries?
“At the end of 2019 we signed memoranda of understanding with Chinese and Indian partners to start our business in these markets. In China we have started the construction of a plant, which then stopped due to Covid, that will allow us an important view on the Asian market. In India, on the other hand, it is an exclusively local product and market.’’