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Nature, craftsmanship, and tradition combine to create the top quality products of the Italian manufacturer of extra virgin olive oil. Monini, established in the twenties of the previous century, enjoys prosperity and growth up until recently, and that – with excellent prospects for the future. 

The beginning
It was 1920 when Zefferino Monini, building on his organizational talents and horticultural knowledge of olives, the fruit he particularly liked, started his production of extra virgin olive oil. From the very beginning, he was committed to obtaining the top quality product. The area of Spoleto, located at the very heart of Umbria, one of the regions whose history had most frequently been associated with olive oil, with its hills abundantly grown by olive orchards, was the most suitable area from which to obtain olive oil of intense, even though balanced flavour. Monini was convinced that the key to success would lie in investing not only his resources, but also his interests and efforts, exclusively in extra virgin olive oil. At that time this product was less commonly known, as the majority of Italians would only use olive oil. The freshly squeezed olive juice is a product which embodies three leading ideas of the company’s strategy: respect for nature, craftsmanship, and tradition. Briefly, quality determines and motivates the right kind of strategy. This means that each product by Monini must be flawless when it comes to quality. Only in this way can the expectations of consumers be met. And only in this way can the company maintain credibility and succeed in its efforts to introduce to even broader groups of consumers extra virgin olive oil as an olive oil marked by considerable quality. This is what, in the course of time, has proved the most beneficial strategy.

Design and organization
Today Monini is a leading manufacturer at the market. Much emphasis is put on the innovation of technology and industrial organization. At the same time, a vast range of products issued on the market are recognized as products with the best tradition, being made of the top quality ingredients. Undoubtedly, what makes the company unique is the attention it pays and the efforts it puts into selecting the supreme quality extra virgin olive oil obtained from diverse areas of both national and international production. In order to complete the picture with facts and figures, it should be noted that, in Italy and around the world, Monini sells ca. 30 million liters of olive oil per year, with extra virgin olive oil substantially adding to the quantity. The company employs 105 people in Italy and 15 people in its foreign branches. The overall yearly turnover amounts to ca. € 127 million. During the year 2009 Monini made a number of decisions with a view to diversifying its range of products. Thus, apart from the traditional products sustaining the core business, the company launched several novelties which are highly valued by consumers, among which products such as, lemon juice, D.O.P. ( P.D.O ) olives , new vinegars range, tapenades and sauces play the key role. The research and development department has also recently dedicated internal resources to quality control in that it has increased the number of in-depth chemical and sensory analyses. In order to improve the analyses, the company has introduced laboratory facilities with new adjustments which allow to carry out more sophisticated analyses in a much shorter time span. New and more efficient equipment has been set up at the packaging lines as well. The company attaches much importance to quality control. For many years, Monini has been developing a very rigorous system of internal controlling and the company’s achievements in this field are confirmed by recognized quality certificates it received, such as ISO 9001, IFS, BRC, HACCP, and OHSAS 18001. Introducing the system of quality control has allowed to significantly eliminate incompatibilities and reduce complaints on the part of the company’s customers. In particular, to give an example, in the area of production of extra virgin olive oil, the main commodity produced by Monini, the number of quality controls in 2009 was really high reaching over 22.000 analyses.

At present the major part of the company’s turnover comes from Italy (75 %), with a contribution by foreign markets which amounts to 25 %. Monini products are exported to countries, among which Switzerland, Poland, Russia, North-European countries, the USA, and Canada can be regarded as the main trade partners. Generally speaking, the group of Monini’s main customers includes big distribution chains in Italy (Coop, Conad, Esselunga, etc.) and internationally (Carrefour, Auchan, Mettro, Tesco, etc.). Importantly, in recent years, one can be witnessing a growing tendency among the consumers to more adequate appreciation of high quality nutrition products. For Monini, which sells 100 % natural products, like extra virgin olive oil, and which attaches special significance to the issue of quality, this can only be tantamount to more benefits. Unfortunately, pressure exercised by a chain of department stores leads to shifting attention to prices, as a result giving more preference to products of dubious quality. Of course, this turns out to be disadvantageous to products which have been recognized as qualitatively superior. Why do consumers choose the products offered by Monini? There are two principal reasons. First of all, the company is unique in that it combines elements such as craftsmanship and professionalism, respect for tradition, and an almost one-hundred-year-old experience with the deployment of modern technologies, constant research, and the application of the most rigorous methods of quality controlling. Secondly and consequently, all this allows to offer the clients a wide range of high quality products derived from a variety of extra virgin olive oils, e.g. commercial oils, premium oils, DOP oils, organic or aromatized oils, etc.

In the future, the company envisions consolidation of more mature markets, for example the Italian ones, and development in those markets where products like extra virgin olive oil have not been introduced, or have not gained recognition thus far, because of different consumer traditions or the lower purchasing power of consumers. Thus, within a considerably short period of time, benefits can be expected from markets other than the East-European ones, more specifically from the Indian as well as the Chinese markets. Extending its influence over Asian markets is considered as one of the main targets of Monini in the future to come. Regarding more determinate plans ranging over the period of the next five up to ten years, the company is believed to be gaining even more space for development within both a short and a long time span, precisely for the fact that in many countries consumption of its products will grow in consequence of its availability to families of consumers. Hopefully the development will ensue as a result of the appreciation of the quality of the company’s products and of the position on the market that the company has already deserved. All this development will be supported by important investments in the area of marketing and communication. Nonetheless, for sure, Monini will not be interested in economical growth alone, intensifying quantities of the products offered at the expense of their quality.

It would be difficult to point to one unique aspect which makes Monini so successful as an enterprise – after all, one can always run the risk of neglecting other aspects of equal or even greater importance. However, one can assume that, as of today, Monini has an unquestionable right to take pride in its healthy work environment, where values such as transparency, ethical behaviour, professionalism and competence are integrated into the very structure of the company, being observed by its workers, from the entrepreneur on the top to the dependant on the lowest level in the company hierarchy. It is this attitude which, along with the quality of Monini’s products, has enabled to create an image of reliability and flawless reputation – from the times of its establishers up until today.. 

Written by Anna Tomaszewska

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