Interview with Oswald Zuegg

| 2014 | 2014 – Number 2 | Investo Man
| June 2014 | 6032 Views | with No Comments

Zuegg is a multinational corporation based in Verona specialized in fruit processing. The production has two different approaches: business to consumer  and  business to business.  For  the business to consumer market, Zuegg produces jams and marmalades, fruit juices, syrups and fruit snacks branded Zuegg and Skipper Zuegg, for a total of 97 different products. For the business to business market, Zuegg is specialized in the production of fruit semi-finished product (ingredients for yogurt, ice cream and snacks) for other food industries.


Mr. Osvald Zuegg, how and when was your company founded?

Our company was founded in 1890 by Maria Zuegg, who was originally in charge of  an export fruit warehouse. Her husband was an apple producer and he exported apples all over Europe, even in Russia.


Zuegg has established an agreement with 50 farms nearby the factory in Luogosano (AV); an agreement that guaranties jobs but also and after all it guaranties quality. What advantages this will bring to your company?

We will have advantages on the quality of the fruit: because we produce jams,

juices and other fruit products, we need to have the right fruit. This is the reason why we got involved in agriculture and into its best production systems, in order to be able to guarantee the best fruit to use in our productions. And on the other hand, we have created jobs, especially in the South of Italy where the Mediterranean fruit is produced. We have also created a social effect, as many farmers can pick fruit in their own families while working for us at the same time. This is an easy way to create jobs, without making big technology investments supported by some funding that eventually do not work.


Your company is known all over the world. Why are you keeping investing in Italy at a time of crisis like this?

I think Italy is a great country even if there are a few political problems that also affect the economy; but we have to look at the medium and, after all, long term situations and therefore it is better not to play on the current situation of the Italian economy. We must also remember and take into consideration that Italy is part of Europe. We have the personal task of taking the best opportunity to offer consumers the best food products. Furthermore, the Mediterranean food culture is a solid base that allows us to sell well abroad and therefore to give us some opportunities to export.


What is the secret to become an international company without losing the attachment to the territory?

I do not know whether it is appropriate to speak of business secret but this is our strategy: everywhere there are men and women who run companies, we have a very good team because people really matter to us. Therefore, this wonderful team is able to make its own contribution also outside Italy and this was shown in all the investments we made in Europe where we have six plants: in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Russia. In Russia, with a population of 120 million people and therefore a  big country, it  has a huge potential and we have to size the rich opportunities it offers.



How do you handle the high competition in this sector?

Zuegg has a simple strategy: the best product distributed in a efficient and effective way, that’s why the product has to be handled and distributed in the best possible way by our team. In doing so, product, distribution and team are the conditions to better satisfy our customers. Through this very simple strategy, we become absolutely competitive not only in Italy but also abroad.

The proof of what I am saying is that during the economic crisis of the last three or four years, Zuegg has significantly grown in Europe.

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