Founded in 1973, Sorma Group is a leading manufacturer of machinery used to automatically grade, weigh and pack fruit and vegetable products – supplying the entire range of machines and technology required for all types of fresh produce packaging.
Boasting facilities in Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, the Netherlands, the USA and Brazil, the company also works with 40 specialist distributors around the world to provide a truly global service.
ESM caught up with Mario Mercadini, marketing manager at Sorma Group, ahead of the company's participation at Fruit Attraction in Madrid this coming October.
Next year, Sorma Group celebrates its 50-year anniversary. How significant a milestone is that for the business?
I think it's a true confirmation of our way of working, because if we continue to grow after 50 years, it's an indication that the customer is satisfied with our work. We want that to continue.
We will endeavour to continue to increase our sales, as well as our relationship with supermarkets and with customers. I think this is a positive approach.
Sorma prides itself on offering a compete package for fruit and vegetable producers, from sorting to design to packaging to testing to consulting. In which areas do your clients most need assistance?
Anywhere they have machines, or where they have business – that's where they need assistance. We are present with our warehouse production facilities in Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and several other markets.
We have 15 companies all over the world, which reduces the need for exports – our French business sells in France, Sorma Iberica sells in Spain, and so on. Also, we have the right combination between materials and machinery – that's a key part of our business.
In what ways does Sorma work closely with its clients to develop solutions that are tailored for their specific needs?
We can provide customised products. Seeing as we work with fresh products that need to be served today, you need to be fast.
The market is growing globally, so you need to deal with many competitors – today you are good, but tomorrow, you are not good any more. You need to be fast, and reactive. It's also really important to have a local presence.
How important is sustainability for you?
It is a big task. We all have to make an effort – we have to bring some real solutions that can be implemented easily. For example, for us it's important that the client that chooses our machine knows that they can use standard packaging or plastic free packaging, for example.
As you mentioned before, you have offices across Europe. How does your geographical reach enable you to optimise your services and your offering for clients?
We truly believe in this type of approach. We grew in Italy, then we expanded to France. When, after a couple of years we developed a real market, then we invested in that market in order to build more of a presence.
If a particular market is good for us, and there is an opportunity to build a good market share, we will invest in physical infrastructure. For example, we recently opened three new warehouses – one in Visalia, California, one in Sicily and one in Calabria.
What's on the agenda for this year and beyond?
To work on sustainable products, and work on developing our optical sorters. We have some really good projects underway that we plan to showcase at Fruit Attraction.
For more information, visit sormagroup.com.
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