Traditional company since 1952
For 70 years, the Clementi family from South Tyrol has been perfecting the art of producing the best fruit. Their apples, pears, kiwis and plums from all over northern Italy are coveted by retailers and consumers. Today, the company’s own operations benefit from its knowledge and experience, as do numerous producers throughout Italy. At Clementi, we are convinced that this is only possible if a family business, its employees, and its partners pursue a common goal over a long period of time.
1952 – How it started…
Joseph Clementi establishes a fruit business in Laives, in the middle of sunny South Tyrol. Together with his brothers, he had already been growing fruit for years. Now he seizes his chance and turns from farmer to trader. He picks up the picked fruit directly from the farmers and loads it by hand onto his cart -25 kilos of apples or 30 kilos of pears in each wooden crate.
His six children also lend a hand. Among them is his son Richard, who is still managing director at Clementi today. They weigh the crates in the warehouse in Laives, then it’s off to the storage halls. Up to 20 wooden crates are stacked on top of each other here. The work is hard. But the whole family is determined to build something on their own.
1972 – More space for apples and pears
Business goes well: Joseph Clementi needs more space for his goods and acquires a new warehouse in Laives. Here, too, they continue to haul, stack, and sort by size and quality by hand. The strenuous work makes one forget the cold in the winter months.
Joseph’s wife Paula Pfeifer is also standing at the scales and helps to sort in the warehouse. And the wholesale markets in Munich and Hamburg are already waiting for the goods from South Tyrol.
1980 – New technology ensures quality
After the early death of Joseph Clementi, his son Richard takes over the business. His siblings are also involved: Johanna and Christine in accounting and administration, Luis and Peter in the cultivation. With his enthusiasm for technology, Richard creates a spirit of optimism. A mechanical sorting machine is purchased, later replaced by electrical machines for sorting and packing.
Soon, a complete packaging line is set up. Storage methods are also evolving: atmosphere and temperature can now be controlled specifically. Apples and pears thus stay fresh much longer. The company is ready to supply not only wholesale markets but now also food retailers.
1986 – ‘Moch mor ins die Epfel holt selbst’
‘We’ll make the apples ourselves,’ says Richard Clementi.
The family sets itself the goal of convincing its customers with absolute reliability and delivery reliability. In order to guarantee a stable supply, the siblings buy their own producer farms and manage them themselves – first in Bologna and Ferrara, then others in northern Italy.
1996 – The Gala Team is founded
Through their work on their own farms, Luis Clementi and his partners have accumulated an enormous wealth of experience in fruit growing. They bundle their know-how in a consulting company, the Gala Team. Initially, it primarily supports their own farms. At the same time, the family’s network grows: With the Gala Team, Clementi can now supply everything to do with fruit – from the tree to the packaged product. In addition, complete plants are now being redeveloped.
During this period, the Clementis form a close partnership with the Tagliani Vivai and Braun nurseries. Through this collaboration, Clementi always has access to new varieties. And together, the three families advance the development of varieties.
From 1996 – Clementi becomes a sought-after partner
Cultivation methods and success of the Clementi family arouse the curiosity of local farmers. More and more fruit growers want to achieve comparable high quality and work with the Gala team. Their marketing opportunities also make the Clementi family an interesting partner.
The siblings Richard, Luis, Johanna, Christine and Peter, together with other members, found the Società Cooperativa Agricola Laives and join the Consorzio Interregionale Ortofrutticolo. The products of the cooperative are distributed by Clementi. The merger expands their catchment area to cover the whole of northern Italy.
2013 – New cold stores for short distances
Clementi is setting up additional cold storage facilities in the new growing regions. This means that the products can be stored shortly after harvesting in a way that preserves their quality. The fruit is spared long truck journeys during the hot months. The first cold storage facility is being built in Rizza Villafranca (Verona) near one of Clementis’ first own operations. Another cold storage facility follows in Rai (San Polo di Piave).
By joining the COZ di Zevio (a local producers’ cooperative) and subsequently taking over the business, a branch office is set up in Santa Maria di Zevio near Verona, which is logistically well located. Thus, other products such as plums and pears can now be processed. The excellent infrastructure motivates many producers in the region to switch to Clementi.
2020 – The headquarters get expanded
The 70th anniversary is just around the corner and the main site in Laives is dressing up like a polished apple: special thought is being given to the employees.
They get a new canteen, new changing rooms and new bathrooms. In production, a new workroom is being built – and a new sorting machine is going into operation.
2022 – 70 years of Clementi!
Family, friends and employees celebrate what they have achieved together. Paula Pfeifer, who helped build the company alongside our founder Joseph Clementi, is still a part of it all.
The passion of many heads and the diligence of many hands has allowed the company to grow over the years. In the process, a togetherness has emerged which customers, partners and all people at Clementi share equally.