A few days ago, the first containers containing frozen pizzas stuffed with meat products destined for the US market left the Meduno (Pordenone) plant of Roncadin, the Italian company based in Friuli specializing in the production of frozen pizzas. This is an important milestone for a food company which has always relied on high quality, Italian raw materials and a short supply chain. It is also the completion of a long process necessary to be able to export to the USA meat composite products that meet the strict standards dictated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
The Italian companies authorized to export this kind of products are listed in a special register of the Italian Ministry of Health, which inspects the production plants through the regional and provincial veterinary services. “The authorization – says CEO Dario Roncadin – is the result of a two year work that involved also our regular suppliers. Experts from the Veterinary Service of the Province of Pordenone have supported us and provided all indications necessary to adapt our production processes to the required health standards.”
RONCADIN FOCUSING ON THE US MARKET
Roncadin has been producing pizzas for the US market since 2016. Until now its pizzas were stuffed only with cheese and organic and non-organic vegetables. Thanks to the authorization just obtained for composite products with meat, Roncadin is on its way to making the USA one of its main markets, for an estimated $50 million in annual sales.
“Frozen pizzas for the US market are made according to a special protocol, studied and codified in an internal manual, with the dedicated use of a production line which is separated from the rest of the plant” – says Dario Roncadin. “The ingredient preparation rooms are also separated from the other lines. The staff has been trained in the specific procedures during these months.” Adherence to correct procedures standards is constantly monitored the staff of the Veterinary Service, which supervises every production destined for the USA according to a program called Daily Inspection carried out with a view to guaranteeing consistency.
PIZZA WITH MEAT: A STAPLE IN THE USA
In the United States, pizza with meat is the most popular product in the frozen pizza segment. On a total market that is worth almost 5 billion euros of total turnover, the most sold is the Pepperoni pizza, which despite its name “is not a pizza with peppers, intended as vegetables” – underlines Mr. Roncadin. “Americans call ‘Pepperoni’ a lightly smoked sausage made with pork and matured beef, seasoned with paprika or chili pepper. Being able to export pizzas of this kind, or with other types of salami, is a great opportunity for our company to expand further.”
This is therefore a further step in Roncadin’s development strategy on international markets. The company, for which exports represent 70% of total turnover, has recently acquired (it was the first Italian food company to do so) ISO 28000 certification on supply chain safety: an important competitive advantage with large-scale retail buyers.
ISO 28000 comes in addition to Roncadin’s other product and process certifications: BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, IFS Food, Bioagricert, Vegan, MSC Environmental Standard for Sustainable Fishing and Smeta – Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit. The company performs over 3,600 microbiological and chemical analyses of incoming raw materials and outgoing finished products each year.