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FARE INSIEME - Ep. 176 - Niederwieser, high-tech packaging that starts from far away and looks to the world

«The attention towards sustainability is one of our strengths»



The production facility of a historic group featuring multiple facilities and working in various areas is located in Modena. The company actually takes care of the entire production process: from granules to flexible films and neutral or printed films. For FARE INSIEME, Giampaolo Colletti interviewed Matteo Pozzesi, General Manager at Niederwieser.

by Giampaolo Colletti


Distinguishing marks: hunger for innovation. There are no better words to describe this story. But let's proceed in an orderly fashion. Everything started during the second postwar period and, more precisely, in 1948, when small cured meat factories and producers started to grow and require evolved machinery. The technological evolution of production machinery went hand in hand with that of packaging, linked with the need for better preservation. In this case it was Alfons Niederwieser who had the intuition, an entrepreneur based in Bolzano who decided to import small machines for the food industry from Germany first as a sole proprietorship and then as a company. Do, and always do better. That is how innovation continues to knock at the door of these businesses. In 1974, his son Manfred widened the product portfolio and started with vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging machines. Manfred also understood that the market needed more evolved, better-performing packaging. Thus Alcom Srl was set up four years later in 1978, and started to produce and commercialize vacuum packaging. It was the dawn of an unprecedented revolution.      

From Emilia to the world. From Germany to Bolzano and from Bolzano to Emilia. Because this story has a lot to do with the capability of conquering places, exporting innovation. The first stop in Emilia is Modena, followed in 1995 by Campogalliano, an important transit area and a crossroads for products, talents and economies. Over time, the partners retired and, in 2006, Alcom became fully owned by Niederwieser. Today it boasts 5 facilities covering 22,500 square meters in total. 110 people work in Campogalliano, with a market reaching 70 countries worldwide thanks to the fact that 40% of trade accomplished abroad. There are 1,700 clients and growth is constant despite the crisis. Two production lines are located specifically in Campogalliano: the first is for vacuum bags for the industrial and domestic market, the second is for the flexographic printing of films for vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging. “We are a big family business. Big because, as a group, we exceed 300 people and €200 million turnover. Family because family values have remained at the helm of every company. Business because we all work every day. The family are still the owners, every company has its management with no family kinship, but the founding values have remained part of our DNA, which are: Fast, Fair & Personal. We have remained fair. We have developed speed because the market and our clients’ needs are constantly evolving, and we want to evolve with them to continue supporting them,” explains Matteo Pozzesi, General Manager at Niederwieser. In 2012, the company acquired 100% of the shares of the main supplier, VF Verpackungen. “We now work along the entire production chain because films are obtained from granules in Germany and bags are obtained from films in Italy. This gives us more control over the process, quality and hygiene,” stresses Pozzesi. There are multiple scopes of application, from Parmesan cheese to meat: with this company, the perfect solution is found for all kinds of products.      

In the name of eco-friendliness. The most rewarding moment? Undoubtedly, the inauguration of the new warehouse for 10,000 pallets, the fruit of three years of hard work. “The attention towards sustainability is one of our strengths: in 2018, we launched a line of Nextflex products, i.e. recyclable films for vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging. 2021 was marked by Operation Zero Waste: the company decided to invest in Germany to make sure that the German company did not generate waste from the production process. In the meantime, the future goes under the name of recycling that proceeds beyond fads and clichés. “For example, we need to learn to recognise the value of plastic in certain contexts and for certain applications, without generalising. Instead, we need to recycle when packaging is necessary and essential.” The future still needs to be written. But what makes a difference is the ability to grasp signals in a clear yet visionary way.

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