The commercial success of some producers of local products is often linked to the skills of an entrepreneur, a company, and the local area in storytelling, or in sharing the deep-seated wealth at the core of their product. Often these stories of passion, hard work, quality, would otherwise remain behind the scenes; but today with Internet, it's all coming out.
The appeal of this challenge has been picked up by various micro-enterprises that have found ways of bringing to life the infinite variety of Italy’s food heritage, often in similar ways. One of these is Discovery Food
, a start-up founded in April 2014 that, thanks to an idea shared by three young guys from Puglia - Vito Tafuni, Giovanni Mangiatordi and Michele Spinelli - won Telecom Italia’s Working Capital in July 2014. Without further ado, the three entrepreneurs packed their bags and took off to Milan where they began shaping their ideas ready to go online on November 30.
"Behind every food product there is a story, and it's a story worth telling - says Mangiatordi - but unfortunately even excellent producers have little time to spend on self-promotion or technological skills. Our team, consisting of, among others, two photographers and a specialized copywriter, collects information and materials to create a showcase, which can really pique our reader's curiosity and engage them." Some producers will also use the platform as a marketplace to sell their specialties in Italy or abroad.
"Our site aims not to be a container of products, but of stories - says Spinelli - and so we offer our services to those who so not have the scale for an e-commerce structure or retail facilities throughout Italy, but basically want to be known and to get re-acquainted with visiting customers."
Passion and craftsmanship are ... in a box
"The most exciting part of a food product is the story of who produced it." This belief underlies Originàrio
, a new digital platform that allows you to receive every month a tasting box containing a new and different 'story to taste'. "Our vision is to reach people who are passionate – the so-called foodies – about foods and wines made with passion – says Sissi Semprini, a specialist in corporate communications and creator of Originàrio – from the people we got to know over there, where every day they create something good. From a high-quality product, we draw attention to the producer and to the local area of origin. And they tell the story. Using parameters of excellence, our selection also takes into account the sustainability of production methods, respect for people and the environment, according to the principle of 'good and well done', which falls right in the center of the best culinary traditions. "After the first test in July, Box 02 came out in October with the further release in November of a "premium" version dedicated to the festive season. Each box is a concept and contains a selection of gourmet products, from wine to dessert, tasting notes and recipes to enhance the products. Quantities are sufficient for a dinner or a drinks party, because the conviviality is a typical element of 'Italian eating'. Originario aims to combine content and e-commerce, appealing immediately to international markets. Indeed Box 01 is already shipping all over Europe.
The farmer gets social with Farmr
Whereas Farmr, an iOS app that lets you share and book fresh food from small farmers, grocers and farmers amateurs, hinges on the idea of proximity. It was presented as a prototype at the last H-ack Food
organized by H-Farm. It is a very simple but effective idea. The small producer has to register on the platform, take a picture of the production that they want to sell that day, write a brief description and share it on the net. Those interested, should contact the manufacturer to arrange the sale.
"Our goal is to bring small farmers, especially organic ones, closer to consumers - say Giovanni Cappellotto, co-founder of Farmr – or even, to make food more popular than it is now." In short, even the democratization of food, has a social soul.