6 Questions to a successful Global Food Trader

02/06/2015 Alifood at Expo 2015

Today we eat different kind of food without thinking about, but it isn’t taken for granted the opportunity to choose what to eat and which products use to prepare a dinner, selecting between every kind of culinary tradition. 

Actually, the importing of foods has been going on for thousands of years: the first time it was possible to draw on a range of foods grown in different regions marked a key moment in the development of human societies. Food trading began 4.000 years ago and today we can enjoy the highest evolved food trader management: personalized, faster, and sustainable with healthier and technological food preservations. So, what does it means to be to the top of food chain? Maybe, the director of food chain?

What does it means to be one of the most important global food trader in XXI century? I asked it to Alifood CEO,  Mr. Vittorio Doria Lamba.

There, 6 questions I have done to a successful Global Food Trader:

  1. What does it means to be a global food trader? How can we explain this profession?

Now and day, a global food trader is not a simple seller anymore. A global food trader is a seller, but also a merchant, an exporter, the true manager of the whole food supply chain and of the value products chain. A food trader manages different kind of activities: he picks the products, visits factories, checks the chain and all compulsory documents for each country engaged in the process. Of course, he has to know every type of food products and their value to manage them for international market, according to convenience criteria and focusing on customer’s needs.

He doesn’t sell only products, he suggest manufacturing methods and the way of cooking and he also supply services and informations


  1. How was the global food trader sector when you began?

The biggest change is due to web revolution. Before of the web era, Italian products weren’t as popular as they are today. The sell system were based only offline and this meant lower possibility for product knowledge and business relations. Technologies and the web world offer more information and business opportunities but also a stricter selection system. Thanks to web, market is more sustainable and transparent: we’re participating to a new circulations of informations, we can know new products in an easier way and recognize who acts as food trader.

  1. How we can distinguish an Italian food trader and a food trader who doesn’t work with Italian products?

Italy has a solid manufacturing background, an advantage in term of quality that abroad our competitors haven’t. Outside of Italy, the most part of products are industrial products: other countries have anticipated the technological era, but they haven’t a strong culinary tradition. Here, we have small companies, usually family companies, with tradition and a manufacturing history but no experience to export.

  1. According to your experience: what should you change about Italian food industry?

If I had a wand, I’d like to hint to producers that it’s not enough to seduce with their products to corner the market. They have to become an international operator, maintaining at the same time their traditions. Italian local market is saturated, but many Italian producers don’t have enough experience to export their products worldwide. That is a shame, because international partnerships and export sales are an important business opportunity.

Also, if I had a wand I’d like more protection for the made in Italy: there’s a big problem called “Italian sounding” and Italian government authorities should improve the protection from economic and brand damage due to forged products.

  1. What do you advise to whom want take up this career?

It’s important to fix that to be food trader means to sell contacts and knowledge, not exclusively products. They don’t have to focus only on products (although excellent) and remember that “made in Italy” is one of the most famous and free brand, synonymous of healthy and high quality food.

  1. A question about your company: how was born Alifood’s idea?

Alifood was born many years ago from a very interesting dinner with a Japanese TOP manager. He showed me that at that time many French restaurants were in the best Japanese hotels, and at the same time the Italian presence was very scarce, even if it’s delicious and refine cuisine is more and more refined (It is his personal taste, clearly!).  In effect, Italian food has two unique features: tradition and variety. Two quality that got off to Alifood’s dream. In my job it is important remember a powerful truth:

Italy more than good food produce extraordinary ingredients


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About Alifood

About Alifood

We strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. We do not see ourselves as mere food traders.

The sale of the products we select is just the last step of a complex, structured process that is based on strong business relationships and, in many cases, real partnerships. Our job is made of several functions: sourcing the right product, selecting a reliable producer, managing the entire logistics chain, providing all the necessary documentation and certifications and following up all the after-sale requirements besides consulting and tutoring on how to best use each single product. We do all this because we strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. Our familiarity with the Italian food an agricultural industry, developed over the last twenty years, gives us the ability to efficiently deal with all the diverse needs pertaining to different markets.

Thanks to our experienced, professional and multilingual global working team, matching international demand and local supply is what we do best.

Efficient, customizable, fast

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