In 1891 Luigi Salvi, grandfather of the present chairman with the same name of UNACOA SpA, took the fruit from the growers in the countryside with a cart pulled by a horse to the market of Bergamo.
The family business, took a different direction, and Louis, the grandson of the founder, moved to Ferrara, center of gravity of a rapidly expanding fruit area, where he started a flourishing business.
A turning point: the company begins to produce direct Salvi fruit not only in order to complete the supply, but above all in the area to introduce the most advanced farming techniques.
The organizational model tested in Ferrara, based on the development of marketing with the production, is replicated successfully in Battipaglia and, later, also in Scanzano Jonico Metapontino. Also in 70 starts the nursery activity in the belief that quality products can only be achieved by controlling the entire process, from variety selection to delivery of the product in the shop.
With the belief that the quality of the fruit is done in the country and comes from a close collaboration between producers and markets, the company Salvi has evolved into a real consortium, UNACOA SpA where farmers are no longer mere suppliers but members of a large group
The Salvi Group deals in the marketing of fruits and vegetables (more than 100.000 tons/year), with both direct production of crops (700 hectares of orchards and 200 hectares of strawberry plants under tunnel) and indirect production (through 1200 fruit farmers giving their products to the Group). The Salvi trademark has been synonymous of quality since a very long time; this quality means correspondence to the typical characteristics of each variety and limited chemical residues.
The European fruit and vegetable market requires more and more quality; this is reached partly through the growing cares and the farmers' work, but the most important element is the choice of the variety, the rootstock (in case of fruit-trees) and the nursery plant material.
This last and very important point led the Salvi Company to develop its nursery activity, started many years ago, in a continuous way, in order to supply its associated farmers/producers and its own farms with good varieties and plant material.
Strawberry represents an important aspect of the activities of SALVI GROUP. In addition to conducting on-going research into optimum growing techniques, SALVI VIVAI has for several years been carrying out genetic and biotechnical research. Other areas of investigation include voluntary plant health certification, distribution and commercial protection of new varieties. SALVI GROUP'S comprehensive knowledge of both the Italian and overseas markets means that SALVI VIVAI can rapidly respond to meet varying demands whilst maintaining high quality standards. SALVI VIVAI offers certified nursery stock through its established distribution network. Because of the company's commitment to research and development, customers can rely on full technical back-up. At present SALVI VIVAI produces about 60 million strawberry plants a year on sterilized soils. The total area is about 100 hectares. Distribution is carried out by technically qualified administrative staff who also provide advice to customers, both in Italy and abroad. SALVI GROUP'S farms produce 6,000 tons of strawberries per year from 200 hectares of tunnel cultivation. This means that fruit can be harvested for more than six months of the year. At the same time new methods and materials are constantly being evaluated. In total, SALVI GROUP companies market 15,000 tons of strawberries, almost entirely for the fresh market. Seventy-five per cent of this production is sold outside Italy. Intense international competition in the fruit marketing business - especially within Europe - provides the spur for SALVI GROUP to continually expand, upgrade and improve its products, services and marketing techniques.