[students' journal] Alce Nero Lecture

April 28, 2015

What is it like to be a student at BBS? Here is where they have their say on campus life, tips of Bologna, and much more. Written by and for the Students.

Read the other posts published on  March, and May.


Alce Nero Lecture

Forgive me, but when I come across a company that claims to be a sustainable farm that produces only the finest organic produce, I take it with a grain of salt. All too often consumers are fed an illusion of organic and sustainable agriculture, “Fair Market Price,” or progressive labor practices. Do a Google search on “food fraud” and you’ll have plenty of literature on how conscious eaters are duped, how immigrant farmers are exploited, and how profit margins consistently outweigh honesty. Companies get top-dollar for a fictitious biography of their apples and we’re all too willing to pay for the script and look forward to the sequel.

Enter Alce Nero.

We had a Lecture this past week from a company I was unfamiliar with. When the presenter Silvia Forte (International Department Marketing Manager) first introduced her company, Alce Nero, I was prepared for a round of “Bullshit Bingo”: buzzwords, stale metaphors, and artificial sincerity. I yawned, rolled my eyes, and readied the tools Bologna Business School has taught me to utilize when evaluating a company.

The sour grapes I had been gnawing on since prior to the lecture grew sweeter as Silvia gave an in-depth analysis of Alce Nero’s business model; every statement she made in regard to the purity of Alce Nero’s products were backed-up with facts. Despite my staunch misanthropy of companies with such a suspiciously squeaky-clean image, I was completely swayed.

Alce Nero is the leading organic food company in Italy, which is a substantial achievement considering we live in, well, Italy. Is there any other country in the world that makes the “best” of so many things?

Best cars? Italy.
Best motorcycles? Italy.
Best coffee? Italy.
Best olive oil? Italy.
Best pasta and pizza? Italy.
Best ice cream? Italy.
Best women? You get the point.

A principal characteristic of the success of Alce Nero is their complete control over the entire production process from growing the crops, harvesting and packaging, to delivery. The entire catalog of offerings are made with organic raw materials, transferred using technologies that maintain integrity. The few products that are sourced outside of Italy are certified Fair Trade, and Alce Nero maintains a close direct relationship with all suppliers. Beyond a Fair Trade certification, Alce Nero additionally performs its own random audits to ensure standards.

An example of their fanatic dedication to the highest quality is that Alce Nero’s production practices are actually designed to mimic the process of nature. For example, instead of heating raw honey to 90℃ to liquify it like most companies do, Alce Nero heats it to 40℃ (the same internal temperature as a beehive), which takes significantly more time to liquify but maintains the nutritional value of the product. Really?! I didn’t even know that was a thing to do! Alce Nero is more than just a company, they’re a beacon of light in the fog of a sometimes questionable food industry.

Look, I can go on and on about Alce Nero but that’s not the point. I’m not writing this to entice the company to offer me a position with them (I’m not even in the Food & Wine concentration anyway), I’m writing this as an optimistically-reformed skeptic. It’s comforting to know that there are companies out there like Alce Nero; it feels really good to know that Bologna Business School’s professional network is saturated with firms like Alce Nero for each of the five concentrations’ hard-working students.

I can sit here and continue dancing on the keyboard of my computer for the sake of readers who want to know more about Alce Nero and Bologna Business School, but I trust that you’re able to satisfy any lingering curiosities on your own without my blatantly officious essay.

To be honest, I’m going to get something to eat.

Anthony Nistico, Global MBA  Green Energy
Anthony Nistico – USA
MBA Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses – Class 2014/2015




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