GIMED: Boniviri, a start-up bringing high quality food to the table in Italy
“Our idea wants to solve one of the problems of small Italian farmers: they often produce excellent food, but have problems in marketing them”. These are some of the words shared by Corrado Paternò, the founder and manager of Boniviri. The Italian start-up is a benefit corporation that develops healthy and high-quality agrifood products such as virgin olive oil, creating social and environmental value together with those who buy and those who produce.
More and more consumers in Italy want high quality and sustainable products and also know the producers. Boniviri buys healthy and long-life products at a fair price measuring the carbon footprint of their products and resetting them with reforestation projects. They also develop packaging as sustainable as possible and take the risk of marketing the products, helping farms and supporting them throughout the production process.
In a nuthsell, Boniviri three main’s objectives are:
Protect small farms of excellence, undertaking with them a path of sustainability
Mitigate climate change through the compensation of greenhouse gas emissions generated by its value chain
Develop eco-friendly products
Boniviri was founded by three members, all of them working in different fields before creating the start-up such as consultancy, marketing and agriculture. “The company was founded approximately 8 months before joining GIMED’s training program”, comments Corrado. They discovered this opportunity through a friend working in the EU project management sector. Thus, they applied and got selected by Fondazione Communità di Messina, the Italian partner of the project.
Boniviri is committed to reduce emissions through conscious choices regarding the production, processing and transportation of product.
In Corrado’s words, the training was very useful because it gave them tools and insightful instructions to improve their business and financial plan. “Thanks to the material provided during the sessions and the precious support offered by experts, start-ups have at their disposal all the necessary tools to better define their mission and transform it into a solid business plan”, underlines Corrado.
Along the training they used the Switchmed methodology in the framework of The Switchers Support Program, developed by the Lead Partner of GIMED, the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), with the implementation of the local partner Fondazione Communità di Messina among the selected start-ups.
How Covid-19 crisis affected the launching of the project?
Boniviri was set up in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking into consideration that their main customers are restaurants and hotels, there were obviously some market limitations at the beginning. The worldwide health crisis obliged them to be more innovative than ever and run away from traditional industry.
The “carbon neutral” oil bottle was one of this interesting innovations and gave them a lot of visibility. They were actually able to get the attention of the media and it helped Boniviri to accelerate its growth in the initial phase of the project. As a matter of fact, the biggest accomplishment they share is when they were awarded by Olio Officina with the Green Award in the ‘Le forme con l’olio’ contest.
In general, Corrado recognises that ENI CBC MED Programme is being very useful to deepen the fundamental aspects of the business plan of the company and know othe entrepreneurial realities. “We suggest to always have a proactive attitude. The risk for a start-up is to lose momentum trying to analyze all the possible scenarios”, explains and advices Corrado.