A better headline might be ‘Taste the best of Italy’s produce in London’. It’s all courtesy of Natoora and Franco Fubini, the Argentine who established it in 2005. Bringing it in at a rate of 70-80 pallet loads a month, the UK distributor today supplies 90% of the market’s F&V and other fresh foods of peerless flavour.The company imports more than 50% of its produce from Italy to the tune of some €250 thousand a month, or nearly €3 million a year.
The secret of Natooras success? It's all in the top flavour and taste of the items it selects, as its demanding customers can attest: 4 of the country's leading retail chains, 9 locations of Whole Foods, the flagship store of Selfridges in Oxford Street, and luxury retailer Harrods in Brompton Road.
Natoora is redrawing the produce charts: 100% sustainable supplies and a whole new course for the eating pleasure of its customers. It’s as much cultural sea change as business philosophy that it shares with like-minded suppliers who have come on board to stay the route. “We once purchased all our produce at Milan’s Municipal Market -so Roberto Rossi, Natoora’s produce buyer-. Today we do more than 80% of our business with markets like Verona, Fondi in Latina and Lusia in Rovigo as well as dealing directly with local producers”.
Natoora has standards for selecting suppliers. One is local origin. For instance, it buys basil from Savona districts, bull’s heart tomato in lower Piedmont, western Liguria and Sorrento, San Marzano in Campania, chestnut in Tuscany, chicory in the Luisa area, artichoke in Sardinia, citrus in Sicily. Another is seasonality. Another criterion is never short change on price. For Natoora it’s the quality of a grower’s produce that commands the price it pays and assures quality in the long run.