Giuseppe Natale, CEO at Valagro Spa
I started to work as an entrepreneur when I was twenty. My family used to manage a business operating in the agriculture industry. It was in 1980 when, together with Ottorino La Rocca, I decided to found the Farmer Italiana s.n.c., currently known throughout the world under the name of Valagro SpA.
I was a reflective and methodical neo-graduate surveyor. He was a brilliant and prompt accountant in charge of an educational institute.
We were very different, but we shared solid values: honesty, passion for our work and respect for people.
An African proverb says: “If you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far, go together”.
Our complementary visions allowed us to make entrepreneurial choices different from the others, also thanks to our capability to work as a team.
I still remember very vividly the first sign of discouragement that I felt when, in 1983, our company had to close the balance on loss for the third consecutive year since the start of the activities.
But it was on that day that I understood that the bond with Ottorino would have lasted a long time.
Another business partner left the corporate structure, while Ottorino and I firmly decided to continue. We had started with a minimum investment and very hard work, with the aim of acquiring skills that could range from agronomy to chemistry, from biology to plant physiology.
Since the days of the management of the family-run farm business, I had become more and more convinced that between the world of traditional fertilizers and that of agrochemicals there was an uncovered area: that of biostimulants. A positioning idea, capable of making the difference: “our blue ocean” as the experts of strategic marketing would have called it.
The vision and the mission of Valagro developed from this idea: offering effective and innovative solutions for plant nutrition and wellness, using science to make the best of Nature’s potentials in full respect of people and the environment.
Since its start Valagro has been investing in research and development, offering nutritional solutions for the specific needs of crops.
Ottorino and I have always been found of helping farmers in obtaining abundant and quality crops. However, we wanted also to allow them a more efficient use of water, soil and technical resources. We can say we made it, and we keep on investing, so that this relationship between quality, abundance and saving resources can continue in a more and more productive and sustainable way for them and for us.
In an environment where change is the only constant, we have been restructuring the company several times, focusing on the organization of the business divisions and on an internationalization process launched in the Nineties started in the Middle East, Europe and then subsequently spread throughout the world.
With 12 subsidiaries in 3 continents, over 600 collaborators throughout the world and a sales and distribution network in more than 80 countries, today Valagro is one of the leading multinational corporation in the production of technological resources for agriculture.
The changes and results that have characterized the growing process of the company, have been made possible also thanks to a great team of collaborators. What we are most proud about, at the present, is to see that over time our working environment has become a place of possibilities where excellent resources are capable to express their specific skills.
Today I can say that the success of our challenge has depended on three factors: different ideas, solid values and teamwork.