AGRIMENT ITALIA, export manager at the service of Made in Italy
We interviewed Anna Maria Ciccarone, founder of Agriment Italia, an international, competent and flexible reality.
Agriment Italia is a varied reality involved in wine marketing and communication. What do you exactly do?
We are mainly export managers with a client portfolio of 35 wineries, although we collaborate with about 50 companies. They are generally small companies, to which we are linked with a collaboration that is always of mutual choice. We want to be experienced by the customer with a bond of belonging and not as a simple "agency", trying to be an internal resource for them. This means trust, a step-by-step connection and, of course, common goals.
Agriment Italia was born with the desire to enhance Made in Italy, to give space, voice and visibility to companies and importers operating mainly in the food and wine sector. What do you do specifically for producers?
Our work is always personalized and tailor-made, we mainly help wineries in the choice of foreign markets and possible investments. Our first goal is to seek business partners for our customers. For a winery this means creating relationships on new markets, presenting their products to importers from all over the world or identifying new and appropriate distribution channels, at the same time developing educational programs addressed to buyers and opinion leaders. We provide research, consulting, development, innovation and marketing services to wineries and consortia, facilitating access to international events thanks to the sharing of costs, a non-negligible element given that many of them are small businesses.
What do you do for importers?
We carefully choose the products to offer, always taking into consideration the country of destination, guaranteeing a broad, varied portfolio, intended for a target with medium-high economic availability. It is essential to maintain contact with them and support them in their markets, adapting offers, packaging and media to the distribution channels and consumer demands. To do this we create new forms of support (Digital Export Manager), innovative sales formulas, adapting the tools (online) and products (if necessary) specifically for the target market. We are also launching a project designed specifically for young people, in a language and with an approach closer to their way of communicating.
I really like the way you define yourself: international, competent, flexible. Who is the soul of Agriment Italia?
A team of 7 people in Italy plus a network of partners abroad, who strive to find solutions in the most agile way and in the shortest time. The key word is interchangeability even if each of us follows its own market. After years in the marketing field, I have decided to make my passion my job. With a degree in Economics, a Master in Paris and many years of experience in the Marketing Department of some multinationals, I wanted to follow my passion. I started by enrolling in the viticulture and oenology course at the University of Turin. I graduated, I got a Masters in Barolo and Barbaresco and I have been preparing to get the 3rd level of WSET. With me there is a team of professionals such as Simone, Sommelier FISAR and Teacher FISAR, collaborator of the Slow Wine guide and a long experience in the wine & beverage sector in wine shops and in large Italian companies in which he has cultivated his numerous knowledge on the markets. Then there is Chiara: super international, she has traveled the world cultivating her experience in the field. Several years of work in Australian and New Zealand wineries combined with her passion for Italian wine have made her a polyglot in the story of the glass. Tara: Lebanese by origin, Italian by adoption. She discovers Italian wine after switching from French wine consumption. She is so passionate about attending a master on wine communication in Florence. Vinitaly Wine Ambassador you have gained various experiences around the world. She is now studying to pass the WSET Diploma. Finally Giovanna and Federica: the first Oenologist, graduated in viticulture and enology at the University of Turin, determined to devote herself to the commercial rather than the productive part of the sector in order to travel and share new relationships in the name of wine. The second, Federica, passionate about Chinese language and culture as much as about wine, enters the sector immediately after graduating in Chinese, passing the second level WSET course. She is also preparing to pass the III step. Then we add our partners abroad: in China, USA and Russia, a fundamental part of the Agriment Italia team.
Can you tell us your road-map in a few words?
Our company Agriment Italia was founded in 2010. In 2011, the transition from consultancy to commercial activity took place with the opening of the first market in Asia in the following year. In 2013 the choice to set it up as my sole proprietorship. Since that moment I have developed my work in a structured way with the choice of some collaborators including, in 2016, a resident partner in NY. In 2018 the team was completed with the current collaborators. From 2019 until today we have worked successfully to develop new digital sales channels, from Alibaba to important local players, up to our e-commerce platform Agrimentitaliashop.com. Today we focus on social media, the Education project aimed at professionals and new ideas such as Graperoads Stories and the #tastingcommunites format.
In support of the work of customers, importers and distributors, Agriment Italia Academy and Graperoads Stories were born. What are they about?
They are two projects always aimed at our customers. The first, which is taking shape thanks to the collaboration with Sandro Minella, a highly experienced trainer, includes 6 courses that will be offered for sale on e-commerce. Those who purchase the "packages" will receive the bottles needed to follow the course and the online tasting. Graperoads Stories, on the other hand, has as its contents the creation of an “episodic” story, whose protagonists are an importer, Anna (AgrimentItalia team) and our producers. The goal is to create material that remains available to the importer and that allows him to get to know the different companies and the territory as much as possible.
What themes will Agriment Italia's future work focus on?
Definitely the development of local partners in South America, India and South East Asia. Among the short-term objectives is the opening of a Trading Company in China, which supports the existing logistics network. The expansion of the e-commerce platform to new countries. The development of a portfolio increasingly oriented towards companies with strong territorial identities, preferably organic ones. Commercial distribution in the USA is also essential for us. We would also like to implement the training of Agriment Italia Academy, the network of local partners that has become a strong competitive asset in times of low mobility, the Kool Line catalog designed for young people, new formats such as Wine Tubes and the immense work (which has already become fundamental ) who works as our Digital Export Manager.