The far-sightedness and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Zucchi family goes back to the early years of the nineteenth century. Craftsmanship oil business began in 1810 in the area around Lodi for the extraction of seed oil. ‘Our ancestors had a polenta mill and a small oil mill’ says Vito Zucchi, currently manager of the company with the same name, ‘a press where they would press both corn seed and linen seed. In the Po Valley the cultivation of flax was very widespread and from its seed they would obtain a virgin oil used in food. In a region like this, with a well-established tradition bound to the use of animal fats, betting on the production of vegetable oils was certainly a sign of courage and far-sightedness’. The business transforms at the beginning of the twentieth century into industrial production thanks to the significant quantities of volumes produced. In 1922 the first industrial site was built near Cremona which in only 16 years, took on the dimensions of a proper factory. Also during those years the refining process was introduced, thus allowing the marketing of Zucchi Oil on the mass food consumption market. 1946 is the official date of birth of the present-day Oleificio Zucchi SPA; indeed with its registration on the roll of businesses the company revived following the difficult times owing to the world war. In 1955 Mr Gianni Zucchi has a meeting that will considerably influence the company’s future. “That year my uncle met the owners of one of the main Italian distribution groups of the time” recalls Vito Zucchi, “who proposed that they package their oil in glass bottles for sale in the chain of large-scale trade. My uncle didn’t let the opportunity slip by and in the space of a few years he began to package, one of the first in Italy, seed oil“.
Towards the end of the fifties Mr Gianni Zucchi decides to build an innovative refining systemworking in a continuous cycle, able to produce large quantities of oil of a constant quality. That’s how over the following decade the historic brand Zeta went from the channel of the processing industry to retail marketing.
Also in those years Gianni Zucchi realised what today is still the main company mission, that is, the vocation to producing and processing the product to meet the demands of trade and image of organised large-scale retail trade. “He should be credited with the merit of perceiving, before others, the enormous development that large-scale retail trade would have had. Our company has practically grown with the birth and development of supermarkets which would turn to Oleificio Zucchi because they were the real experts of the sector”.
With the entry into management of nephew Vito Zucchi, during the seventies and eighties, and thanks to the continuous improvement of its production and quality processes, Oleificio Zucchi has kept pace with the growth of large-scale retail trade, thus achieving a rapid rise in its own production and business.
The constant development of the company called, in the early nineties, for a need to move the plant to its current site on the area of the navigable canal of Cremona, covering an area of 80,000 square metres. Under the guidance of President Vito Zucchi the company further developed its amount of business and this led, in the mid nineties, to the last significant structural expansion of the packaging department, with the consequent increase in production capacity, and to the maximum rationalisation of the logistic function subdivided among various private brands.
Since then, and recently with the entrance of sons, Giovanni and Alessia Zucchi, and of a new structure of managers, the plant has constantly kept up to date with the latest knowledge in technical plant engineering, thereby managing to always respond to market demands in terms of product quality and environmental impact with particular attention to the quality constancy of service and flexibility in supply.
It is in recent years that there has been a further important development at Oleificio Zucchi: the introduction of a line of olive oil as a natural completion of the product range. The history and continuous innovations of Oleificio Zucchi, now a leader in the home market, have managed to make it become the most reliable and approved partner of modern trade as well as innovative player in the market of seed and olive oils.