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RICE CHAMPIONS FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

The case of SP SPA Riseri a Italiana in Stroppiana (Vercelli) for the integration of supply chains and diversification of the value proposition. 

Why rice? 

Italian rice is an excellence of our agri-food heritage and represents more than 50% of the entire European production. It has a taste that is suitable for countless preparations in the kitchen, in the production of food products and not only, as the outer parts (husks) are also used for green building. It is a food with very ancient origins and is gluten-free, well digestible and unlikely to cause allergic reactions or intolerances. Rice is the essential food for more than half the world’s population, the world’s leading cereal not only in terms of consumption but also for its extraordinary nutritional values. 

About SP SPA Italian Rice Company 

SP SPA’s core business is the processing and sale of bulk and packaged rice for third parties and the marketing of its own product lines. With all the solidity that comes from the combination of careful family management and the support of investors from other sectors, with industrial and commercial knowledge and techniques, it has been possible for SP SPA to continuously modernise its plants and create a highly specialised professional and managerial team. 

SP SPA has been able to anticipate the times and become a reference manufacturer in its sector, seizing the new challenges and opportunities of the market and counting among its customers the most important names in the Italian food industry and major players at international level. With new production lines, SP SPA Italian rice producer has embarked on a path of sustainability, with partners very close to the territory and support, not only in the agricultural sphere, to the cultivation and culture of rice, produced locally, but also in the integration with industrial players and artisans, vinegar makers, breweries and distilleries, excellences in their field. 

In its technologically avant-garde and automated processing plants in Stroppiana, SP SPA, an Italian rice mill, presents itself on the national scene as a leader and innovator in production processes, in the integration of supply chains and suppliers, in environmental sustainability, and in the diversification of its offer, which today is declined in new food products, also thanks to the profitable collaboration with various international players. 

From its foundation in 2000 to the completion of several modules at the beginning of the year 2021, SP SPA, an Italian rice mill in Stroppiana, boasts an integrated plant that can process from paddy rice (rice cut in the field and dried by farmers) to white rice with an annual production of around 120,000 tonnes. One of the first companies in Italy to subject rice to closed-loop natural treatment, SP is a leader dedicated to the continuous reduction of emissions into the atmosphere, in line with the company’s values. 

In addition to 100 per cent raw material utilisation, SP supports its production energetically with a dedicated photovoltaic plant, soon to be further expanded. 

Patrizia Scalafiotti, CEO of SP,: “The investment made of almost 40 million in total in industrial assets over the last 7 years places SP as one of the leading players in the sector in terms of installed production capacity and innovative plants. The change in the corporate structure that took place in December 2020 with the entry of industrial and financial shareholders through a “club deal”, as well as the inclusion of new managerial figures within the company, place us as a company at the forefront of the sector, which looks to the future with strong growth objectives, especially on international markets. Rice is the number one eating cereal in the world and as such SP has initiated an industrial plan to move from a local to an international context with speed and tenacity. 

“Having completed an initial business phase, now the objective is to grow especially in the EU and non-EU by exploiting our production facility, our knowledge of the product, and by bringing innovation and service to a dynamic and evolving market,” comments Matteo Soppera, SP’s Sales Director.

“We have started a ‘Brand identity’ process with the aim of a new identification of the company on the market and a complete presentation of all our products in dedicated lines. In view of our decades of experience in the sushi rice market, we will also launch a dedicated ‘Sensei’ line, not only linked to the rice product, but which will be expanded in the condiment and vinegar area, with the partnership of a major vinegar maker, as well as ‘pre-cooked rice ready for poke’. 

As part of a process of new brand identity and redevelopment of the value proposition, SP SPA has developed a unique commercial and strategic proposition, for a new awareness of consumption, and to increasingly integrate rice with consumer needs: 

Classic Line: quality in simplicity;  

Gourmet Line: special products mainly for “Chef”;  

Bio Line: organic line;  

Sensei Line: it is a concept products line dedicated to the “sushi” market  

Ethnic Line: basmati and jasmine;  

Io Chef Line: Italian risotto with top quality ingredients; 

SP SPA is the only manufacturer that has promoted these transversal projects, along various supply chains, for the valorisation of rice and for a new culture, no longer focused only on the commercial proposition of simple cooking rice, but rice as a unique element that, thanks to its organoleptic capacities, is also the ideal base for vinegar, beer and spirits, not forgetting rice oil rich in Omega 3. 

SP SPA’s Unique Selling Proposition continues along these lines the ‘ready-made’ rice line, in trays, for the ready-to-eat rice sector, supporting products for vending machines and poké for dishes to be prepared independently at home or at work. The intention is always to enhance rice even during work breaks, guaranteeing all its characteristics and nutritional properties, to accompany a main dish, or as a single dish where only the seasonings need to be added. 

Rice thus passes from agricultural crop to agricultural culture, or rather to ‘terroir’, a concept that originated in the French agri-food industry, initially for viticulture, but which today indicates the enhancement of a natural environment (soil, climate), with human techniques inherited from tradition, to obtain an original, non-reproducible product, whose essential qualities are closely linked to the production site. 

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