These are times of great challenges for all companies. Not only risks and uncertainties, but also opportunities for those who know how to rethink their strategies and look ahead with optimism.
Francesco Di Pietro, Hydro Fert’s Export Manager since 2013, tells us how the company has reacted to current changes and what its plans for the future are now.
How has the international scenario changed due to the pandemic?
In 2020, when the pandemic broke out, we experienced a moment of stalemate due to the uncertainty of the markets worldwide. After that, we’ve been able to adapt to the new scenario and start over again.
Markets have given heterogeneous reactions to such situation. Some countries have been more affected by Covid, while others have reacted better. Hydro Fert managed to compensate the losses of the former ones with the good results of the others, also acquiring new markets in the meantime.
And what about Brexit?
Brexit does not affect us directly, because we are currently not present in that market. By extension, many new international alliances involving UK could somehow change many international balances. We’ll see.
How have you changed your strategies about internationalization?
The measures preventing us from travelling have certainly penalized our international development schedule. As a matter of fact, trade fairs, meetings and technical visits are a powerful promotional and sales tool.
Therefore, we’ve focused on the web, by developing more targeted online campaigns, enhancing digital tools (website and social channels) and constantly taking part in online events of institutional and professional nature (Italian Trade Agency, Confindustria Association, etc.).
We also have paid more attention to the needs of active markets in order to strengthen our presence on the territories, and at the same time we’ve improved the activities of our R&D dept. to enhance our commercial offer for what concerns both quality and innovation.
Is the «Made in Italy» a value for fertilizers?
Even in fertilizers sector, «Made in Italy» is a very strong pushing factor. All this results in a big advantage, but also a deep responsibility, as our products have to continually meet the quality expectations of markets.
Which are the areas where you currently export the most?
The markets with the greatest penetration for us are based into 3 macro-areas: South-East Europe, MENA area (Middle East and North Africa) and Far East.
What are the best markets and products for the future?
In addition to the strengthening of active markets, we are definitely focusing on Europe, the rest of the Maghreb region, Southeast Asia and some Latin American countries.
Regarding products, biostimulant fertilizers, especially those of plant origin, have the greatest growth potential. The challenge will be to offer formulations from sources and raw materials as much different as possible and to continuously keep us update about ever-changing regulations affecting their production and sales.