Simec is a Sardinian mill, one of the largest in Italy: consider that it grinds about 9,800 quintals of wheat in 24 hours – Alberto Cellino, Chairman of the Board of Directors, chose to start with the numbers to immediately give a clear picture of his company.
We mainly process durum wheat flour and semolina for the markets of bakery, biscuits and large-scale retail in maxi-size packages. Simec is the first cog in a complex machine, the Cellino Group, which controls the entire production chain from seed to table. In addition to the Simec mill, the Group manages a pasta factory, a biscuit factory, a feed mill and a distribution chain.
We also import pulses, cereals and protein meals (mainly sunflower and soya), products that are then used in the regional livestock sector.
The factory at the entrance to the port allows us to handle incoming ships 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with considerable savings in landing, logistics and energy costs. A photovoltaic system meets around 10 per cent of Simec’s needs, which are particularly energy-intensive by nature and have led us to rationalise and concentrate our work in the lowest price bands.
We have been customers of Banca Ifis for at least a decade. We have a strong relationship with the bank which recently offered us support to cope with the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
The SupportItalia Guaranteed Loan allowed us to buy commodities much more expensive than those we previously bought from the Ukrainian market such as soft wheat, maize and peas. In fact, we had to differentiate the markets of origin (US, Canada, Brazil) with a cost increase of between 40% and 60%.
The Banca Ifis loan with SACE guarantee has made it possible to cushion these severe effects, although some expenses will necessarily have to be passed on to a small extent also to the products and therefore to the end consumer. We are committed, in these difficult times, to keep this impact to a minimum by rationalising and optimising working hours and plant productivity.
Despite the current situation, we want to continue to invest in setting up large storage facilities for Simec so that we can keep plenty of raw materials in stock. This is crucial for us, given the uncertainty and sudden changes we have witnessed in recent years.
We aim to create storage that will allow us to have sufficient stock for at least 60 days, so that if one market fails, there is time to turn to alternative ones. We can currently store 1 million quintals. My goal is to increase this to 1.3 – 1.4 million quintals, so we are looking at areas where we can do this thanks also to some incentives offered by the NRRP.