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Milling and Grain - Industry Faces
Interview with Mr. Zavatta

Extract from International Milling and Grain Directory 2016

Industry faces

The Pavan Group are among the worldwide leaders, in the design and engineering of technologies and integrated product lines for cereal-based food. Operating in the food industry as global suppliers of industrial solutions, from the handling of raw materials to the final packaging, the group operates through eight prestigious brands: Golfetto Sangati, Pavan, Mapimpianti, Montoni, Toresani, Foodmac, Stiavelli, Dizma and Pizeta, all leading Italian brands in the food processing industry. Mr Claudio Zavatta commenced his career with the Pavan Group in 1983. As CEO of Golfetto Sangati, he explains how people and an innovative approach remain at the very core of the company’s success.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the milling industry?
My educational background is in mechanical engineering in Padova University. In 1983, I entered Pavan and was placed in charge of the snack division. In 1995, in addition I took the responsibility of Toresani-Foodmac, companies that operate in fresh and filled pasta technology. In 2005, a big re-organisation of the group integrated of all the technical divisions (pasta, snack and fresh and filled pasta), including engineering, manufacturing, installation and aftersales service. Until 2010, I was the technical manager of the group. In 2010 the group entered in milling industry through the purchase of the GBS Group, that become Golfetto Sangati and I was nominated CEO of this company.

What are the origins of Golfetto Sangati and how has the company grown?
Both Pavan, and Golfetto have their roots firmly in Italy, commencing life as family run companies. Pavan was set up in 1946, and Golfetto in 1926. Golfetto was originally founded in Padua and specialised in the engineering of cereal manufacturing plants. It was followed by Sangati’s Foundation, in 1929, a company that in just a few years became a renowned name in the milling industry. Golfetto Sangati’s story is comprised of an intertwined history of mergers with three separate companies (Golfetto, Sangati, and Berga S.p.A) becoming GBS S.p.A. In 2010, Pavan acquired the assets of GBS, giving birth to Golfetto Sangati (part of the Pavan Group). As you can see, it is particularly common in the North East of Italy that companies grow horizontally, putting together shared knowledge and strength. The integration and fusion of family companies is a winning policy.

Where are your main markets and which areas do you predict future growth?
We are currently experiencing our biggest area of growth in the North of Africa, particularly in Algeria and Morocco. The growth that we are experiencing will probably mean that Pavan will have an office in Algeria in the not too distant future. Specifically, Golfetto has an international reach with three global sites; we are based in Treviso in the north of Italy, also in the south of Italy and in Bejing. Of course, China is a big market for everybody. India is an important market for us, as is Peru in South America and, of course, Italy. But from a general point of view, I must say that even in the countries where we have big business during these last years, our sales organisation spans all over the world.

What makes Pavan unique in the marketplace of today?
The key point of the Pavan group’s success can be attributed to our flexibility and innovation. Our international point of view and presence all over the world has helped us to grow from strength to strength. In 2014, 95 percent of our total sales were exported, and 75 percent of our total sales were exported out of the EU.
With regards to our milling business, we are selling a service and an end product that comes from our machines, starting from the raw materials (grains, cereals). I firmly believe we do not only sell machines; we sell processes. We are geared towards solutions and efficiency and place a great emphasis on ourResearch and Development department, not only at Golfetto Sangati, but also at Pavan. Whatever a customer needs to improve their margins, we will deliver a complete service. We design everything to give more than just the standard options. Furthermore, people are part of the story of a company and having the right people helps to create success. Moreover, I believe, even if we have success we cannot relax. We must remember that tomorrow, something may change – this is why we must always be prepared and have the mindset of innovators.

Your company slogan is ‘technology to feed a growing world’. What are your unique, personal views regarding the link between sustainability and technology?
We are in an industry that is constantly changing. Even as the world changes, our ability to move and see what others are doing is increasing. Everybody can see what others are doing, including the end consumer. People can easily acquire knowledge, and at the same time they desire it. With regards to the need to feed a growing population, if we look at somewhere like China, the population there are now eating in a completely different way to how they used to eat 20 years or so ago. It is our role to help make and sell products that will help satisfy these increasing needs and tastes, this in turn contributes to providing secure and stable food. Even if the world population does not grow in the way that it is predicted, increasing globalisation means that we must be prepared to produce the types of food demanded in these areas.