Sourcing our Raw materials
Herbs and spices belong to a rich and fascinating market in which tradition increasingly goes hand-in-hand with technological innovation. Cannamela has been operating in this market for over 60 years and has grown in step with consumer demands, building relationships of trust with leading operators in the supply chain and developing an extensive, in-depth understanding of the peculiar traits of this world.
Herbs and spices represent a large category (the Group handles over 200 different varieties) and are grown in countless countries around the world, in tropical humid climates as well as arid regions and the more temperate countries of the Mediterranean basin.
The first link in the value chain is comprised of farmers who, despite often farming quite small plots of land, still account for almost 90% of annual production. Because of the long journey from field to fork and the numerous uncertainties due to external pressures, farmers are often identified as the weakest link; fluctuating patterns in demand and corresponding price fluctuations, together with harvest uncertainties due to climatic factors, are critical areas which, unless special external measures are taken, inevitably fall upon the producer. The main challenge which this market presents, and which Gruppo Montenegro has embraced, is to ensure a fair allocation of value to each link in the chain.
In Gruppo Montenegro’s diverse offering in the market of herbal teas and functional infusions, Bonomelli Chamomile Tea undoubtedly plays the leading part.
The raw material comes directly from Group-owned farmlands in the southern Italian province of Foggia, with the addition of only a small percentage from external suppliers.
This choice was driven by both the quality of the product offered by the Foggia site, which has been producing chamomile since 1940, and by Gruppo Montenegro’s desire to carefully control the cultivation of this delicate plant which is very sensitive to adverse climatic conditions such as prolonged drought or flooding caused by heavy rain.
In addition to the Foggia area, Montenegro buys chamomile from suppliers operating mainly in countries around the Mediterranean, with a few exceptions including Argentina. Here, too, the first link in the value chain is farmers, who as soon as they have harvested the raw material, take the flower heads to the processing site, which handles the subsequent stages and all dealings with the Group.
Bonomelli also operates in the tea supply chain and, drawing on its many years of experience, has selected only suppliers who are able to guarantee the finest tea leaves, operating fairly in a way that respects quality, workers and the environment.
Once it reaches our plant, the tea undergoes a delicate process to remove the caffeine, without detracting from any of the other components that give the drink its unmistakable aroma and unique taste.
There are just four key components that go into our spirits and liqueurs: wine distillate, alcohol, beet sugar and botanicals. The recipes of our spirits are closely guarded secrets, scrupulously followed by the heads of production.
The main focus of attention is the organoleptic qualities of the raw materials and semi-finished products because, given the need to use them in products that require specific processes including ageing, their chemical-physical and sensory characteristics must remain unchanged for many years. The need to employ raw materials of the highest quality makes it essential to establish proper selection standards for suppliers and this, even in today’s global market, greatly restricts the field of potential candidates.
The undisputed star of the Cuore oil supply chain is corn. For the supply of this raw material, Gruppo Montenegro deals directly with refiners who, given the stringent quality constraints imposed by us, choose to use almost exclusively European corn.
The cultivation of corn (maize) is the subject of heated debate even among the scientific community, regarding the advisability or otherwise of growing genetically modified corn, also to combat contamination by toxins produced by parasitic fungi that attack corn in certain environmental conditions, often resulting in an entire crop no longer being suitable for human consumption. Amid this climate of uncertainty, the Group decided to err on the side of caution, choosing to use certified GM-free corn only.
Meal and flour are used to make Polenta Valsugana and, together with yeast, Catarì Instant Pizza.
In Polenta Valsugana, the meal used is cornmeal and, for the same reasons of uncertainty indicated above, Gruppo Montenegro decided to take the precautionary measure of using GM-free corn only.
Catarì Instant Pizza, meanwhile, uses wheat flour, which we purchase directly from one of the biggest Italian suppliers who is extremely attentive to the sustainability of his business.
Via Enrico Fermi, 4
40069 Zola Predosa (BO) – Italy
Ph. 051 6170411 – Fax 051 750571