1926: when an onion changed history
The history behind this important company started with a small vegetable patch, which Umberto Freddi, nicknamed the “Ortlanein” (“Vegetable gardener”) in the local dialect, took great care of to produce fruit and vegetables that he sold to the local families. From his small village of Corte Inzani in Sant’Ilario d’Enza (Reggio Emilia), the produce then reached the surrounding villages… Taneto, Gattatico, and wherever his little white horse look him. He was well-known and loved by all for his quick wittedness and his skills as a salesman. He also had a love for music and despite being a poor farmer, he wanted to give his eldest child Nino a violin, and engaged a high-ranking maestro from Parma to teach him…
Revival: the produce of Freddi enjoy a period of “boom”
Between the economic boom of the ‘50s and the ‘60s, the Freddi family started to make a name for itself among the greengrocers at the local markets. In addition to onions, it also sold more rare varieties at the time, such as Borettana Onions, white celery, apples from the Val di Non (Non Valley), pears from Modena and fruit from Vignola. This small miracle was made possible thanks to advanced logistic choices for that time, including that of starting to collaborate with large supermarket chains such as Coop and Conad.
High-speed markets: Freddi also had its mind set on working locally
When the first motorways were built, competition among distributors became more aggressive. It was no longer convenient to specialise in apples and the Freddi family relaunched local products such as Borettana Onions, golden onions from Parma and potatoes from Bologna. Freddi consolidated what it had achieved so far by dedicating itself to the distribution of vegetable at national level, and supermarkets.
The onions produced by Freddi were of “just the right size” for supermarkets
In the ‘80s, it was quite clear that for onions to sell well, they must not be too heavy. Freddi jumped on this trend and equipped itself with exclusive weighing machines suited to smaller sizes, in order to keep the sales volumes high. To make history, however, a little boldness is required: for this reason, Freddi strengthened the fame of Borettana Onions by launching shallots in Italy, which soon became a firm favourite among consumers.
The onions of the third millennium have a long history behind them
While the “Made in Italy” label is blowing across the world and false Italian products are appearing such as “cippolini onions”, Freddi has increased its commitment to defend traditional products. It was the sincere passion for authentic local varieties that made the difference, such as Borettana Onions that have always been in stock at the warehouses of this Emilian company. In addition, Freddi is keen to introduce genuine, unknown varieties…