A story of transformation and sustainability

For over 40 years we have been a key player in the Italian sugar market as a partner to the food and beverage industry for the supply of high quality sugar. At a time of major transformations affecting the European and especially the Italian market, the company has embraced innovation and continues to offer competitive and sustainable products. 

How it started

The start-up company A.B.I. Srl was established by Domenico Saffioti, working with Italian and German sugar producers. From 1987 to 2006, it became the leading company in the Italian market for the sale of 1 kg packaged sugar, mainly produced in the Sadam sugar factories under the producer’s brand name or private label. The company reached a market share of 20%.

Towards transformation of the European market

Entrepreneur Domenico Saffioti realised that the “EU Sugar Reform” that was about to come into force would result in a radical transformation of the European market and prepared for it with a forward-looking approach. With the imminent end of the agricultural quota system in force in the EU, Italy would quickly go from having 20 operational sugar factories in 2005 to 7 in 2010.  Between then and 2024, further production sites were closed, leading to a deficit of around 90% compared to demand, forcing the market to turn to northern European producers.

The creation of Achard Italia SpA

Faced with the “EU Sugar Reform”, Domenico Saffioti chose to adopt a more dynamic business strategy than the traditional role of the trader, looking to balance the needs of producers and consumers. This involved radical choices that led to corporate restructuring, with A.B.I. Srl ceasing trading and the establishment of Achard Italia SpA. The period between 2006 and 2010 was crucial for the transformation of the sugar industry, which benefited from European funds to adapt to the end of the “sugar quotas” established in 1968.

The end of sugar quotas

On 30 September 2017, the discontinuation of the “sugar quota regime”, approved by the European Parliament and Member States in the 2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform, came into force. After a long process of reform and restructuring, the company faced new challenges and changes. This opened up a new phase that would lead to significant innovations in 2020.

New markets and new types of sugar

During this time, the company intensified its European and international relations, moving in the direction of the world’s leading producers and developing the raw and white cane sugar sector, both traditional and organic. A plant was built in San Quirino (Pordenone) to process these sugars and supply Italian food industries with a certified product, working with them to develop new recipes.

Transformation into Achard International Srl

Saffioti Holding Srl signed an important agreement with the Dutch sugar group Cosun Beet Company, establishing Achard International Srl and further strengthening its presence in the Italian market.

Opening of the logistics and production hub in Nogarole Rocca (Verona)

On 7 July 2023, in collaboration with its partner Cosun Beet Company, the unique and innovative logistics hub in Nogarole Rocca was inaugurated, equipped with:

  • a drive-in storage system with over 10,000 pallet spaces for the more efficient management of storage processes; the first Italian operator to use this advanced storage and handling system in the sugar industry;
  • a state-of-the-art rebulking system with a loading capacity of over 1,000 kg per minute;
  • a 60,000 kg storage silo;
  • a system for processing and packaging raw cane sugar;
  • a state-of-the-art system for the production of icing sugar.