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Bianca Puleo



Diederik Pierani



Our history

Pizzi Osvaldo & C. SpA has been selling fruit and vegetables for three generations. Putting it this way might understate the activity of a business that has existed since 1948: for over 70 years. But it's true. Despite now being a well-established and trustworthy company with a long-standing reputation for credibility and respect among customers and suppliers, operating at the helm of a supply chain of carefully chosen producers that we have nurtured and developed, and efficiently providing organic products to the leading Italian Mass-Market Retailing companies, we continue to approach our work with the same passion that inspired our founder, Osvaldo Pizzi, when he first opened his fruit and vegetable market stand in Milan. Sure, in the post-war period, the situation was vastly different from today: the challenge was not in finding buyers, but in identifying sellers. Osvaldo Pizzi & C. was established during the reconstruction period in Italy, when the country had to rebuild all its infrastructure from scratch.

But it did not take long for things to hit the ground running. With his initial partners, Osvaldo Pizzi's strong instincts propelled his business to a leading position in its industry within a mere fifteen years. To the point that, towards the end of the 50s, when the MMR first set step on Italian soil by opening the first Esselunga in Milan, it was Pizzi who guaranteed fresh fruit and vegetables to that first supermarket, intentionally and modernly “American” in its organisation and management.

  1. First stand established at the Fruit and Vegetables Market in Milan (Ortomercato).

    Soon after the war, Osvaldo Pizzi starts his own business buying and selling fruit and vegetables. Pizzi Osvaldo & C. S.p.A. founded.

  2. The first Esselunga: Pizzi begins the collaboration

    The first Esselunga supermarket opens on Viale Regina Giovanna in Milan. Pizzi Osvaldo & C. S.p.A. is given the responsibility of supplying the fruit and vegetables department, marking the start of a long-lasting collaboration.

  3. Headquarters relocated to Peschiera Borromeo

    Due to the rise in turnover, Pizzi Osvaldo & S.p.A has to move to a new warehouse in Peschiera Borromeo, located near Milan.

  4. The second generation comes around

    Oscar Pizzi (here portrayed with his two daughters, Valentina and Alice) leaves his role as engineer at Alfa Romeo to join his father's company.

  5. Headquarters relocated to Dresano

    Pizzi Osvaldo & C. relocates to Dresano, near Milan, to establish more modern facilities, which remain in the same location to this day. The initial building is later expanded with additional warehouses.

  6. The first supply of organic fruit and vegetables begins

    After taking up the challenge by Giuseppe Caprotti, Pizzi Osvaldo & C. gathered and instructed some producers on organic products and obtained the first certifications, becoming sole supplier for Esselunga for organic fruit and vegetables.

  7. The brand AlixBio is created.

    Pizzi Osvaldo & C. introduces a new brand to the market called AlixBio for marketing its products.

  8. BIOP is established

    Pizzi, along with other producers, establishes the BIOP consortium for organic agriculture.

With vision and entrepreneurial spirit Osvaldo Pizzi was able to look ahead. He realized that the path he had chosen would lead to a long journey, so he prepared himself to give it his all. As a result, the stand at the market was complemented by a first warehouse in Peschiera Borromeo. This was essential to meet the increasing demands of MMR by providing a comprehensive service that included order management, adherence to quality and guarantee standards, and packaging. Other significant companies of the time, such as GS, Standa, and Pam, also became clients of Pizzi Osvaldo, in addition to Esselunga.

When the business's growth required a new and fresh boost, at the end of the 70s, the second generation entered the company: Osvaldo co-opted his son Oscar – still head of the company to this day – taking him away from his job as engineer at Alfa Romeo. In the same period he starts collaborating with Walter Benzoni (then made partner, role that was later succeeded by his son Paolo). Meanwhile, the incredible success of Esselunga in Italy resulted in a clear decision: to become the sole supplier for the Lombardy-based chain without any doubt.

In 1998, Esselunga sought Pizzi's assistance in a project to place organic products next to conventional products on the shelves of its supermarkets, leveraging their longstanding relationship built on decades of acquaintance and respect.

The enthusiastic response was also influenced by the company's existing ecological and environmental awareness, which was ingrained in its culture and direct knowledge. The new headquarters in Dresano were established in 2000, designed to effectively tackle this upcoming challenge. Within a few years, Pizzi successfully assembled a group of chosen producers who, with the support of his agronomists, were able to enhance their businesses through guidance in training and accreditation.

With the addition of father Oscar's third generation, represented by Alice and Valentina Pizzi, a strong company has emerged. Today, it boasts a network of more than 130 suppliers across Italy, Europe, and worldwide, encompassing over 900 producers, with many operating exclusively.

In 2015 the latest big news then arrives: the AlixBio brand was created by Pizzi Osvaldo to promote its organic products, which are now being offered to other companies in the MMR sector, both in Italy and internationally.