In Altamura the Oropan oven in the Museimpresa circuit

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One of the oldest medieval ovens in Altamura (Bari) dating back to 1300 and the dream of a boy who, in 1956, rode his bicycle from house to house collecting the bread kneaded by housewives to take it to bake. Today that oven is a Museum, which is part of the Museimpresa circuit and which tells the story of that 11-year-old boy who, from an apprentice, became the president of Oropan spa, one of the top 5 companies in the baking sector in Italy by turnover , number of employees, market share and technological innovation. «A young and daring man, Vito Forte, my father», underlines his daughter Lucia, CEO of the company: «She transformed his passion into an entrepreneurial reality known and appreciated also internationally as an ambassador of Made in Italy”. From fresh to frozen bread, quadrupling the turnover in the last 10 years, from 10 to 40 million, tripling the number of employees, from 50 to 160, and serving over 2,250 points of sale in Italy and 26 countries around the world 6 days a week, with a product portfolio of over 100 references.

A winning combination of tradition and innovation around Altamura bread, its history, its land. The recipe for success? It is in three ingredients, for Lucia Forte: «the passion of the founder, who has always deeply loved his work; the strategic vision of the company, firmly rooted in the Altamura area, which has allowed us to export authenticity and typicality throughout the world; and finally the precious contribution of the company team. The children, the management and those who work with dedication every day.”

A virtuous circular system in which, explains CEO Forte, «the company receives identity from the territory, which it transforms into an entrepreneurial competitive advantage, returning it to the same, through employment growth, evolution of know-how, social well-being». A strategic element is to export the Made in Italy tradition in an eco-sustainable way by making Forte bread arrive in the world as if it were freshly baked, thanks to new generation production techniques and technologies applied with natural methods. In 2022, exports grew by 18.5%. A presence in 26 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, where over 500 tonnes were exported last year, Belgium, Germany, Holland with increases from 60 to 125%, and in excellent food shops and international hotels in Australia, the Emirates United Arab Emirates and Canada, up to China, Beijing and Shanghai. First Sustainability Report in 2022 and first company to produce bread from a sustainable supply chain certified according to the Iscc Plus standard. «It means – underlines Lucia – offering the guarantee to the consumer that the bread is produced according to a sustainable, responsible and ethical development model from seed to the cultivation of 100% Apulian durum wheat, from harvesting and milling to mixing and cooking, up to transport to individual sales points, with the involvement of our upstream suppliers”.

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