Food: the lessons learned by Marco Porcaro, founder of cortilia.it

Marco Porcaro, founder of Cortilia | June 1st, 2016

Conversation with Marco Porcaro, founder of Cortilia, the first online agricultural market that puts consumers in touch with local farmers, allowing them to shop directly from the farmland.

150,000 subscribers, more than 50 producers and thousands of deliveries: Marco Porcaro, founder of Cortilia, tells us the lessons he has learnt in recent years, which continue to inspire the work of the Italian company that delivers fruit, vegetables, and much more from local farmers.

Customer centric approach
Customer satisfaction is a key issue for those who work in the field of e-commerce. The profile of customers has evolved over the years to the point that suppliers today have to take care of each of them precisely and consistently. Hence, we have learnt the importance of guiding our daily business decisions according to the feedback we collect from the field through constant surveys and analyses.
For the same reason, it has been essential for us to develop a website and app that could allow our users to access our online services in a fast and intuitive way.

Logistics and excellent service
In our industry, delivery is one of the elements that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. We have learnt that when it comes to logistics, there is always room for improvement: in order to be competitive, you need to be constantly looking for solutions that can improve the service you are offering. In Cortilia we work every day to raise the quality of our service through a routing system. Since we have perfected this system over time, today we are able to inform the customer of the exact time she will receive her delivery. With this streamlined and efficient infrastructure we have greatly improved our service and cut on unnecessary steps.

Product quality
This point is essential for all those involved in e-commerce, but especially for those who, like us, sell fruit and vegetables. We always try to ensure – and we usually succeed – that our customers receive fresh and tasty products that are grown, harvested and processed by a network of farmers in accordance with quality standards and observance of local tradition. Our customers have become increasingly attentive to sustainability, and we have gone along with this attention relying on production models that enhance integrity and quality.

Storytelling
Every business has a story to tell. We have learnt that sharing our stories with users brings us closer to them, and helps them to understand what lays behind the Cortilia brand. It is in this spirit that a few months ago we have launched a series of open lectures for customers, journalists and our very team, to share our corporate culture and tell the stories of our products and producers. Through these meetings, we facilitate dialogue and stimulate curiosity, aggregation and mutual cooperation locally. Customers know that behind the products they buy there are the farmers we have selected: this is why we give manufacturers the chance to tell their story.

Promoting fair trade shopping and small local agriculture
Our idea is to spread a fair and just way to grocery-shop. We thought this could be a value that was worth sharing with users on the other side of the screen. For this reason we are giving particular emphasis to young people who have embarked on a new, often tortuous, path in the agricultural world, such as, for instance, the Mastri Speziali: four young men who have met at university and have launched together a courageous saffron production in Brianza – a territory with a poor agricultural vocation. The result, of course, is a wonderfully tasty saffron!