RCR Cristalleria Italiana: regional president praises ambition and innovation

“Quality is the only way for us to be competitive. And this is a leading company for Tuscan quality”. So said the president of Italy“s Tuscany region, Claudio Martini, at the end of a visit on 8 Apri…

“Quality is the only way for us to be competitive. And this is a leading company for Tuscan quality”. So said the president of Italy“s Tuscany region, Claudio Martini, at the end of a visit on 8 April 2008 to RCR Cristalleria Italiana (formerly Calp), one of the largest crystal makers in the world. As well as the plant visit, Mr. Martini met company managers led by managing director Carlo D“Ajello and commercial director Stefano Lucherini, followed by the union committee and union representatives. RCR turned itself round and underwent a relaunch in 2007; since July it has had a new management team and a new production and commercial strategy. The results of the first nine months, which management presented to the Tuscan regional president, are positive and encouraging. The company has cut costs and repositioned its principal product, crystal. It has also invested for production of a new, high quality “sonorous” glass, a prestige product at a reasonable price. With the new product RCR is looking to conquer a world market ten times larger than crystal. Currently, two thirds of output is for export, with Arabia, the Far East and the Euro area the main destinations. Mr Martini said RCR was an important company for Tuscany because of its size (500 employees) and the excellence that it represents. It is the largest Italian crystal maker and one of the three largest in Europe. He said the firm had shown him an “ambitious and innovative” business plan, which also has the support of the workforce, unions, and local institutions. He said the that region has assured its support in the areas which fall under its competence, in particular for worker training, support for innovation and research, export promotion, and for the development of renewable energy sources. RCR operates the largest electric melting furnace in the world as well as two smaller ones. The goal is to achieve zero emission production. By 2009, the company is aiming for biodiesel production and a roof mounted photovoltaic installation able to produce 2MW of power, enough for the furnace used to make “sonorous” glass.