A great soldier and war hero died with the RAF which, with tuna in oil, became rich

(To David Rossi)
13/03/19

Joseph Nissim died at one hundred years. Of which two have been fighting Italy and seventy to contribute first to the economic boom and, then, to the financial stability of many thousands of families in the Bel Paese and to the consumption of millions of Italians and others.

Yes, because this man, born in Thessaloniki from an Israelite family and fled just in time not to end up exterminated along with 98% of the inhabitants of what was the largest Jewish community in Europe, he enlisted as a volunteer in the Royal Air Force, he participated as a parachutist at the great battle of El Alamein and ended the war with a medal for military valor. Then he decided to settle in Italy, more precisely in Milan, where he set up a thriving import-export business: after an initial collaboration with the American Procter & Gamble, he realized he didn't want to work under a "master" and yes he set up his own Bolton. The recipe was simple but ingenious, like many other initiatives that contributed to the success of Italy in the post-war period, before we began to self-castrate ourselves: to focus on products in harmony with mass tastes, supported by direct slogans, ‚Äúunderstandable from Turin in Catania ‚ÄĚ, as he repeated. After starting to get serious about Rio Mare tuna, Nissim acquired decoctions and did not make stews, but relaunched them. These are the cases of Fornet and Collistar, Vetril and Merito, Neutro Roberts and Somatoline, Omino Bianco and Bostik. Hands up who has not been his client!

He died yesterday, at the beautiful age of 100 years, cried by 5 thousand employees, mostly Italian. While realizing almost half of the revenues in Italy, internationally giants like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have always looked at it as a competitor at their level. And to think that ex giants like the FIAT group have been teaching us for decades that the Italian market does not count ...

Of the military, Nissim has always kept the privacy and dignity of private life, meticulousness and punctuality in the execution and delivery of the products. It is no coincidence that he made a fortune putting on the shelves of the supermarkets, like the Esselunga of the other great old man, Bernardo Caprotti, who also disappeared from a few years to over ninety years, "parachuting" to all of us.

Photo: Milan Jewish community