Jordi Font: "Provetsa's clients are what is most important to it. Without them, we wouldn't exist."
Jordi Font Rifà is the founder and director of Provetsa. He was brought up in an environment of livestock farming, on the Marçal Farm in Prats de Lluçanès. In 1976, after coming back from doing his military service, he was given the opportunity to work as a distributor for a veterinary products laboratory. "I started on my own with just a van, selling and offering feed and pharmacological products for animals in the region of Osona. That was a part-time job, and the other half of the day I worked for Colomer Munmany," he explains. in 1983, he decided to make a change in his career and created Provetsa.
The first worker he hired was Imma Amblàs. From then on, the company gradually grew until today, having a team of human resources comprised of 23 employees originating from different fields, though most are related with the agriculture and livestock sectors. "Most of them grew up in a livestock environment, which means that they feel identified with the work and are committed to this industry. They all form an extraordinary professional team and make the company have the feel of a warm family atmosphere."
Initially, Provetsa's activity revolved around the cattle sector, but today it also deals in the lamb and pork sectors. At the present time, this channel is the one with the greatest weight in the company's revenue. "Changes in livestock at Osona have ended up turning pork into the strongest sector, whereas cattle, while still very important, has decreased. In this sense, we have managed to adapt and have remained sufficiently dynamic to specialize in other animals species, offering a wide range of products and services that have turned us into one of the points of reference amongst companies in the sector," Font remarks.
Quality has been and continues to be Provetsa's main objective. "We have always tried to work with high-quality brands and products that fit in with our philosophy and work dynamics, with a concern for the sole objective of offering good products that help livestock farmers to achieve optimal production and remain competitive," he remarks. At Provetsa, "we have always managed to facilitate work for our clients by committing to those products which are profitable, efficient and of interest to clients over the factor of price," he insists.
Since the company's beginnings and until today, Provetsa's clients have gradually changed. "Some are new, and others have ceased to exist, but I can say with pride that in many cases we have the great luck to be working with the third generation. Some were already of quite an advanced age when they began, but in these last 30 years, I have seen their children pass through, and they are now middle-aged, and their children are continuing on with the business or starting up their own. This is one aspect I look back on with a great deal of gratitude," he comments, assuring that "its clients are what is most important to Provetsa. Without them, we wouldn't exist."
Jordi Font believes that this "is a very hard-working sector," and he looks towards the future with great optimism. "In Osona, the people who are dedicated to livestock farming have deep roots in the local area, and therefore I am convinced that it has a long life ahead of it. Furthermore, even though the situation has changed compared with 30 years ago, fortunately most of the livestock farmers have made changes and managed to keep their businesses going."
When we speak of the relationship which is created between Provetsa and the livestock farmer, Font defends the idea of trust above all else. "This is a business based on a relationship of trust. I can't say that a client is a client if I don't feel like a feeling of mutual trust has been created between us both, regardless of whether they make a purchase."
For Font, Provetsa's added value is immediacy. "We seek to be at our clients' service at all times. We want them to find us there when they need us, with the most appropriate tools, products and services adapted to the needs of the moment, because livestock farmers have a lot riding on it. Therefore, we must take swift action with concise, rigorous, high-quality service," he remarks, adding that most of the profits which have been earned by Provetsa "have been re-invested in its technical service, which I believe allows us to stand out from the rest of the companies in the sector."
During the three decades in which Provetsa has done business, Jordi Font assures that "some years have been more difficult than others. In the beginning, the main problem we had to deal with was the uncertainty about animal health and welfare, which was not controlled like it is today. We now have the luck of working with greater safety and stability, because controls are more thorough."
Font says he holds respect for the past, but uses his ingenuity for the future. "Intuition has helped me make decisions and get Provetsa to grow. These 30 years have remained relatively easy, but starting now, growth is going to become more difficult, because we are at a time of maximum competitiveness. Despite this, with the addition of my son to the management team, I feel very satisfied, because new ideas and future prospects have arisen for the company. In this sense, I am fully convinced that Provetsa will continue to be a young, dynamic company that is appealing to clients and competitive."
Jordi Font has never stopped practicing the trade of livestock farming. "I have lived like a farmer and feel all those sensitivities, because I continue to live that way and have the same everyday concerns. I identify with my clients," he says. In 1985, Font acquired La Goula, in Torelló. For him, buying that estate meant "a dream come true, because in addition to directing Provetsa, at the same time I was once again able to start taking part in the livestock activity that I continue to practice today with the help of my children."