Transylvanian salami is world famous, with special protected status in the EU. The region has a tradition of meat processing. Sibiu Salami, a dry-cured pork sausage, covered with a thin layer of mould, is a local delicacy and has been produced since the late 1800s. But in 2018, the heritage salami factory Salconserv was bought by two entrepreneurs with an ambition to make meat not from animals but from pea protein.
Raul Ciurtin and Eberhart Raducanu founded a new company: Verdino Green Foods, and transformed the facility into Romania’s first plant-based factory based on pea protein. They began making pea protein salami, sausages, burgers, mince, bacon, mortadella, and breaded cutlets – all 100% plant-based. The company is now well-established in retail and food service and employs 135 people. What began as a start-up, with entirely Romanian capital scaled up in 2021, with finance from Black Peak Capital. The product range has grown continuously. In July 2022, Verdino took over the brands Unfished® and Green Course® from Prefera Foods, adding plant-based seafood and ready meals to their portfolio. With the new diversified range, Verdino became one of the main players in the sector in Europe. The products are available in all main retailers in Romania and in select supermarkets across Europe.
Raul Ciurtin says: “By taking over Unfished® Verdino now has a plant-based fish and seafood range to reach more market segments. Unfished® is the most extensive plant-based fish range available internationally, with an impressive number of innovative products. We are talking about salmon fillets, white fish fillets, breaded fish sticks, breaded fillets, smoked salmon slices, and salmon and tuna sashimi for sushi – all plant-based and easy to prepare. The star of the Unfished® range is PlantZalmon® Smoked Slices. Not only is it eye-catching, but the salmon-like texture, colour, consistency, familiar bite, and unique taste also make it the perfect treat – with a clear conscience.”
The dishes have received enthusiastic responses from consumers and clients across the globe. They have won awards for quality, taste, and impact, picking up trophies at the Plant-Based Taste Awards, V-Label Awards, Men’s Health Good Food Awards and PETA Deutschland’s Vegan Food Awards. The company is busy working on a new range of plant-based dairy and cheese and some new ready meals.
Founder Raul Ciurtin said: “We’ve tried to constantly come up with new products and offer consumers healthier, sustainable food based on vegetable protein. Our ambition is to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for people and the planet and our long-term goal is to become a leading full-range European plant-based food company. We want to work with our stakeholders and help consumers make climate-friendly choices. That is why we produce tasty and healthy alternatives, out of love for consumers and the planet, with the vision of becoming a positive impactful global leader.”
For more information about Verdino Green Foods plant-based products and company, visit www.verdinofoods.co.uk and LinkedIn page www.Linkedin.com/company/verdinofoods.