02-Planeta_manchette_175x100
Allegrini 2018
THE FACT

Hofstätter: a private jet to bring seasonal workers to Italy from Romania

The story in the time of Covid19: “eight of our historical collaborators blocked at the border in Hungary, despite the “green corridor””
Europa, HOFSTÄTTER, JET, WINE, News
Hofstätter’s Romanian employees, blocked at the border with Hungary, arrived on a jet

Film stars, the world’s strongest athletes, heads of state and rock stars usually travel by private jet. This time, on the other hand, in one of the many incredible stories we see in Covid19’s time, we talk about female workers in the vineyard. Directed in Italy, and blocked at the border with Hungary. So much so that “the J.Hofstätter estate was forced to rent a private jet to take seasonal workers arriving from Romania to Italy. With the European Commission’s green light to the “green corridor” for the movement of seasonal workers in agriculture in the European Union, many wine producers and companies in the sector had breathed a sigh of relief. If on paper everything seemed to work out, on arrival at the border with Hungary the eight historic Romanian employees of the Tramin - Termeno company, led by Martin Foradori Hofstätter, were denied permission to travel to Italy”. This is communicated by the winery itself, among the icons of South Tyrol. “At the Hungarian border our eight employees had to turn back even though we had received guarantees on free movement for seasonal workers - reports the winegrower from Tramin - other than the European Union, this is the usual Brussels theatre! We tried to solve the problem in every way but without success. So after two weeks of phone calls, contacts with local politicians from Rome and the European Union, representatives of embassies, as well as intensive discussions with trade association managers, we were forced to organize, in extremis, a private jet from Bolzano airport to Cluj to take them to Italy.
For this economic period a not indifferent and perhaps even crazy expense but without this the future of my vineyards would have been marked. I had no alternative. I have to say, however, that given the prices of the rented minibusses in this period, the cost of the aircraft had little more impact on transport”.
According to Foradori Hofstätter, there were no alternatives that could be considered: "Some might argue that I could have turned to the many unemployed people in the area, but this is not the case. We even tried, but those we hired to give it a try after two hours left “because the work was too tiring! The chatter of politicians and trade representatives also made us waste time, a time during which we could also try to teach this delicate work to the premises concerned. The green pruning operations such are delicate interventions for the vineyard, for which we need skilled, experienced, and above all “just in time” workers. This work affects the production of the current vintage but also the next winter pruning,” explains Martin Foradori Hofstätter.
For the producer, the absence of these professionals, who have been working for the company for over ten years, would have resulted in significant damage: “as if violins were missing from a concert at La Scala”, says the producer, who also points out the absence of strategic measures implemented for example in other EU countries. In Mosella, for example, where his second company, Dr. Fischer - Hofstätter Mosel, is based, “in addition to the fact that the trade associations abroad have managed to activate an airlift without much chatter, seasonal employees were also allowed to implement the so-called “active quarantine” working in small groups in the vineyard, isolated from other local employees, respecting security measures. In Germany, the procedures are much clearer and easier. In Italy we have not even been able to copy the intelligent measures implemented by other EU countries”.
Known worldwide for its Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer, the J. Hofstätter estate can now count on its employees who will remain in Italy until July. In the hope that they will be able to return to Tramin, without any further misadventures, for the next grape harvest.

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