To start, we are visiting Japan, which is expected to be the 2nd most popular travel destination in the world in 2023, and is now experiencing record numbers of visitors since the COVID restrictions have been lifted. In addition, the country is currently vying to host the winter 2030 Olympic Games in Sapporo Japan, where they had last hosted in 1972.
It is also where Savino Del Bene has three offices: Tokyo, Osaka, and Narita. Forty employees, many of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years, manage inbound shipments of fashion, food and beverages, ceramics, and outbound shipments of machinery and much more.
SAVINO DEL BENE CARES
Many of our employees, in their free time, contribute to their communities through volunteer work or other philanthropic activities. Just as we believe every shipment tells a story, we think our employees do as well.
Flavio Gori, from Prato Italy is the Managing Director of Savino Del Bene’s operations in Japan. He is also President of the “Misericordia “chapter in Osaka, which is a global organization providing assistance to the underserved around the world. Each month Flavio leads a group of volunteers who visit the orphanages in Tokyo and Osaka.
We recently spoke with Flavio to learn more about his favorite places and experiences in Japan, and to learn about the incredible work his organization is doing for the children.
SDB: What are some of your favorite experiences in Japan?
FG: I love Kyoto a lot, especially all the temples: Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu-Deru, Fushimi Inari Taisha. I will never forget the day I spent at the temples with the monks in Kyoto and Nara. One finds a great deal of mental discipline and peace while there. Of course you cannot top the magical atmosphere of the rising sun for which Japan is known.
SDB: Where is your favorite restaurant and how does Japanese cuisine compare to Italian food?
FG: I love all the different Japanese foods and hold them at the same level as Italian cuisine. My favorite restaurant is: Maisen, in Tokyo. There you will find the best Tonkatsu (a traditional pork cutlet dish) in all of Japan.
SDB: When did you become involved in helping the orphaned children?
FG: I joined Misericordia in Prato and had been involved in that organization for many years before the president asked me to start a branch in Japan. A group of friends from all nationalities join me in volunteering, as well as the Ambassador from Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti.
SDB: What is your favorite personal experience volunteering at the orphanage?
FG: I like all the activities, teaching Italian, English, cooking together, and playing soccer with them is great. Visiting during the Christmas season along with Santa is also very fulfilling. The work I do benefits me as well. I come away feeling refreshed and full of positive energy so I return to work ready to take on the daily challenges in the international shipping world.
SDB: Is there a particular success story involving an orphan with whom you spent time?
FG: Yes, there is one young man who now is working at an Italian restaurant and doing very well in his career path. As a young boy he suffered from behavioral issues and was often involved in fights. Upon graduating from the orphanage, he went on to choose the right path in life which was a relief to us all. He could have easily joined the criminal organization known as Yakuza, since their operations are located close to the orphanage, but thankfully, he did not.