Tommaso Mazza: “our goal is to support our members”

After a year that ThIRD generation jewelers head ASSOCORAL, the Association of coral and cameo producers, an interview with Preziosa Magazine

“We need to be the first ones to protect coral, we make a living from it.”  Speaking is Tommaso Mazza, a third generation owner of Matia Mazza, a company based in Torre del Greco, and for the past year head of Assocoral, the National Association of Producers of Coral, Cameos, and Similar Materials.  An initial evaluation can be made not just because Tommaso Mazza has been part of direction first as counselor and vice president for 10 years, but because in the past 12 months a number of steps have been taken.  Mazza, 45 with a degree in business from the Federico II University of Naples, is both a businessman and an institutional mentor.

Tommaso Mazza

Mr. President, you come from a family who for almost a century has specialized in jewelry made from coral, pearls, and precious stones. Was your destiny preset?
“When you grow up in a family-run company, it’s hard to do anything else.  After high school I applied to the Bocconi University in Milan but left for Naples after two years, transferring to Federico II so that I could start working in the family business immediately:  I had some doubts, but my attraction for coral overcame them”.

What do you do in the company?
“In a family-run company, everybody does everything even if I am responsible mainly for sales and customer management.  Our company has been around for almost a hundred years but we know that my ancestors were already working coral before then.  Today there are four of us: my brother Mattia, his sons Davide and Daniele representing the fourth generation, and myself.”

A year from your election to president of Assocoral, how are you doing?
“Very well.  By spreading the name of the association I found out that I am very well respected, and thanks to good management by my predecessors I am very well received and considered experts in our sector.”

What project do you feel more tied to?
“Initially we held a seminar on nickel and new regulations, at the time when it was unclear what was going on.  We still receive thanks for that initiative.  This drives me to continue supporting companies, even the ones who are no longer our members:  this is our primary objective.”

Assocoral plans for the future?
“We just launched a media kit showing association membership and affiliation with the Torre del Greco district:  a crucial point in our internationalization strategy.  We believe strongly in territorial heritage: our companies are the best producers and traders of these products.  Branding as Assocoral and Jewelry from Torre del Greco from a global perspective is a guarantee for quality coral and cameo products, an art belonging to our city for centuries.  In April at San Fruttuoso in the Liguria region we inaugurated an exhibit entitled ‘Stones tell stories’, organized by the Italian Environmental Fund and the Echi di Liguria Cultural Association, along with our help:  on exhibit in the historical abbey until October, products from the sea include coral jewelry.  Additionally, we are looking at working with international trade shows like Ubm Asia and Vicenza Fair to help companies reach more dynamic marketplaces.”

Will you be focusing on other association concerns?
“Naturally.  In May we are holding seminars on the traceability of cash payments: we’re considering a proposal to increase the one thousand euro limit, as are other categories like hotels and travel agencies.  Purchasing a jewel is still something impulsive and more times than not, waiting for payment approval, shipping, and delivery become deterrents.

There is a lot of talk about sustainable resources. Where are you on that topic?
“In May the regional plan for the Mediterranean will be approved, as it was designed by us and the Sardinia region:  we believe in it and we feel we should be the first ones to protect this resource.  Not by discouraging traders who operate within the law, but by safeguarding coral at the source, that is intelligent management and collection.”

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