The Italian Agri-Food Industry

a panel sponsored by

Credit Agricole Cariparma

a panel made possible by the participation of

Barilla Group
Grandi Salumifici Italiani
Parmalat/Lactalis
Gruppo Italiano Vini, Winemakers
Logo Mutti

Rationale & Background

Italy is one of the main exporter of processed food. This result is due to its reputation that, in turn, originates in the quality of raw materials; to the ability of food companies to process them and to create foods that express a tipicity, a tradition and a food culture. However, agri-food companies are facing new challenges that are not only those of the Market but are also related to the new problems that Society must face in the coming years, in developed and developing countries

The topics that academic research had previously indicated as future problems of the global political and policy agenda have become elements of the corporate strategy of most firms, such as climate change, the globalisation of markets and lifestyles, access to food, the social and health implications of food choices and use, the sustainability of food chains, the role of quality, food waste, food (safety) scandals, and water scarcity. Recently, the 2015 EXPO in Milan dealt with the problem of feeding the planet and some Italian corporations have started developing their own cultural and managerial legacy in view of the EXPO outcomes

The Panel Session will thoroughly analyse, how a few of the most important and export-oriented firms in the industry are dealing with these new challenges and are preparing to face those still emerging. Top managers from the some of the most important Italian Agri-Food companies will debate around these issues

After the introduction, the panel discussion will be focused on three main areas of discussion:

1. A description of the companies and managers’ actions contributing to sustainability in agriculture and/or nutrition in the Italian and European context

2. A description of one or more experiences that managers and/or companies have had in organising (or re-organising) the companies to develop innovative and sustainable products and processes. An analysis of which were, and perhaps still are, the main challenges (at the national and European level) faced in involving stakeholders, including scientists, in the identified innovation and sustainability strategies

3. Delivering a final actionable message to the audience of scientists attending the Panel: a invitation on why, when and how to study or to engage with your company. Providing a suggestion on a sustainability/innovation topic of key importance for your company and potentially of interest to the researchers, too

Participants and Contributions

Organiser: Prof. Filippo Arfini (University of Parma)

Chairman: Prof. Domenico Dentoni (University of Wageningen)

Round Table discussion by:

Dr. Luca Virginio (Chief Communication and External Relations Officer of Barilla S.p.A.)

Dr. Giovanni Pomella (Managing Director Parmalat)

Dr. Giuseppe Colotto (Managing Director Grandi Salumifici Italiani)

Dr. Roberta Corrà (Managing Director Gruppo Italiano Vini S.p.A.)

Dr. Francesco Mutti (Managing Director Mutti S.p.A.)