Barilla Signs €240m Durum-Wheat Contract
Italian pasta and sauces brand Barilla has signed a regional agreement with durum-wheat producers for €240 million, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reports.
The contract included the Agricultural Consortiums, the Organisation of Agricultural Producers, seed-producing companies, and the Emilia-Romagna regional government.
According to Barilla Group’s acquisitions director, Luigi Ganazzoli, this is the first time that the company has secured three-year agreements, which will bind it to roughly €240 million from now until 2019 and guarantee an extra 40% of overall durum-wheat production, according to the publication.
These new regional cultivation contracts cover 120,000 tonnes of durum-wheat production per year, compared to 300,000 tonnes at a national level, with the industrial group investing roughly €35 million each year, compared to €80 million at a national level.
In all of Italy, more than 50 durum-wheat producers are involved in the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Campania and Apulia. This constitutes around 5,000 factory farms and 65,000 hectares of land that produce 6% of the national production volume of durum wheat. With Barilla increasing its acquired volumes by 40% through its Sustainable Durum Wheat project, cultivation should reach 197,000 tonnes this year and an estimated 280,000 tonnes in 2019.
Barilla’s contract for high-quality durum wheat fits into the company's commitment to sustainable business practices, which extends to producers of tomatoes, sugar, eggs and milk.
Separately, Barilla is opposing the Italian government’s initiative of pasta-labelling with the origin of the grain. The head of external relations for the group, Luca Virginio, told daily Corriere della Sera that the decree "would confuse consumers and undermine the competitiveness of the pasta industry", adding that "the origin alone is not synonymous with quality".
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.