We are delighted to have an E-coffee with you. You have a lot of news and are carrying out a lot of great solidarity operations that we would like to discuss with you. But first of all, can you present your company in 3 figures?
Barilla was founded in 1877. It is an Italian family business specialized in pasta, ready-to-use sauces, and bakery products. The company works thanks to its 8.000 and counting worldwide employees. Barilla represents the Italian expertise all around the world and it sells products in more than 100 countries.
In the current context, you are carrying out solidarity actions in Italy, can you tell us about them?
We have started since the very beginning to carry out tangible actions in order to convey a message of closeness and love. I’m not going to list them all, but the top of mind ones are:
- Over 2 million euros were given to Protezione Civile in Parma, Red Cross and Parma hospital for improving Intensive Care and purchasing Medical devices. The Barilla Group is also working to donate food products to Associations that are on the front lines in dealing with the emergency.
- 1 million breakfasts were donated to the Red Cross via the Mulino Bianco brand for the benefit of the weaker sections of the population, which number is growing considerably as a result of the coronavirus.
- We have launched a program called #acasaconbarilla (#athomewithbarilla), it is online live sessions with chefs’ suggestions on recipes and cooking.
You have also set up many support actions all over the world, can you tell us about some of them?
Yes, similarly to what we have done in Italy, we want to help as many people as possible across all the countries where we operate. I am going to mention 2 geographies, France and USA.
- Barilla France has donated 200 tons of pasta, the equivalent of 2 million meals, to people in need in France. During this emergency period, Barilla is providing ongoing support to the French Food Banks and to Les Restos du Coeur (a French association that distributes meals to people in need) as historical partners of the Group.
- The Barilla Family, together with the Barilla Group, has made a total donation of 500,000 US Dollars to “The Cure Alliance”, a non-profit association of scientists and innovators whose mission is to find faster and more effective cures for all diseases. The Cure Alliance has leveraged all its resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinical protocol has already been shared with other academic institutions in the United States and around the world to assist other centers wishing to implement similar treatments as quickly and efficiently as possible.
How is proceeding the end of the lockdown for your factories in Italy?
Our factories never stopped as what we make (food) has always been rated as ‘essential’ by all governments. What we did, even earlier compared to national regulations and protocols, was to implement safety procedures to guarantee our workers’ health and wellbeing. This way, we managed to serve the consumer demand for our products, which increased substantially in all the countries impacted by lockdown. We plan to continue along those lines in the near future.
One last topical point, you recently changed the blue of your packaging, our readers would like to know more about it.
With pleasure! The switch from Barilla Blue to Azzurro has happened in Italy only and is related to the product upgrade done recently in the Italian Market. We have changed the sourcing of our wheat, as well as other product aspects of the 10 most important cuts to improve the sensorial performance. To celebrate that, we have switched to Azzurro: the color of the Italian sky, a reminder of Mediterranean lifestyle, positive energy and naturality. A color that represented Barilla some decades ago and is part of our history. Whether that color will take over the Barilla Blue abroad as well or we will keep the current differentiation is under discussion