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Princes Industrie Alimentari: sustainability at the heart of development policies

06/10/2022 - François-Xavier Branthôme - Lire en français
 "During the 2021 season, the surface areas dedicated to growing processing tomatoes recorded a 19% increase, allowing Princes Italia Industrie Alimentari (PIA) to process a total of 250,000 tonnes of tomatoes harvested in the Apulia region. This increase was also made possible by the abundance of water for irrigation. In 2022, we are facing new difficulties, both at the international level and the national level, as increases in the cost of raw materials and energy and the impacts of climate change weigh on our sector. These complications will impact, among other things, the prices [of products] intended for consumers, with effects that are not yet fully known. For the current season, as testified also by Coldiretti Foggia and Confagricoltura, we have registered a reduction of about 20% of the hectares available for cultivation, with repercussions on industrial production," commented Gianmarco Laviola, CEO of Princes Italia Industrie Alimentari, in a recent interview with the specialized press.
Gianmarco Laviola explained that "The pandemic caused a shift in the process of food purchasing that is unprecedented in the history of the modern world. 80% of the products we make with tomatoes grown in Apulia are exported, and we have seen these changes affect consumers all over the world. Today, the challenges facing the tomato sector and, more generally, the Italian food industry are numerous, and are clearly related to the greater environmental, social and economic sustainability of the products and activities of those involved in the sector."

"It is becoming crucial to invest in innovative solutions, agriculture 4.0, which can lead to progression in this respect, and to forge collaborations and alliances with leading companies as well as innovative start-ups to achieve decisive results in terms of environmental sustainability, water and waste management and pesticide use, to the benefit of the quality of Apulia's red gold. These needs are of increasing importance in the current circumstances, also considering the recent impact of inflation that has affected not only the energy components, but also everything that contributes to the cultivation and processing of an agro-industrial product. Without a very strong chain link throughout the industry, the speculative behavior of certain isolated stakeholders could cause irreparable damage to Italian food excellence."

"Despite the difficulties that the agri-food sector is having to face and will have to face the future, sustainability remains one of today's most important objectives for operators. Sustainability should be understood in its true sense, that is to say, not just including the environmental aspect, but also the social and economic dimensions, being capable of contributing to the development of companies and society."

 Gianmarco Laviola concluded by saying that "In this sense, consumers are increasingly attentive to the social impacts of corporate activities and the rights of all participants in the industrial production chain, and they are also therefore at the forefront of corporate policies. At Princes Industrie Alimentari, we have been committed to this path for years, constantly striving to find innovative solutions to make the tomato processing chain more transparent and sustainable, and promoting a product that is 100% "made in Apulia" as well as being ethical. These solutions include, of course, the industry-wide agreement signed with Coldiretti and the various initiatives implemented with workers' representatives and associations that fight the issue of abusive labor exploitation."

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