The inaugural conference of Cibus 2022 was an opportunity to talk about sustainability and the importance of combining its three pillars – economic, social, and environmental – as an irreversible element for the development of agri-food companies. The conference, moderated by journalist Cristina Alfieri, compared the experiences of some protagonists of the Italian food business: Number 1, Inalpi, Andriani, and Afidop (the Italian association representing PDO and PGI productions).
The Italian government, represented by the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano, announced support to the companies affected in their export business by the war in Ukraine. The Minister of Agricultural Policies Stefano Patuanelli closed the works.
HOW TO APPLY SUSTAINABILITY
Mario Molteni, Professor of Corporate Strategy – defined sustainability as “an irreversible, pervasive phenomenon, orchestrated by all the players gravitating around the company, convenient and creative.” Rossella Sobrero, Head of the group promoting the CSR and Social Innovation Show, drew attention to the values of transparency, consistency, and sharing.
Renzo Sartori, President of Number 1, talked about the first excellent results (160 new jobs in 2021) of the activity of the Next association, a social project that puts companies in touch with people looking for work from disadvantaged positions. Ambrogio Invernizzi, President of Inalpi, showed how sustainability can shape the milk supply chain. For example, through the remuneration of suppliers according to an indexed system that uses an algorithm and eliminates bargaining. Michele Andriani, President and CEO Andriani, explained how sustainability can be nurtured through innovation within circular economy projects, such as the one for the production of spirulina algae. Antonio Auricchio, President of Afidop, addressed the government the urgent request to reduce the cost of energy, which is weighing on the activities of flagship companies of Made in Italy.
THE GOVERNMENT’S ACTION
Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano underlined that “Italy is a promoter of internationalization: about one-third of our GDP comes from exports. To improve further, it is necessary to invest in digitalization, sustainability, and the creation of added value. Unfortunately, in the last year, the cost of production has increased by +36%. For this reason, the government must now carry out a concrete action of support, which began with the first tranche of 5.7 billion euros provided to help internationalization.”
Finally, Minister Stefano Patuanelli recalled that “sustainability is the present, not just the future. We must put our agri-food excellent companies and products in a position to be valued. In this sense, the measures contained in the Next Generation EU project are very useful, as sustainability must be supported with large investments. And companies need less bureaucracy and more certainty.”