For one day, its inauguration day, FICO Eataly World was not only the mecca of the Made in Italy brand in the agri-food sector, but also the symbol of the potential of the Italian economic system. It is rare to see an audience of authorities and guests like those of yesterday at a ribbon cutting ceremony for such a project. Taking part in the inauguration, held in the early afternoon of 15 November, was Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and four ministers: Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina, and three others— Dario Franceschini (Culture), Giuliano Poletti (Labour) and Gian Luca Galletti (Environment)— who are from the Emilia region themselves. Hosting the event was Virginio Merola, mayor of Bologna. A message from the Quirinale was also sent by Italian Head of State Sergio Mattarella: “A valuable opportunity to promote the food processing chain, from the raw materials to the final product on our plates,” he said, also stressing that “the Italian agri-food industry represents one of the most robust and dynamic components of exports and, as well as being a cornerstone of the economy and of the social fabric of Italy, it is a distinguishing and identifying element of the country”.
Also among the local authorities and government representatives attending the event on 15 November in Bologna were businessmen from the 150 Italian companies involved in making the FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina) agri-food park a reality, hundreds of workers, and promoters of the project. These included the mayor of Bologna and the President of the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna Stefano Bonaccini, Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, FICO Eataly World Managing Director Tiziana Primori, FICO Foundation President Andrea Segrè, CAAB Managing Director Alessandro Bonfiglioli and Prelios SGR General Manager Andrea Cornetti.
A few figures: the first takings, on 14 November 2017, the day for guests selected by invitation only, totalled 70,000 euros. There are expected to be between 11,000 and 15,000 visitors every day, making an annual total of 6 million visitors. It is estimated that, if everything goes according to plan, FICO Eataly World may generate a revenue of between 60 and 70 million euros a year, with a 6% return for investors.