The representatives of the investors taking part in the Fondo Parchi Agroalimentari Italiani (PAI) visited the FICO, Fabbrica Italiana Contadina worksite in Bologna, which is set to become the largest agri-food park in the world.
The investors were accompanied by Andrea Cornetti, General Manager of Prelios SGR, the company that established and manages the Fondo PAI, which is supported by CAAB, the Centro Agro Alimentare in Bologna. They were met in the worksite area by the Chairman of CAAB and Fondazione FICO, Andrea Segrè, the Managing Director of CAAB, Alessandro Bonfiglioli, and the CEO of FICO Eataly World, Tiziana Primori.
In a day that was entirely dedicated to the FICO project, the Fund investors had the opportunity to personally monitor the progress at the worksite.
The works currently under way - which cover an 80,000 square metre area, of which 67,000 are covered - will lead to one of the main international points of reference for the dissemination and awareness of Italian agricultural and food and wine excellencies through the reconstruction of the main productions chains. The guests also had the opportunity to meet and observe the work of some of the entrepreneurs that represent the best of the Italian food industry that operate within the FICO complex.
“It was a particularly important day” commented Andrea Cornetti, General Manager of Prelios SGR. “While on-site with the investors participating in Fondo PAI, we shared the progress of this grand project and had the opportunity to listen to Tiziana Primori’s presentation of the evolution of the content and the project’s concepts, and Andrea Segrè’s presentation on aspects concerning the Fondazione FICO which will promote the dissemination of food awareness and education across the country by pursuing the development of economic, social, environmental, and food sustainability through education, participation and communication. We also had the opportunity to meet several producers that will be present in the FICO area. For the institutions that believed in this project, the fact that the agri-food park will have a considerable impact on the real economy, including from the creation of an estimated 3,000 new jobs, is also quite important”.
Tiziana Primori, CEO of FICO Eataly World, declared: “With each passing day, FICO is beginning to taking shape, and today we are proud to be able to show the progress to those that believed in this Project from the beginning and made FICO become a reality. This is a strong, natural and virtuous partnership that is capable of generating great benefits for the territory and for Italy because it was established based on common values and objectives: a focus on sustainable development, well-being and quality of life, hospitality, the love of excellence in people and businesses, the importance of “working together”. FICO is a new destination to propose to the world: unique and full of flavours that combines the allure of our different territories through their products, starting in Bologna, then Emilia-Romagna, a region that is extraordinarily rich in fine food and wine “pockets” and attractions”.
Andrea Segrè, Chairman of CAAB and the Fondo Parchi Agro Alimentari, Chairman of Fondazione FICO per l’Educazione Alimentare e alla Sostenibilità, declared; “Bologna, the city of food and agrifood excellencies, Bologna, the city of sustainability: a combination that is highly attractive to investors, as demonstrated by the success of the Fabbrica Italiana Contadina which is in the completion phase thanks to the Fondo Parchi Agroalimentare Italiani which has raised more than 100 million in private investment to restore a public asset. The area will be supplied with energy from the photovoltaic system capable of producing a total of 15MWh placed on the largest roof in Europe. We want to bet on sustainability as the engine and driver of revitalisation: the inauguration of FICO Eataly World will add new value to the promotion of an agrifood culture that allows us to define the word food in health, sustainable lifestyles, food safety”.
Alessandro Bonfiglioli, Managing Director of CAAB and Secretary of the Fondazione FICO emphasised that “the success and always numerous participation at the institutional events promoted by Fondo PAI are proof that the relationship with the investors is strong and continues in the spirit of full collaboration towards the project’s success in which all of us have been involved since March 2014, when the Fund was established on a proposal from CAAB by Prelios SGR. In this period, not only was the Nuova Area Mercatale (NAM) inaugurated a year ago and the FICO park nearly completed, but there was also an increase in the number and involvement of private investors in the Fund, especially Pension Funds, which increased their investments in subfunds A and B of the Fund and, finally, even in the establishment of the Fondazione FICO”.