An area of 23 hectares (more than 30 football fields) adjacent to the Parma pasta factory and the Barilla headquarters, which represents and narrates the Group’s sustainability strategy, has been redeveloped and restored to nature and the community. The area will be inaugurated in spring 2022.
Taking what is needed from nature by returning value. With this goal was born theagriBosco Barilla which, starting from spring 2022, will allow you to discover what’s behind a biscuit, a snack, a packet of Barilla pasta: quality ingredients and raw materials that respect the environment. The birth of the AgriBosco, announced on the occasion of the National Tree Day (November 21), it was possible thanks to the collaboration with Legambiente and AzzeroCO2. While the types of trees that will grow in the AgriBosco have been chosen together with the KilometroVerdeParma Forestry Consortium.
There will be sunflower fields (which remind us of the choice to eliminate palm oil, for reasons related to the nutritional improvement of the products), fields of soft wheat with flowers and houses for bees and other pollinating insects (which present the principles and values expressed by the “Carta del Mulino”) and durum wheat for pasta, which Barilla cultivates in a sustainable way, in the name of precision agriculture, with crop rotations that minimize soil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
With an area of 23 hectares (more than 30 football fields) of land until yesterday barren and desert, the agriBosco project is not just an initiative of environmental requalification: it is also a gesture of love for nature by the Barilla people, a meeting place between agriculture, animals and plants, also to be handed down to future generations. According to AzzeroCO2 estimates, AgriBosco Barilla will absorb over 13,000 kg of CO2 every year for the next 100 years. To give an idea, 13,000 kg of CO2 are as many as those emitted, for example, to go around the equator over 100 times with a medium-sized car.
The redevelopment and reforestation works began in spring 2021. The archaeological checks and tests were followed, in April, by the planting of 1,070 forest plants and 200 ready-to-effect plants. And these days, with the laying of nearly 1,600 additional trees and shrubs, the total reforested areas will be over 54,000 square meters. The redeveloped area will create a meeting place open to all, a green space for the local community and for Barilla people, which will be inaugurated in spring 2022, where recreational and social activities can be carried out, for example with the possible sharing of vegetable gardens and orchards.
The agriBosco will also be a educational park for schools, associations and the world of volunteering, with thematic itineraries on sustainable agriculture, beekeeping, the protection of biodiversity and the virtuous management of the water cycle. A project that is therefore an ongoing path, which over the years will grow and develop thanks to the stimuli that will also come from Barilla people, who have been involved for years in promoting positive changes in the company and beyond at all levels of the organization. Barilla people are already an active part of a project that was born near the company headquarters and ideally unites all 8,400 employees of the Group. For example, one of the first contributions in this sense was the design of trails and paths accessible to all and without barriers, which will make the AgriBosco an inclusive place open to diversity.
The inspiring thought of agriBosco originates from other projects with which the Barilla Group makes concrete its commitment in favor of nature and the environment: the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from products and processes; the reforestation and protection of 6 Italian wooded areas with Gran Cereale; the use of virgin fiber from responsibly managed forests for the carton packs of Barilla pasta; the “Carta del Mulino” with the sustainable cultivation of soft wheat, the protection of biodiversity and pollinating insects; and the Carbon Neutrality projects with Gran Cereale, Mulino Bianco, Wasa and Harrys, just to name a few.