Botto Poala (Confindustria Moda): “The challenge? More unity, compact in Europe”

The new president of the Federation ready to make a voice heard on the issue related to energy costs

“For Confindustria Moda, the long-term challenge is to consolidate unity, making all the social partners perceive us as a single system. By being together we will be able to enhance the weight and importance of this industry, not only in Italy but above all. in Europe”. Word of Ercole Botto Poala, new president of Confindustria Moda, the Federation that brings together companies and associations in the textile, fashion and accessories sector. Born in 1971, former vice president of the Federation and CEO of Reda, one of the most important wool mills in Italy, Botto Poala is ready for the challenges that the sector will have to face in the coming years. “Those that await us – explains Botto Poala to AdnKronos – can put textiles, fashion and accessories in great difficulty or favor it significantly”.

Among the key issues that the sector will have to deal with, such as digitization and internationalization, there is also that linked to sustainability: “We have to create a system – highlights Botto Poala -. Everyone is talking about sustainability and they are interpreting it in their own way. but it is a game without a referee right now. However, sooner or later, the European legislator will define the rules for producing and selling sustainable products in Europe and in Brussels we have to go together to make our voice heard. This is the mission we have in the long run period”.

Another goal to be achieved is that of digitization. “It will be another selective issue for companies – warns Botto Poala -. Business models are evolving, our companies and our managers must be ready to take up this challenge”. For Botto Poala “we need to stimulate Italian entrepreneurs to change their mentality a little, we need to ride the digital transition, which is a great opportunity for Made in Italy”. In the short term, however, the goal is to help small and medium-sized enterprises to seize the opportunity of the NRP. “In the past – remarks Botto Poala – our system has had difficulties because small businesses are often not structured. Confindustria Moda, with all its business associations, Assocalzaturifici, Anfao, Smi, Aip, Assopellettieri, Federorafi, Unic, must give a hand in this sense “.

The first quarter of 2022 for Confindustria Moda closed with an increase in turnover of + 19.3%, higher than the expectations which predicted a growth of + 14%. The trend in orders also recorded a very positive trend, showing a + 15% compared to the same period of 2021. In the second quarter, however, an average increase in sales of around + 12.9% is estimated, which, although it is a positive forecast, sees a slowdown also due to the uncertainties on the international scenario which are mainly affected by the tensions of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. With these forecasts, the first half of 2022 should close with a growth in turnover of + 16%.

“There is a sword of Damocles that hangs over the recovery: the cost of energy, which causes serious problems especially for energy-intensive companies upstream of the supply chain – observes Botto Poala -. Volumes are returning to the pre-Covid dimension but margins are not . We must be stimulated on the one hand by the fact that Made in Italy is still in great demand, that the world still wants Italian products but on the other hand we must not forget that Italian companies are struggling with the issue linked to the costs of energy, which is very complex. Nobody is able to quantify the costs because the price changes rapidly. Now we need to work with the social partners and the government on a number of important issues, including energy. “

The president of Confindustria Moda is clear: “We will ask for structural interventions at European level, starting from the ceiling on energy costs as proposed by Prime Minister Draghi – he comments -. It is essential to continue the discussion in Europe for companies, both to contain costs that to have medium-term visibility on the activities. Many companies are working with little visibility of what can happen, they work in the storm, they do not see a lighthouse. The roof would be of great strategic importance for all our companies, because it would allow to contain costs and have greater visibility in the medium term, avoiding as much as possible to browse by sight “. (by Federica Mochi)