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Barilla: Best in class

Apr 02, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Established in 1877, family-owned Barilla has brought delicious pasta, sauces and baked goods to the world for more than 140 years. Based in the city of Parma, the company is now run by its fourth generation, faithful to its original commitment to quality, innovation and sustainability.

“We are inspired by the values of the founders of the company and invest heavily in technology and product quality to ensure the continuous growth and development of our products in our business markets,” Barilla Group Chairman Guido Barilla said.

Barilla Group Chairman Guido Barilla

Barilla first ventured outside Italy in 1969, with the opening of its commercial office in France. Then, in the mid-1990s, Barilla opened its overseas operations in Japan. Ever since that strategic move to Asia more than 20 years ago, the company has found great success in Japan and continues to strengthen its brand among its clients and consumers.

Today, Barilla reports more than $4 billion in turnover, 45 percent of which is generated in Italy and the remaining 55 percent outside the country. The company is growing around 2 percent every year thanks to its commitment to the “Good for You, Good for the Planet” sustainability plan, which strengthens its relationship with farmers and reduces salt, sugar and saturated fats, such as palm oil, in its products.

“Along the chain, we invest a lot in the quality of the product. We make small steps along the way and every year, we do something better,” Guido Barilla said. Barilla has a presence around the world, mainly in its largest markets through subsidiaries and factories that contribute to its supply chain. With its operations now split between pasta and sauces (55 percent) and baked goods (45 percent), Barilla wants to invest more to grow outside its home country.

“We are extremely open to foreign markets. We have great respect for Japanese culture and we look to the Japanese for inspiration on how to run a business and serve the customer,” Guido Barilla said.

“The linkage between Italian and Japanese culture is magical. As much as we love the Japanese for their cuisine and capability to produce good food and provide great tastes around the world, I believe the Japanese can also find a good offering in Italian food and brands. They will find extreme joy,” he added.

Article Tags: Italy, Japan, Barilla, Food

Italian prosecco goes greener while raising quality

Apr 02, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

As a stamp of quality, Prosecco DOC guarantees millions of aficionados around the world that they are drinking an excellent product, one that bears a rich history and the unique features of its geographical origins. Produced in nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions, the secret of prosecco lies in the area’s favourable climate, which bestows an elegant and well-balanced flavor.

Prosecco also undergoes a second natural fermentation that preserves the typical complexity of the grapes and enhances its freshness and fragrance, while maintaining a sober, balanced taste.

The Prosecco DOC consortium’s mission is to protect and promote the uniqueness of prosecco, widely appreciated for its bouquet redolent in ­oral, fruity notes, its harmonious balance and its trademark vivacity and lightness.

Both as a source of inspiration for new cocktails and a wine that can be taken as an aperitivo (pre-meal appetizer) until dessert, Prosecco DOC has a versatility that goes with a myriad of menus, from the simplest to the most elaborate.

But it’s not just about what’s in the bottle and on the market.

The Prosecco DOC consortium has embarked on a campaign to raise awareness of the environmental issues facing producers and their vineyards. Its members hope to create a system that will provide reliable environmental, social and economic data and help them manage the vineyards sustainably.

One of the first steps taken by the consortium was to promote the planting of hedges and woodland copses around the vineyards to encourage biodiversity and enhance the landscape. Prosecco DOC oversees 11,391 farms that manage 24,450 hectares of vineyards and 348 sparkling winemakers.

Leonardo Fioravanti: Designing for good

Apr 02, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

“The car is the ultimate expression of personal freedom.”

That sentiment has been expressed by car aficionados so many times, it can be brushed aside as a cliche. However, when heard from Leonardo Fioravanti, the Italian engineer associated with Ferrari, the statement gains more credence.

Leonardo Fioravanti and the Sensiva

Responsible for designing several of Ferrari’s cars, including the iconic 365 GTB/4, fondly known as the Daytona, Fioravanti continues to inspire many a car designer with his passion for simplicity, function and speed. Having also conceived cars for Fiat and Alfa Romeo, Fioravanti has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading designers.

After leaving Fiat in 1991, Fioravanti joined a self-named architectural practice he founded in 1987 while working in Tokyo, and focused his work solely on prototypes, concept cars and hybrid vehicles. In the course of his long career, the Italian engineer has so far filed 30 international patents. The design studio is where he gets to live his childhood dream.

“For me, it is always function first,” said Fioravanti, who has Leonardo Fioravanti and Sensiva a fondness for Japan, having worked with Honda, Toyota and Lexus on their most iconic models. In creating new designs for cars, Fioravanti likes pushing materials to their limits.

Recognizing Fioravanti’s accomplishments, the Auto Galleria Luce in Nagoya organized an exhibit in his honor in 2016, while the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Turin extended its “Rosso Fioravanti” exhibition this year until next January.

Not resting on his achievements. Fioravanti is planning more projects, all focused on innovating the world of mobility and firmly committed to functionality over form. Assisted by his two sons, Matteo and Luca, Fioravanti’s next project involves electric cars and

Fioravanti is optimistic about the future, including its links to Asia, particularly Japan and

China, where he, together with Matteo and Luca, is working with Technicon Design in Shanghai. Its work on hybrid models hopes to o­ffer a solution to air pollution, a common problem in fast-growing cities in Asia.

“The love of cars keeps you young,” said Fioravanti, a self-avowed optimist (“The good men in the world always outnumber the bad”), who believes in technology’s power to make the world a better place.

Italdesign: A drive to perfection

Apr 02, 2019
Credit : GMI Post

Based in Moncalieri, Turin, Italdesign combines excellent engineering and distinctive creativity in its work for the global automotive industry. O­ffering a complete range of services, from styling to engineering, prototyping, testing and validation, the company employs the latest technologies to develop integrated solutions to current and future issues in mobility.

Italdesign CEO Jörg Astalosch

While keeping its focus on the automotive industry, Italdesign, since the mid-1970s, has expanded its services to new products, like trains, planes and sea crafts, as well as consumer products. The company recently launched a sub-brand, Automobili Speciali, to showcase its capabilities in design, engineering and the production of its own ultra-limited series.

A winner of several design awards over the years, the company has nurtured a strong relationship with many famous Japanese car brands, such as Daihatsu, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Lexus.

“We are proud of our relationship with Japanese companies as it makes us special. They challenge us in a positive way. There is always something to learn from them and from how they view their work as coordinated and holistic,” Italdesign CEO Jörg Astalosch said.

“The core of our brand is to deliver the perfect service and therefore, the perfect product,” said Astalosch.

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary, Italdesign remains committed to its rich design heritage and open to future trends, motivated by the success of its clients and partners, and confident its employees will define the next generation of mobility solutions.

Northern Italy 2019 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

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