STRATEGIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN FIERE DI PARMA AND FIERA MILANO
Statements by the key players
(Parma, 9 March 2023) – Following the favourable decisions taken firstly on March 7 by the General Meeting of Fiere di Parma, and later on March 9 by the Board of Directors of Fiera Milano, the agreement between the two companies was finally signed for a harmonised management of their events dedicated to the agri-food sector, namely Cibus and Tuttofood. Fiera Milano is now the second private shareholder of Fiere di Parma with an 18.5%, share, behind Crédit Agricole Italia with 26.44% ownership. Together with Unione Parmense degli Industriali, with its 6.88% share, the private shareholders that have been managing the exhibition centre for 14 years have strengthened their agreement and the company will manage both events with Cibus’ historical partner: Federalimentare. Responding to recent institutional requests, the Chamber of Commerce (with a 9.78% share) has joined the other public shareholders, namely Municipal and Provincial authorities of Parma with 15.97 % share each, and the Emilia Romagna region (owning 4.15%).
This business operation, with inevitable political implications was strongly promoted not only by all the shareholders of Fiere di Parma and Fiera Milano, but was also urged by several players involved in the promotion of the Made-in-Italy Agri-food sector, i.e. the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, Italian Trade Agency (ICE).
The combined effect of the two leading exhibitions in Italy can give rise to a champion capable of competing at the European level by making the two events highly specialised: Cibus Parma a comprehensive showcase of Made-in-Italy Food and its lands of origin, Tuttofood Milano a global and innovative platform for worldwide food&beverage. Both exhibition formats are going to leverage the characteristics of their venues and cities: Parma, at the centre of all Italian production districts, their excellent products and the main PDOPGI products; Milan, the ideal venue to communicate – on and off-site – to the world the new paradigms of good&sustainable food. A combination that should convince Italian and foreign exhibitors to choose Italy as their venue, when compared to other global or European destinations that are currently less specialised. Indeed, the menu offered to players worldwide – retailers, importers, distributors, restaurant chains, etc. – will be increasingly enticing, year after year, thanks to educational and factory&terroir tours to Parma during odd years, and a global and “contemporary” showcase with a rich off-site calendar in Milan during even years.
“At the end of this long journey and of an extraordinary result – stated Gino Gandolfi, President of Fiere di Parma – I cannot forget when, in the middle of the pandemic in autumn 2020, Giampiero Maioli , CEO of Credit Agricole Italia, Enrico Pazzali, President of Fondazione Fiera Milano, Carlo Bonomi, Chair of Fiera Milano, and our Ceo Antonio Cellie talked to me about their vision of bringing together the two platforms of the Italian agri-food sector, as all players had been wishing for, to enhance further and in a more coordinated way Made-in-Italy typical products. With my involvement, they triggered the project that is being completed today. I am convinced that the entry of the main Italian exhibition centre in Fiere di Parma’s share capital will give rise to other significant and fruitful synergies. For these reasons, I would like to thank all the public and private shareholders of Fiere di Parma, our BoD and our organisation for having made this agreement possible through their decisive contribution.”
“Federalimentare is extremely satisfied with the Cibus-Tuttofood agreement – stated the President of Federalimentare, Paolo Mascarino – since it contributes to the goal of increasing the synergy between all the players of the Italian food system. Growth opportunities are on international markets and, thanks to Cibus-Tuttofood, we can rely on higher level and more visible exhibitions that are going to strengthen the competitiveness of Made-in-Italy food abroad.”
The specialisation and visibility of the two Food&Beverage events is just the first step of an alliance that promotes further cooperation between the two centres in other strategic sectors for Italy, such as Mechanics and Tourism, where Milan and Parma host leading events in Italy like, respectively, Ipackima and CibusTec, BIMU and Mecfor, BIT and Salone del Camper&Outdoor.
What some of the key players said:
“As shareholders we are convinced of the importance of the agreement with Fiera Milano because it will enable Fiere di Parma and Cibus to carry on their international development: investments and ability to look forward are key to lead to the success of the Italian agri-food sector worldwide” – said Giampiero Maioli, CEO of Crédit Agricole in Italy – As a bank, we are proud of having contributed to writing this new chapter together with all the parties who, like us, consider this agreement an important result and an unquestionable opportunity for Italian exhibitions and for the companies of this sector. I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to defining this operation that is certainly going to generate value for our country.”
“The agreement signed between Fiere di Parma and Fiera Milano is aimed at strengthening a joint action to promote the Italian agri-food sector – underlined Gabriele Buia President of Unione Parmense degli Industriali – The synergy created will ensure a primary role not only to local companies, but to all businesses featuring the quality of Made-in-Italy food. Furthermore, the agreement is going to help Italian food companies to gain visibility on international markets.”
“The agreement marks a historic transition and opens up growth opportunities that are very relevant in the socio-economic and exhibition context we operate in – commented Michele Guerra, Mayor of Parma – The public shareholders have been working for years with great commitment for this operation, whose industrial value has never been questioned, to ensure the protection of the key assets of Fiere di Parma that are a key resource for our area. The vast political majority that voted in favour of this decision shows that Parma is united and ready to follow this new path with responsibility and determination.
“The Provincial Government of Parma approved with a large majority and with determination the project that sees Fiere di Parma become a key player in the national and international agri-food exhibition system – said Andrea Massari, President of the Provincial Government of Parma – For the first time, all the public shareholders joined forces and signed a strong binding agreement aimed at protecting the area and Cibus that must remain the showcase and symbol of Made-in-Italy high quality agri-food products in the world. This without giving up a growth and development project in collaboration with Italy’s largest exhibition player, Fiera Milano. There have been months of continuous exchanges with the sole purpose of working for a common good and for the future of our extraordinary land.”
“This agreement consolidates a large international platform in the food sector – commented Vincenzo Colla, Councillor for Economic and Green Economy Development, Employment and Education of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Authority – An expansion operation that can draw the attention of exhibitors and visitors within an agri-food system that covers Italy and beyond. As a Regional Authority we will continue supporting the development of this project, starting from the Parma exhibition system, and investments in qualified skills in this sector through an international FoodER university degree. Our goal is strengthening the Food Valley to benefit the whole of the region and country.”
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